For Motherly X Chromosome, Gender Is Only the Beginning

From The New York Times:Mom_2

As May dawns and the mothers among us excitedly anticipate the clever e-cards that we soon will be linking to and the overpriced brunches that we will somehow end up paying for, the following job description may ring a familiar note:

Must be exceptionally stable yet ridiculously responsive to the needs of those around you; must be willing to trail after your loved ones, cleaning up their messes and compensating for their deficiencies and selfishness; must work twice as hard as everybody else; must accept blame for a long list of the world’s illnesses; must have a knack for shaping young minds while in no way neglecting the less glamorous tissues below; must have a high tolerance for babble and repetition; and must agree, when asked, to shut up, fade into the background and pretend you don’t exist.

As it happens, the above precis refers not only to the noble profession of motherhood to which we all owe our lives and guilt complexes. It is also a decent character sketch of the chromosome that allows a human or any other mammal to become a mother in the first place: the X chromosome.

More here.