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The X in Sex: How the X Chromosome Controls Our Lives
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The X in Sex: How the X Chromosome Controls Our Lives

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  13 reviews

A tiny scrap of genetic information determines our sex; it also consigns many of us to a life of disease, directs or disrupts the everyday working of our bodies, and forces women to live as genetic chimeras. The culprit--so necessary and yet the source of such upheaval--is the X chromosome, and this is its story. An enlightening and entertaining tour of the cultural and

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Published 2003 by Harvard University Press
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 ·  91 ratings  ·  13 reviews


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Bev
Mar 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
First off, The X in Sex is a very accessible non-fiction book about the genetics that make us who we are sexually. It was interesting to the non-scientist and a very quick read. But I do have to say that I didn't learn nearly enough new material to make me feel like it had been absolutely worth my time. David Bainbridge acts like he's bestowing never-before-mentioned news when he talks about X and Y chromosomes and sex-linked diseases. I'm 41 years old...back in the dark ages when I was in 9th ...more
Scotchneat
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, science
Bainbridge delves into the latest research on the X chromosome and the role it plays in human development from sperm/ova to adult. I think I'm pretty up on biology, but there were some fascinating findings here that I didn't know. For example, in most women, there is a "calico" effect whereby one of the X chromosomes in the XX pair is deactivated in every cell, but not all of one kind. In other words, the average woman has some cells that are maternal X and some that are paternal X. This can ...more
Vivian Sophia
Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Well written even amusing popularization of information consisting of two main explanations: How sex-based inheritance works, and how the deactivation of X chromosomes affects the female of the species. Definitely too elementary for anyone having any kind of training about genetics; but a good introduction to the genetic effects of our species' sexual reproductive strategy. A short easy read.
Deana
Dec 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Once again, it was chosen merely because it's title began (excluding the word "The") with a letter I needed for my alphabet reading challenge. X is a tough one. But this was actually pretty good!

The first chapter is awful, though. If you get this book, just skip right ahead to the second chapter. The first chapter is mainly the author trying to explain why he chose to study the X chromosome rather than the Y, and why the Y is just a shriveled withered
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Sarah Sammis
Aug 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
The X in Sex: How the X Chromosome Controls Our Lives by David Bainbridge begins with the discovery of the X chromosome (by a man) and the Y chromosome (by a woman). From there it moves onto a variety of topics: the genes that control gonad growth, sex linked diseases and how human women are like calico cats.

David Bainbridge spends about a third of the book outlining many of the different ways that animals reproduce and how gender is selected. Although the XY (male) and XX (female) is the
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Cornerofmadness
Sep 08, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a very accessible book about the science of genetic inheritance at least as far as it extends to the X & Y chromosomes. The first chapter is a heavy duty look into the molecular aspects of genetics and protein signaling which might be the hardest part for a non-scientist (I am a scientist so I'm guessing here on how easy a non-scientist might find it). The Duke of Kent's Testicles is a quick history lesson and a look at hemophilia and other life-sustaining genes contained on the X ...more
Lindsey
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Fantastic, succinct book on why the X chromosome is so special and how it functions. I loved that this was written by a veterinarian (yay!) so it was also a look into comparative biology and how other species view their X chromosome differently. The whole idea of human female mosaics and autoimmune disease predilection was fascinating. Highly recommend for anyone with any interest in biology or genetics.
Thing Two
Interesting enough. Reading this put me back in the genetics class I took in college, where I swore before I had children I'd do a complete genetic evaluation with my future spouse. Fast-forward a bazillion years, and while reading excerpts of this to my high-school aged son, he says: "I'm going to do that test before I have kids." I guess that gene didn't skip a generation.

If genetics interests you, this book will, too.
Anne
Jul 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Despite the racy title and cover, this book really is a history of the X Chromosome. It mostly covers the X Chromosome in humans, but contrasts it with a lot of other species. The book also gives cogent descriptions of several chromosome abnormalities. It's also a short and easy read -- always a plus!
Janelle etheridge
Aug 21, 2009 rated it liked it
This book is very interesting if you are in to science. It provides a story about the history of the X chromosome and how we discovered what it does. The analogies used make it easy to understand and delightful to read. I gave it three stars because it is not for everyone.
Kathleen
Jan 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
So many interesting ideas -- i just wish it had been longer. Definitely will be doing further reading on this subject, especially as identical twin girls (which I have) are differently affected by x-inactivation.
Liza
Jun 12, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It is not what I thought it would be. Too technical, I found myself feeling like a Peanuts character listen to an adult.
Great book for those who like scientific terms, and some medical jargon.
Jana Denardo
Sep 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
As far as science non-fiction goes, this is very readable and interesting. It is however a bit dated being over a decade old. Still, found stuff my students could use in it so that's good.
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