Gynandromorphs

• According to Scientists, the study of gynandromorphs could offer clues as to why some human diseases strike one gender more than the other.

• Gynander or gynandromorphs are the organisms in which the body consists of both male and female parts.

Crucial highlights

• The term is derived from the Greek words (gyne = woman; aner = man and morphe = form). Thus, in these animals one part of the body shows female and the other part male features. The phenomenon has been documented in birds, crustaceans and butterflies.

• However, it still remains a mystery as to how gynandromorphs are born. Gynandromorphs occur naturally, usually resulting from a random genetic error.

• These instances of split-sex animals and insects could offer clues to why some human diseases strike one sex more than the other.

• Diseases like multiple sclerosis, obesity, metabolic syndrome, autoimmune disease, Alzheimer’s, even ageing differs by sex. Few decades back, scientists did not think that sex chromosomes played any role in causing sex differences in these diseases.

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Mains Paper 3: Science and Technology

Prelims level: Gynandromorphs

Mains level: Important species

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