Stop laughing. I know, my initial reaction too was, “really – it took genetics to tell us that?” But this is serious….really.
Males are 99.9% the same when compared to other males, and females are as well when compared to other females, but males and females are only 98.5% equal to each other – outside of the X and Y chromosomes. The genetic difference between men and women is 15 times greater than between two men or two women. In fact, it’s equal to that of men and male chimpanzees. So men really are from….never mind. It’s OK to laugh now…
We’ve been taught that other than X and Y, males and females are genetically exactly the same. They aren’t.
Does this matter? Dr. David Page, Director of the Whitehead Institute and MacArthur Genius Grant winner, says it absolutely does. He has discovered that both the X and Y chromosomes function throughout the entire body, not just within the reproductive tract.
In his words, “Humane Genome, we have a problem.” Medicine and research fails to take into account this most fundamental difference. We aren’t unisex, and our bodies know this – every cell knows it at the molecular level, according to Dr. Page.
For example, some non-reproductive tract diseases appear in vastly different percentages in men and women. Autism is found in 5 times as many males as females, Lupus in 6 times as many women as men and Rheumatoid Arthritis in 5 times as many women as men. In other diseases, men and women either react differently to disease treatment, react differently to the disease itself, or both. Dr. Page explains more and suggests a way forward in this short but very informative video.
About Dr. David Page:
David Page, Director of the Whitehead Institute and professor of biology at MIT, has shaped modern genomics and mapped the Y chromosome. His renowned studies of the sex chromosomes have shaped modern understandings of reproductive health, fertility and sex disorders.
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