Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hot Topic

Statistics show that “women live longer than males and are more able to fight off shock episodes” (Wiley 1). New Research suggests their immune system is also stronger. This is attributed to having two X-Chromosomes, while men only have one.

The X Chromosome has around 1098 genes whereas the Y Chromosome only has around 78. Out of 3,199 identified inherited diseases, 307 can be traced to mutations on the X Chromosome. Mutations on the X Chromosome affect males most because they “lack another copy to compensate.” X-Chromosomes contain 10% of all MicroRNAs, many of which have important functions in immunity and fighting cancer. MicroRNA: “tiny strains of ribonucleic acid which alongside DNA and proteins, make up three major macromolecules essential for life” (Wiley 2).

By targeting MicroRNAs scientist can study the reasons immunity is stronger in women. The technology to amplify MicroRNA is being completed currently. Geneticists at Emory University have discovered a technique for the amplification of genes on the X-Chromosome . It targets 800 eons. “Modern DNA sequencing techniques use the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to isolate and "amplify" the target DNA scientists want to read. RainDance Technologies has developed a single molecule microdroplet-based technology that enables scientists to target up to 20,000 genomic loci in a single sample, saving time, space and cost while increasing reliability and ease of use” (Mondal 1)

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