Sunday, May 22, 2005

Rest Easy (Sort Of)...

...unless you're a man and your maternal grandfather was bald. Let me put this in context: From the moment I started voicing concerns about male pattern baldness---at what was probably a fairly precocious age, but in my defense, my father, his father, his brother, and my mother's brother (i.e. almost all the adult males of my immediate family) were bald---my mother reassured me that I'd be fine since her father had an impressive coiffure until the day he died. This was, you see, on the grounds that whether or not a man is bald is determined by the baldness/not-baldness of his maternal grandfather. I never found the explanation very satisfying---I assumed it was just an old wives' tale, and quite possibly of a Mitteleuropäische variety---and a couple decades of looking at my father's shiny head have only compounded my anxiety (btw, May 23 is his birthday, happy birthday dad!).

Turns out I needn't have worried quite so much: "science," that thing that's about explaining how things work so long as the Bible doesn't already do it for us, has long known that the androgen receptivity of a man's hair follicles is inherited from the x-chromosome, and therefore
Men always inherit the x chromosome from their mother. In many cases men therefore take after their grandfather on their mother's side rather than their father.
which I suppose means that the Annatevkan Wives' Council was wiser than anyone in the universe, except maybe the AWC, knew.

However, the news thingie here is this:
[T]his defect is not simply caused by one gene: "We have indications that other genes are involved which are independent of the parents' sex," Prof. Nöthen stresses. The hereditary defect can therefore sometimes also be passed on directly from father to son.
So, fuck. That's not reassuring at all.

(link via Sploid)


At 11:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous Flamer said...

What journal was this from?

You always an inherit an X chromosome from your mother. The flip of the coin
in regards to your sex comes form your father's chromosomal deposit. He either gives you another X, making you XX (female) or he passes to you a Y, making you XY (male); thus you Rugby Dan, are XY. Nevertheless, you can receive an X from your father. I don't know what kind of crap science web sites you read, but that one is junk.

At 11:14 PM, Blogger Finnegan said...

I'm not sure if this is a joke or too casual reading, but: Anyone who is XY inherited the X chromosome from his mother. If a particular gene only exists on the X chromosome, then anyone who is XY can only inherit that gene from his mother.

At 9:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous Flamer said...

"Men always inherit the x chromosome from their mother."

That's what I was pointing out, it was not a joke, nor casual reading.

Perhaps your response to my comment reflected your careless reading of the
post to which you linked, or perhaps your response was just a joke.

At 12:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Additionally, "the" is a definite article, implying singularity. If there is a possibility for two X chromosomes, how can the article say "the X chromosome". They should have used an indefinite article.

At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bottom line is that the post does not address female baldness, since one of the two sex chormosomes would come from the male.


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