04/17/2005: Complementary Genetics...
Here’s a long, but excellent article, by Ronald Kotulak (Chicago Tribune) Women Just Have Something Extra In Their Make-Up about the genetic differences among men and women.
Although there had been earlier evidence that a few genes on the inactivated X of women had broken their silence and become active, scientists were stunned to find that as many as 25 percent of the genes on the inactivated chromosome are working, giving women higher doses of many important gene products.
One finding put the X chromosome into a class by itself--of the 25 percent of active genes on the inactivated chromosome, 15 percent are the same for all women, but 10 percent are randomly active. In other words, behavior, if it is linked to the X chromosome, could have a wide variety of outcomes.
"It clearly is a surprising observation and one that has some pretty significant ramifications," said Steve Warren, chairman of human genetics at Emory University School of Medicine. "Now there is clear evidence for genetic influences on all kinds of behaviors, particularly behaviors that are sex-gender defined.”
If a smart gene arises on a male X chromosome, females will eventually get it through genetic inheritance from their fathers, and eventually they may end up having two, one on each of their X chromosomes. But the genes will work somewhat differently in women because of the randomness by which they are turned on or off on their inactivated chromosome.
It makes for interesting similarities and differences between the sexes.
"Males and females are designed to complement each other rather than to compete for every single thing across the gamut of things people can do," Craig said. "The balance of intellectual skills works out pretty evenly at the end of the day."
You can also read further on my musings on this and similar topics in this post Out of the Mommy Trap...On to Utopia.
Karen on 04.17.05 @ 08:39 AM CST