From a recent article in the New York Times:
'How the functioning of X chromosomes differs in women and men may help to explain biological differences between the sexes, according to a new study by researchers from Duke and Pennsylvania State Universities.'
...
'Together, the two papers may explain some of the behavioral and biological differences among women, and perhaps between women and men, according to an article in Nature about the study.'

Great, I thought, now I'll finally learn how the two major groups of humanity differ. (I have only a passed interest in hermaphrodites.) Instead, the article went on, in a Michael Nitabacker vein, to discuss a bunch of biology details that whooshed over my head. It never even mentioned what these alleged behavioural differences are. No fun, but could any group of two or more people ever agree on what they are, if they exist?

Charles Riggs
There are no accented letters in my email address
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From a recent article in the New York Times: 'How the functioning of X chromosomes differs in women and men ... No fun, but could any group of two or more people ever agree on what they are, if they exist?

If they could find out what the genes are for, which is work in progress: done for some genes, but not others.
Keeping it really simple, classical genetics would say that, for example, if your father had a big nose and your mother had a small nose, you wouldn't have a medium-sized nose. You'd either have a big nose, because the small-nose genetic inheritance was masked or inactive or whatever, or you'd have a small nose, because the big-nose genetic inheritance was masked or inactive or whatever.
That's a generalisation for all chromosomes, of which there are several dozen pairs in humans; this particular study was concerned with the single odd-one-out pair that is sex linked (where women get two X chromosomes in a matched pair and men get an X and a Y chromosome is an unmatched pair). If there was a gene on the X chromosome for, say, behaving in a happy manner, one might assume that the happiness gene would appear in neither, or one, or both of the pair of X chromosomes, suggesting that women might have the potential to be unhappy, normally happy, or doubly happy. The population of women would therefore exhibit a wider range of happiness behaviours than men, who would only have the potential for being unhappy or normally happy.
Which seems fair enough, but it seems that the geneticists have been assuming that such "double dose" genes would be masked in some way so that only one would be expressed but not the other (as in "big nose" or "small nose"). I can see no reason for assuming this, other than to make life easier for geneticists, and the import of the news article is that the assumption seems to be false. Indeed, it it's beginning to look like women can have any dosage of (in this case) happiness, from a zero dose (0%) to a double dose (200%), including fractional values such as 30%.
Which is only what you'd been observing all along.

Reminds me of the startlingly scientific breakthrough announced breathlessly in our Sunday papers a while back: scientists had discovered scientifically that taking a little wine for thy stomach's sake was A Good Thing. Well, blow me down: five millennia later, science catches up with the blindingly obvious.
From my evening paper a couple of days ago: studies show that using safety belts is safer than not using safety belts. Get your minds around that , sports fans.
From a recent article in the New York Times: 'How the functioning of X chromosomes differs in women and men ... No fun, but could any group of two or more people ever agree on what they are, if they exist?

Q: Why can't Hellen Keller drive an automobile?
A: Because she's a woman.
Don
Kansas City
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Q: Why can't Helen Keller drive an automobile? A: Because she's a woman.

Also, because she is dead. But that is,
admittedly, a secondary consideration mentioned
merely as a backup.
\\P. Schultz
From a recent article in the New York Times: 'How ... people ever agree on what they are, if they exist?

Q: Why can't Hellen Keller drive an automobile? A: Because she's a woman.

Q: Why can't Ray Charles?
S: Um, because he's black?
P: No, because he's blind, you racist!

Aaron Davies
Opinions expressed are solely those of a random number generator. "I don't know if it's real or not but it is a myth." -Jami JoAnne of alt.folklore.urban, showing her grasp on reality.
From a recent article in the New York Times: 'How ... people ever agree on what they are, if they exist?

If they could find out what the genes are for, which is work in progress: done for some genes, but not others.

It is already an untenable oversimplification to view each particular gene as being "for" some particular thing. The vast majority of genes play many different roles in many different biological processes. Current thinking in genetics is that genes and their encoded products are most fruitfully considered as elements in a massively- interconnected network of interactions with both local and global topological structure.
Keeping it really simple, classical genetics would say that, for example, if your father had a big nose and your ... inactive or whatever, or you'd have a small nose, because the big-nose genetic inheritance was masked or inactive or whatever.

Classical genetics would only say this for alleles of genes that behave in a simple Mendelian fashion with respect to a particular phenotype. Genes that behave this way are in the overwhelming minority.
That's a generalisation for all chromosomes, of which there are several dozen pairs in humans; this particular study was concerned ... a wider range of happiness behaviours than men, who would only have the potential for being unhappy or normally happy.

Complex behavioral attributes like "happiness" are almost never determined by genes with alleles that behave in simple Mendelian fashion.
Which seems fair enough, but it seems that the geneticists have been assuming that such "double dose" genes would be ... nose" or "small nose"). I can see no reason for assuming this, other than to make life easier for geneticists(.)

There is a huge amount of experimental evidence for dosage compensation of X-linked genes through X chromosome inactivation in mammalian females. Ever see a calico cat?
(T)he import of the news article is that the assumption seems to be false.

I haven't read the NY Times article, so I can't speak to their characterization of the Nature paper. Having read the Nature paper, however, I can tell you that the authors have not refuted the basic principle of dosage compensation through X inactivation in females. What they have done is to refine that principle by showing that most, but not all, X-linked genes are fully dosage compensated.

Mike Nitabacker
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Aaron Davies had it:
Q: Why can't Hellen Keller drive an automobile? A: Because she's a woman.

Q: Why can't Ray Charles? S: Um, because he's black? P: No, because he's blind, you racist!

I thought it was because he was dead.

David
==
replace usenet with the
Aaron Davies had it:

S: Um, because he's black? P: No, because he's blind, you racist!

I thought it was because he was dead.

That wisecrack is a sad example of blatant lifism.

Don't you realize that when you become dead, even
if it's not your fault, all your possessions are
taken away from you and you lose the right to
drive and (usually) the right to vote? And this is happening, today, right here in AMERICA!! How long are we going to continue to tolerate this?
\\P. Schultz
From a recent article in the New York Times: 'How the functioning of X chromosomes differs in women and men ... No fun, but could any group of two or more people ever agree on what they are, if they exist?

I read the same article in our local paper last night.

It seems to reinforce the theory, formulated by popular speech, that male and female are not different sexes, but different species.

Steve Hayes from Tshwane, South Africa
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7734/stevesig.htm
E-mail - see web page, or parse: shayes at dunelm full stop org full stop uk
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