Sex differences

Laura Blanton is a postdoc in Whitehead Institute Director David Page’s lab investigating sex differences in human health. We sat down with Blanton to learn more about her and her experiences in and out of the lab.

The human Y chromosome has over the course of millions of years of evolution managed to preserve a small set of genes that has ensured not only its own survival but also the survival of men. Moreover, the vast majority of these tenacious genes appear to have little if any role in sex determination or sperm production. Taken together, these remarkable finding suggest that because these Y-linked genes are active across the body, they may actually be contributing to differences in disease susceptibility and severity observed between men and women.