William Tivol tivol at
Tue Jan 14 17:43:03 EST 1997

BILLMOULD at wrote:

:  I recently read in a non-science related book that women have twice the
: immunity that men do since they have two X chromosomes.

Dear Mary and/or Bill,
	 Everyone has two of each of their other pairs of chromosomes, and
the Y chromosome has genes, so the only way men would be cheated out of
immune system potential is if the genes for immune system production were on
that part of the X chromosome which has no counterpart on the Y.  Furthermore,
stem cells for immune cells inactivate one of the chromosomes and produce
antibodies (or immune cells) from only one chromosome, so it does not matter
whether the cell is male or female.
	It is still possible that women's immune systems are stronger than
those of men, and it may be related to the X chromosome.  Other genes on the
X may have a lot to do with overall health, and these may provide a better
environment for the production and survival of immune cells--after all, 
there must be *some* reason that women live longer than men.
				Bill Tivol

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