Saturday, January 21, 2012

As a mom of boys, this warmed me...

A son, in fact, may rightfully be thought of as a mama's boy: he has her X chromosome alive in every cell of his body. He has no choice - it's the only X he's got, and every cell needs it. Thus he has more of his mother's genes operating in his body than he does of his father's, thousands more. Yes, the Y chromosome is there, and that is solely a father-to-son transaction; but remember that the Y is genetically impoverished compared to the X. If you do the calculations, your brother works out to be about 6 percent more related to your mother than to your father, and he is 3 percent more related to your mother than you are, because half your cells, on average, have the mother chromosome turned off [assuming you're a woman], while all of his remain turned on. These are not inconsequential figures.

- Natalie Angier, Woman: An Intimate Geography pg 24

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