As has already been mentioned in Futuribles, the possible disappearance of the Y chromosome in the - admittedly distant - future constitutes a genuine threat to the survival of the human race. If this chromosome which carries maleness (women have only X chromosomes) is unable to regenerate by mixing with its own kind, it could indeed disintegrate, with the immediate result that men would cease to exist and so too would women - unless new techniques of assisted reproduction meant that males were no longer required.
This topic has been the subject of a great deal of research, especially by geneticists. It is a central theme of a book by one of these, which has recently been translated into French (La Malédiction d'Adam, original title Adam's Curse. London: Bantam Press, 2003). Jacques Testart, an expert on these matters, reviews the book, reminding us along the way that "the movements in the world cannot all be reduced to struggles between molecules".