Evolution Genetics

Evil SRY gene

Since Friedrich Miescher managed to isolate DNA in 1869, this magical molecular structure has been dramatically changing various dimensions of human life. We now know that, built around the blueprint of DNA, each human being is a creature with fixed traits that are more or less inescapable.

Each human body is constructed out of the information contained in 23 chromosome pairs he/she inherits from the parents. This makes fate of a human body fairly predictable once we manage to decipher the code. Though we have not been able to completely understand the workings of how the genetic material gets expressed under different circumstances, we are slowly developing critical insights into congenital problems like Down syndrome or Huntington’s disease, where we can predict the predisposition with almost 100% accuracy.

With more and more human traits getting linked to specific genes, scientists are constantly on the look out to find strong statistical relationships between gene and trait so they can be used to identify the problem beforehand. It is an extremely dangerous quest raising many ethical problems, but it also contains a lure of eternal health or even eradication of death, so it is inspiring scientists to pursue it relentlessly.

One extremely interesting relationship noticed lately is between SRY gene and murder. Across the world, as many as 95 % murderers have SRY gene. Barely 5 % of murderers lack SRY gene. If you talk about serial killers, mass murderers, genocidists or war mongers; presence of SRY gene is almost 100 %. Even if we look at tendency to commit other crimes, especially violent crimes, the statistics remains alarmingly in favour of those with SRY gene. This is extremely strange as nearly half the world population lacks SRY gene.

As SRY gene is not a bare necessity for human body to survive and as we all would love to see a peaceful crime-free world, it is abundantly clear that strong measures must be in place to eradicate this evil gene from our chromosomes. It is an obvious learning from genetics that we must aspire to move towards a SRY gene free society.

Strangely, human effort, especially in India, is actually aimed in exactly opposite direction. We are aiming to populate our nation only with SRY gene and we are using all modern technologies and medical facilities to do so. Genetics has helped the cause of SRY enormously. We seem to hate the non-SRY type so badly that it is almost like a congenital defect to be born without SRY gene.

Interestingly, while we Indians are waging a war against the non-SRY type, nature, thankfully, appears to be working at removing the SRY gene from our chromosomes.

As our chromosomes are inherited from our parents, they come as half-a-pair from each parent and bond into forming a functioning pair. SRY gene sits on the smallest chromosome that has just about 50 genes, while it’s other, or rather better half, has a whopping 1600 genes. From the evolutionary perspective, it is extremely likely that the chromosome containing SRY gene too had started with 1600 genes.

In terms of pure number crunching, in about 166 million years, this chromosome came down from 1600 to 50 genes, making it clear that it should be down and out in next 4.5 million years taking SRY gene with it.

While we wait for a peaceful future of humanity freed from the clutches of SRY gene, can’t something be done about the SRY gene today? Can the SRY type not learn from the non-SRY type to keep their violent, murderous, criminal streak at bay?

It should be possible, only if men learn from women about co-existing peacefully.

Belated happy non-SRY gene human day!


I am happy to admit that I have managed surviving till now with minimum effort as all my intellect has be used to avoid doing anything meaningful. As I needed to while all the free time I generated in course of being lazy, science has been my favorite muse that I have enjoyed company of. As an effort to kill time (in a way, to get even with it) one fine day I decided to write a science column, more for my personal amusement than to attract readers. After getting educated about the attention span of modern readers from my editor, it became more like a challenge to tackle esoteric subjects in 600 words that I have managed to remain interested in for more than a year now. I do not want to add my worldly profile here as these are ideas that need to be considered only on the merits they carry and not as an opinion of a certain human being.

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