Scientists fear men could be wiped out as endangered rats lack male chromosome

SCIENTISTS fear men could be wiped out after discovering that endangered rats lack the male Y chromosome.

They say humans’ version of the gene data has been shrinking in size for years and may die out altogether.

Expert geneticists tested Ryukyu spiny rats living on a Japanese island

Expert geneticists tested Ryukyu spiny rats living on a Japanese island信用: 盖蒂

Experts tested Ryukyu spiny rats living on the Japanese island of Amami Oshima.

Only a few now remain — but none has the Y chromosome.

A baby’s gender is determined by chromosomes known as X and Y, which carry our DNA.

Males have XY while females have XX.

When conceiving a child, women contribute an X while men contribute the X or Y.

Study author Professor Asato Kuroiwa, of Hokkaido University, 说: “Y chromosomes in many mammals have been shrinking over tens of millions of years — and could eventually disappear.”

Award-winning geneticist Jenny Graves claimed two decades ago that our Y chromosome will eventually go.

Prof Graves, of La Trobe University, Melbourne, told New Scientist: “I think this latest piece of work is brilliant.

The evidence is very compelling.

“There is no reason to think our Y chromosome is any more robust than the spiny rat’s.”

Prof Kuroiwa said: “I agree with Jenny. I also believe the Y chromosome will disappear.”