DOCTOR"S view ARCHIVE JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA-"What are little boysmade of? Snips and snails, and puppy dogs" tails; That"s whatlittle boys space made of." follow to the old nursery rhyme.The following verse, of course, addresses the parallel question: "Whatare small girls made of? Sugar and spice, and also everything nice;That"s what small girls room made of." The behavior differences in between boys and also girlscontinue to be a issue of usual wisdom. Because that example, there wasa front-page article in The new York time on June 15 about thechildren the Robert F. ("Bobby") Kennedy. The reporterDeborah Sontag detailed that, among Bobby"s 11 children: "Itwas welcomed that the guys had more problems 보다 the girls, becauseas Mrs. Kennedy Townsend (the eldest of Bobby"s offspring) said,"boys in general obtain in problem more."" do boys "get in problem more?" also morebasically, execute boys and also girls communicate in various behaviors? Ifso, why? Is it every learned through our experience (environmental)?Or, carry out our genes play a role, maybe in pre-programming our behavior? What may be truly different in between boys" and girls"behaviors might not have to with boys" snips and snails and also puppydogs" tails or with girls" sugar and also spice levels. Instead, itmay have to do v differences between their X chromosomes. The is what is propose in a provocative research publishedthis week in the eminent British newspaper Nature(1997;volume 387, page 705). The file is entitled "Evidencefrom Turner"s syndrome of one imprinted X-linked locus affectingcognitive function." guys (XY) constantly receive their single X chromosomefrom their mommy while girl (XX) obtain an X from your motherand one X from their father. As far as X chromosomes go, what separatesboys from girl is not only that girls have two X chromosomesbut that just girls have an X chromosome from their father (apaternal X). Turner"s syndrome is a disorder that girls. Girl withTurner"s syndrome have actually only one intact X chromosome instead ofthe two Xs that common girls have. Over there is normally no secondsex chromosome in Turner girls. The "X-linked locus"mentioned in the report"s title refers to a position (the locus)of a gene on the X chromosome. The Nature study says that thisarea the the X chromosome deserve to be "imprinted" (chemicallyaltered), so the the function of the gene is different dependingon whether that X chromosome came from the dad or the mother.In turn, this imprintable gene locus may have some influence on"cognitive function." Cognition (from the Latin cognitiomeaning "to know") is the operation of the mental by whichwe know, perceive, and also think. In Turner"s syndrome that is occasionally said (for example,by the writer of the Nature study) that intelligenceis commonly normal. In fact, the median IQ score of patient withTurner"s syndrome is about 90, which is plainly below the averageIQ that 100 in the general population.


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What is perhaps an ext striking about the ability tothink in patients with Turner"s syndrome is the specificity ofcertain neuropsychological defects. Turner"s girls tend to havedeficits in visual-spatial orientation (so they have trouble driving),deficits in social believed (so they might miss ethereal social cues),and deficits in nonverbal problem solving (so castle may have problemswith mathematics concepts). Moreover, society adjustment problemsare rather commonplace in Turner"s girls. The examine in Nature exploited the factthat in the bulk of girls with Turner"s syndrome, their singleintact X chromosome comes from their mother while in the remainingcases it comes from the father. The authors contrasted 55 Turner"sgirls who had actually a maternal X with 25 Turner"s girl who had a paternalX. They found that the Turner"s girls through a head X to be "significantlybetter adjusted with superior verbal and also higher-order executivefunction skills which mediate society interactions." most intriguing is how the writer of the research interprettheir results. Lock propose that imprinting of the paternal Xpermits activation and also expression that one or more genes involvedin social skills. The X chromosome from the dad is much more "socially inclined" 보다 that native mom. (A genetically sophisticated viewer wrote us commenting that: "Imprinting is a term unlikely to be acquainted to the general population....Imprinted genes room not constantly expressed, imprinting can additionally repress a gene"s expression. In addition, the X chromosome is not imprinted! True, just one X is to express in a regular female, however this is because of X inactivation and is random. This means that in 2 cells...one might inactivate the head X, the various other the maternal X. Imprinting dictates the either the maternal or paternal gene (depending ~ above the gene involved) will constantly be expressed. In this case, the individuals debated only have actually one X - so expression is clearly not related to whether the chromosome is imprinted or not.) because all boys have actually an X chromosome that came fromtheir mothers, they deserve to only get a Y chromosome the makesthem masculine from their fathers. Therefore, it adheres to that boyswill often tend to lack the social savvy of girls. One deserve to speculate as to the evolutionary communication forthis disparity. Even without active genes because that social skills, wouldmales in a hunter-gatherer culture have gone to a disadvantage?Did a male need social skills to chase down and also kill a wild animal?On the various other hand, genes determining social skills might be usefulto females working together around the campsite in a cooperativefashion, performing jobs such together cooking, do clothes, andraising children. The report in Nature is first-authoredby Dr. David H. Skuse native the institute of Child health in London.Dr. Skuse is just one of ten authors of this study. The critical -listedauthor is Dr. Patricia A. Jacobs. (Together v the very first author,the last author is traditionally considered most necessary tothe research). Dr. Jacobs is a senior chromosome scientist ofconsiderable renown.
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The Pulitzer prize winning reporter Natalie Angiernoted in The brand-new York time on June 12 that no all researchersare buying right into this association in between a sex chromosome andbehavior. For instance, Dr. Evan S. Balaban of the NeurosciencesInstitute in mountain Diego stated to Ms. Angier that, "oneof the scientists on the current report had been an author ona examine in 1965" which associated "violent criminalbehavior" through XYY, an extra Y sex chromosome in males, anassociation that "proved to it is in statistically spurious."The scientist to whom Dr. Balaban alluded is plainly Dr. Jacobs.However, since a 1965 study failed to organize up come follow-up researchis no factor at every why a 1997 study might not be ideal on themark. Time will certainly tell whether contemporary genetics has foundthe basis because that an old nursery rhyme.

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