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The X in Sex

The X in Sex

How the X Chromosome Controls Our Lives

David Bainbridge

ISBN 9780674016217

Publication date: 09/30/2004

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.

Praise

  • David Bainbridge takes us on a fascinating tour of X chromosomes and explains what the possession of these intricately folded, infinitessimally narrow, two-inch long strings of genetic codes weighing almost nothing, means for their bearers--that is for each one of us, male and female. History and personal anecdotes are woven together with up-to-date summaries of the science, punctuated with Bainbridge's zany--and very British--humor, so that this information-packed book is pure pleasure to read.

    —Sarah Blaffer Hrdy author of Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection

Author

  • David Bainbridge is University Clinical Veterinary Anatomist at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge.

Book Details

  • 224 pages
  • 0-9/16 x 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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