List of chromosomes

Chromosomes xx

Chromosomes xx Chromosomes xx

girls by default?

Boys are boys thanks to the precocious action of ‘male’ proteins such as SRY. In the absence of male proteins, the foetus becomes a girl. So are girls, girls by default? The concept dates from the 1950s and the question remains open…

only for girls

NR0B1: This gene is essential in the development of female sexual characteristics.

approaching happiness

MAOA: Gene coding for a protein involved in the metabolism of neurotransmitters which each have their say in modulating our mood.

COVID-19: a way in

ACE2: This gene codes for a protein involved in the maturation of angiotensin, a hormone that regulates blood pressure. Protein ACE2 also happens to let the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus into human cells.


AR: This gene codes for an androgen receptor which is involved in the development of the male sexual characters, and associated with male baldness.


DMD: This gene is associated with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, characterized by muscle paralysis.

color blindness

OPN1MW: This gene is involved in red/green colour blindness, and is generally found in boys because there is no backup copy of this gene on the Y chromosome.

Rett syndrome

MECP2: This gene is associated with Rett syndrome (mental retardation).

nerve transmission

GABRA3: This gene is involved in nerve impulse transmission.

royal illness

F8/F9: These genes are involved in blood coagulation and associated with haemophilia. The illness became infamous when Tsarevitch Alexis Nikolaïevitch of Russia suffered from it; it was transmitted to him from his great grand-mother, Queen Victoria of England.

a taxi for copper

ATP7A: This gene is involved in controlling the level of copper inside our cells.


NLGN3/NLGN4X: These genes are associated with autism.


CYBB: This gene is involved in antibacterial activity thanks to the production of free radicals.

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