Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hey guys you are only a gene away from monkeys...

Y chromosomes in males has lost only one gene compared to the monkeys. That gene may be very important... and not only for male reproduction (insert laughs). The Joy of Science, that is  the title of a book I read a while ago. This is also an emotion I felt when I was reading Nature News. Yes, I was laughing...and it was not because of males lacking one thing monkeys still have. I know you guys have gained so much with that little loss...but really, our science is not only funny but highly controversial and exciting too!

Sometimes reading about controversial science views, new discoveries, the way someone interpret results, and so on, one find oneself participating in that old fashion soap opera of science.  The controversies and anti-controversies...the paradigms and destruction of paradigms. The rise and fall of theories. As they say, everything that rise may fall.

Australian scientists predicted the disappearance of the Y gene, and recently other scientists said no way. The Y chromosome, containing our male they are not going away. Amanacera y veremos--the sun will rise, and we will see.

A while ago, Australian scientists have predicted the disappearance of the Y gene. Their assessment was based in the absence of Y chromosome in some mammalian species, such as certain voles and thus the male of our species. They predicted that the male gene could disappear within the next 10 millions years.  One of the scientist involved in that study consider that the human y chromosome many duplications is a tell story of its demise. Yet, that does not mean the demise of males. The study found that the information for the expression of male feature in species that have lost their Y chromosome was relocated.

I was not imagining a world without males of our species. How boring the world would turn out to be? It would make a good science fiction story though. No brother, no lover, no father, etc., The males of our species are rather interesting creatures.

Would the lost of the Y gene correlate to the demise of Patriarchism, and the decrease of testosterone driven violence? I don't mean to be hopeless, but I bet that both roles, the 'patriarchal stereotype ruler' and the violent gang, would be taken by a segment of the female population. Haven't we seen how people get rid of their oppressors just to rise a new generation of them.

Independently of our science controversies, evolution will continue and will tell the stories. The scientist of the future will elucidate the outcome. They will say how close or far the scientist in the last two decades were.

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