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The X in Sex: How the X Chromosome Controls Our Lives
by David Bainbridge
Harvard University Press, 2004
eISBN: 978-0-674-02041-2 | Cloth: 978-0-674-01028-4 | Paper: 978-0-674-01621-7
Library of Congress Classification QH600.5.B35 2003
Dewey Decimal Classification 611.01816

A tiny scrap of genetic information determines our sex; it also consigns many of us to a life of disease, directs or disrupts the everyday working of our bodies, and forces women to live as genetic chimeras. The culprit--so necessary and yet the source of such upheaval--is the X chromosome, and this is its story. An enlightening and entertaining tour of the cultural and natural history of this intriguing member of the genome, The X in Sex traces the journey toward our current understanding of the nature of X. From its chance discovery in the nineteenth century to the promise and implications of ongoing research, David Bainbridge shows how the X evolved and where it and its counterpart Y are going, how it helps assign developing human babies their sex--and maybe even their sexuality--and how it affects our lives in infinitely complex and subtle ways. X offers cures for disease, challenges our cultural, ethical, and scientific assumptions about maleness and femaleness, and has even reshaped our views of human evolution and human nature.

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