Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Adam and his introduction to Eve...

As written from the Times' article, New Clues to Sex Anomalies in How Y Chromosomes Are Copied, the lede goes as follows:

"The first words ever spoken, as fable holds, were a palindrome and an introduction: 'Madam, I'm Adam'"

While we don't know for sure if Adam used such a proper introduction when he first met Eve, the lede written by Nicholas Wade caught me off-guard. It made me unsure of what the article itself was about, yet I was also curious why he chose to open up a story with that lede. My curiosity outweighed my confusion and it lead to a very interesting read.

The story is tells of David C. Page of the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts finding palindromes in the Y chromosomes sequence of bases. It led to the discovery that the Y chromosome is able to recombine with itself and do away with bad genes. The problem it can lead to when creating these palindromes is that the Y chromosome and its palindromes can conjoin with its counterpart, causing the two Y chromosomes to fuse together. This leads to everything at the point of connection to the end of the chromosome being lost. This process can cause differences in sexual appearance. The result of some of these palindromes can lead to Turner's Syndrome in women, meaning though they do not have Y chromosomes in the female gonads, they can be found in the blood cells.

I would not known any of this if it wasn't for such curious looking lede. While the information can be a bit overwhelming, it will be stored as a little nugget of information that might come to use some day.

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