25 October 2004

Another species on the endangered list!

I recently read Sykes book Adam's Curse. Sykes has an excellent talent for explaining important discoveries in the field of genetics in a way that laymen can understand. Unlike Syke's earlier book that traced female lineages through mitochondrial DNA, Adam's Curse looks at the male Y Chromosome. Pointing out the disproportional distribution of specific Y Chromosomes in the modern population, Sykes comes to some startling conclusions, such as the fact that huge swaths of modern populations are probably all descended from Ghengis Khan. In the books final chapters, Sykes claims that the Y Chromosome is in pretty sorry shape and will completely fall apart in the next 100,000 years or so making men extinct barring some technological fix--the most likely of which is to take the key parts of the Y Chromosome and graft them onto a healthy X Chromosome (creating a male with two X Chromosomes!) So anyway, to all you men out there, enjoy having the upperhad while you've got it: we're going extinct!

Syke's The Seven Daughters of Eve is another excellent book that traces virtually everyone of European descent back to 7 women.

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