Sex determination in human beings

Sexual reproduction is an ancient feature of life on earth, and the familiar X and Y chromosomes in humans and other model species have led to the impression that sex determination mechanisms are old and conserved. In fact, males and females are determined by diverse mechanisms that evolve rapidly in many taxa. Yet this diversity in primary sex-determining signals is coupled with conserved molecular pathways that trigger male or female development. Conflicting selection on different parts of the genome and on the two sexes may drive many of these transitions, but few systems with rapid turnover of sex determination mechanisms have been rigorously studied. Here we survey our current understanding of how and why sex determination evolves in animals and plants and identify important gaps in our knowledge that present exciting research opportunities to characterize the evolutionary forces and molecular pathways underlying the evolution of sex determination.
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Sex-determination system

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The Sex of Offspring Is Determined by Particular Chromosomes | Learn Science at Scitable

This page has been archived and is no longer updated. By the s, scientists had established methods for staining chromosomes so that they could be easily visualized using a simple light microscope. With this staining method, scientists were able to observe cell division and to identify the steps that occurred during both mitosis and meiosis Figure 1. Arrows indicate the axis along which the cell divides. The first indication that sex chromosomes were distinct from other chromosomes came from experiments conducted by German biologist Hermann Henking in While using a light microscope to study sperm formation in wasps, Henking noticed that some wasp sperm cells had 12 chromosomes, while others had only 11 chromosomes.
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Sex determination in humans

Not intercourse, though — more about how genetic sex is programmed during development. Sexual identity has been in the news often lately, and unsurprisingly so: the past few years have yielded sweeping reforms in civil rights, spurring new conflicts surrounding everything from age-old battles in gender equality to legislation enforcing anti-transgender bathrooms. Most multicellular organisms, humans included, use sexual reproduction to reproduce.
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Sexual differentiation in humans is the process of development of sex differences in humans. It is defined as the development of phenotypic structures consequent to the action of hormones produced following gonadal determination. The development of sexual differences begins with the XY sex-determination system that is present in humans, and complex mechanisms are responsible for the development of the phenotypic differences between male and female humans from an undifferentiated zygote. At an early stage in embryonic development, both sexes possess equivalent internal structures. These are the mesonephric ducts and paramesonephric ducts.
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