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X Inactivation and Epigenetics

X inactivation is a type of gene dosage compensation. In humans, the sex chromosomes X and Y determine the sex of an individual - females have two X chromosomes (XX), males have one X and one Y chromosome (XY). All of the genes on the Y chromosome are required in male development, while the genes on the X chromosome are needed for both male and female development. Because females receive two X chromosomes, they inherit two copies of many of the genes that are needed for normal function. Extra copies of genes or chromosomes can affect normal development. An example is Down's syndrome, which is caused by an extra copy of part or all of chromosome 21. In female mammals, a process called X inactivation has evolved to compensate for the extra X chromosome. In X inactivation, each cell 'switches off' one of its X chromosomes, chosen at random, to ensure the correct number of genes are expressed, and to prevent abnormal development.
Here is a helpful eleven minute description of what it is and why it's important by Etsuko Uno and metafilter's own Drew Berry in a fucking gorgeous Goodsell-esque 3D animation.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 14, 2013 - 34 comments

Sex crazed, but not too picky

Nature constantly engineers new and creative solutions to all sorts of problems—turning our stereotypes about sex upside-down along the way.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 17, 2012 - 16 comments

Fretless Fader

The Fretless Fader is an incredible new XY turntable control interface being developed by John Beez
posted by mhjb on Apr 28, 2010 - 29 comments

Advertisers Who Hate XY a letter from the editor of the gay youth magazine about institutional bigotry. and i think it is way out of line. [more inside]
posted by palegirl on Nov 28, 2000 - 24 comments

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