Years ago it was claimed (Aitken & Graves 2002, ppv) that the human Y-chromosome was in rapid decay and would vanish in some five million years. Today I read at BBC and Nature (article) that this won't happen after all, being in fact quite stable.
Jennifer F. Hughes et al., Strict evolutionary conservation followed rapid gene loss on human and rhesus Y chromosomes. Nature 2012. Pay per view.
The main finding seems to be that the comparison with chimpanzee Y chromosome alone was misleading and that further comparison in the simian tree (rhesus macaque) actually found Y chromosomes very similar to those of our species.
The macaque Y contained just one gene that humans have lost, and that gene resides on a particularly unstable portion of the Y. The human Y has grown much longer than the macaque’s, but the genes were mostly the same.
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