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Thread: One third of genes expressed differently in men and women

  1. #1
    Elite member Coriolan's Avatar
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    One third of genes expressed differently in men and women

    This is from ScienceDaily.

    Researchers identify 6,500 genes that are expressed differently in men and women
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0504104342.htm


    "Men and women differ in obvious and less obvious ways -- for example, in the prevalence of certain diseases or reactions to drugs. How are these connected to one's sex? Weizmann Institute of Science researchers recently uncovered thousands of human genes that are expressed -- copied out to make proteins -- differently in the two sexes. Their findings showed that harmful mutations in these particular genes tend to accumulate in the population in relatively high frequencies, and the study explains why. The detailed map of these genes, reported in BMC Biology, provides evidence that males and females undergo a sort of separate, but interconnected evolution.

    Several years ago, Prof. Shmuel Pietrokovski and Dr. Moran Gershoni of the Weizmann Institute's Molecular Genetics Department asked why the prevalence of certain human diseases is common. Specifically, about 15% of couples trying to conceive are defined as infertile, which suggested that mutations that impair fertility are relatively widespread. This seems paradoxical: Common sense says that these mutations, which directly affect the survival of the species by reducing the number of offspring, should have been quickly weeded out by natural selection. Pietrokovski and Gershoni showed that mutations in genes specific to sperm formation persist precisely because the genes are expressed only in men. A mutation that is problematic for only half the population, no matter how detrimental, is freely passed on to the next generation by the other half.

    In the present study, the researchers expanded their analyses to include genes that, though not necessary for fertility, are still expressed differently in the two sexes. To identify these genes, the scientists turned to the GTEx project -- a very large study of human gene expression recorded for numerous organs and tissues in the bodies of close to 550 adult donors. That project enabled, for the first time, the comprehensive mapping of the human sex-differential genetic architecture.

    Pietrokovski and Gershoni looked closely at around 20,000 protein-coding genes, sorting them by sex and searching for differences in expression in each tissue. They eventually identified around 6,500 genes with activity that was biased toward one sex or the other in at least one tissue. For example, they found genes that were highly expressed in the skin of men relative to that in women's skin, and they realized that these were related to the growth of body hair. Gene expression for muscle building was higher in men; that for fat storage was higher in women."

  2. #2
    Advisor LeBrok's Avatar
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    Looks like women pay for men's sperm war. Otherwise they were even more perfect. ;)
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    Advisor bicicleur's Avatar
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    I would have been surprised if it were not so.

  4. #4
    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    I would have been surprised if it were not so.
    Me too. There's an old Italian song that contains a section where the singer muses on the fact that all men are born of a woman but they're nothing like us. It's very poignant and beautiful and feminists would hate it.


    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

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