Archives for posts with tag: chromosomes

The bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) genome is around five times the size of the human genome, and the total size is around 17 gigabase pairs. Researchers have found around 100,000 genes. The bread wheat genome is hexaploid, with three entire genomes (six sets of seven chromosomes) in each cell, as a result of crossbreeding.

Bread wheat accounts for more than a fifth of the calories eaten by people worldwide, and over 680 million tonnes of wheat are grown annually.

Analysis of a Siberian cave girl’s genome links ancient and modern humans, and shows that she had brown hair, eyes and skin.  The DNA comes from a fragment of finger bone found in the Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains in East Central Asia. The bone is thought to be 30,000 to 50,000 years old.

Gender testing at the Olympics is controversial and complex because gender is complex. The rules on gender testing were originally brought in to prevent men competing in women’s events. Tests have previously used hair patterns, genes and chromosomes, or other factors, but these all have issues, and at this year’s Olympics, eligibility testing has been based on testosterone levels. Women generally have testosterone levels of somewhere below 3 nanomoles per litre, and the IOC is using the range of 7-30 nanomoles per litre (the normal male range). This takes the focus away from gender, pushing it towards the unfair advantage that the higher levels of testosterone would offer. However, this may still be unethical, as women with androgen insensitivity may have increased levels but cannot make use of the hormone.

Olympic Games 27 July – 12 August

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