Sorry, Men, We Barely Need Y Chromosomes
Just two genes from it are necessary to reproduce: study
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Nov 22, 2013 5:35 PM CST
Not much of the male-provided Y chromosome is needed, a study suggests.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Who needs a Y chromosome? Scientists have found that "male" mice without the sex-defining chromosome can reproduce—as long as they've got two key genes from it. A team in Hawaii worked with mice lacking full Y chromosomes; instead, they had two genes, called Sry and Eif2s3y, inserted on other chromosomes. These mice were able to produce only immature sperm, NewScientist explains. They needed some help to reproduce: In an IVF procedure, researchers injected material from the immature sperm into eggs, the BBC reports.

That resulted in successful fertilization 9% of the time. The rate is far lower than the usual 26% for mice with the Y chromosome, but it still shows that mice without it can father healthy pups that can themselves reproduce. So does this mean men are barely necessary? Well, the rest of the Y chromosome is key to producing motile, mature sperm, researcher Monica Ward says. And a man-free planet would be "science fiction," she notes. But the findings could help some infertile men reproduce in the future.

Next on Newser: Nation, World Remember JFK
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
We Barely Need Y Chromosomes is...
16%
25%
3%
14%
4%
38%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 43 comments
People_Suck
Nov 28, 2013 12:36 AM CST
They wrote an article specifically for Fractal but she didn't reply? Holy Sheepshyt Batman.
foxnewsis1
Nov 27, 2013 3:00 AM CST
Women....I would guess mice have very small penises?
DiogenesXI
Nov 24, 2013 2:46 PM CST
Get help, Sparky. You need it...