Y-chromosome mutation rates have aided in finding the history of a vanishing human population on the Andaman Islands located in the Indian Ocean.
Archaeogeneticists have found that these isolated groups of islanders have a faster rate of decreasing Y-chromosome base pairs than when compared to the rest of the world’s population. Every few decades, the SRYgene loses crucial base pairs without a substitute male-determining gene in its place. Although the origins of these islanders are up for debate, it is believed that they are descendents of Paleolithic colonizers of Southeast Asia because their mDNA contains similar mutations on specific genes (similar to Rarotongan mDNA). Collectively, it has been predicted that the Andaman DNA will vanish by the next 10,000 years due to the increased loss of the male-determining gene. With an experimental analysis of how the SRY gene and mitochondria work, we may be able to find why the Andaman Islanders are a vanishing human population.