X and Y Chromosomes Concern More Than Reproduction

Editor's Note: This is the third article in a series on sex-based differences in the biology of males and females. Future articles in the series will cover sex-based differences in autoimmunity, drug metabolism, and life expectancy. While responses to "What's the difference between men and women?" might evoke answers about reproductive plumbing and hormones, researchers are unearthing some subtle, genomic reasons for the differences. So far, the linchpins to finding these genomic variations seem

Karen Young Kreeger
Feb 3, 2002
Editor's Note:
This is the third article in a series on sex-based differences in the biology of males and females. Future articles in the series will cover sex-based differences in autoimmunity, drug metabolism, and life expectancy.
While responses to "What's the difference between men and women?" might evoke answers about reproductive plumbing and hormones, researchers are unearthing some subtle, genomic reasons for the differences. So far, the linchpins to finding these genomic variations seem to involve X-chromosome inactivation, Y chromosome genetics, and genetic imprinting.

Lisa Damiani

Sherry Marts, scientific director for the Society for Women's Health Research, thinks these areas will be focal points. "We're looking at this as the start of a new field of research," she says. "In another 10 years [sex-based differences] is going to be like neuroscience, where it started out as a few physiologists and a few biochemists, and pretty soon you've got...

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