How can you tell if a trait is autosomal?

Question:

How can you tell if a trait is autosomal?

Chromosomes:

A human being has 23 pairs of chromosomes. They have two copies of each chromosome labeled 1 through 22, the autosomes. They also have two copies of the sex-chromosomes. There are two different sex chromosomes labeled X and Y. Women have two X chromosomes while men have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome.

Answer and Explanation:

For most circumstances, one can tell if a trait is autosomal when it affects both men and women equally, as in the same number of men and women present the trait. This is because every person has two copies of the autosomal chromosomes. Sex-linked traits are related to genes found on the X and Y chromosomes. In those cases, men develop the traits more often than women because there are genes on the X chromosome that are not matched by corresponding genes on the Y chromosome. This means even recessive genes on the X chromosome with automatically express in men because they are not countered by a corresponding gene on the Y chromosome. There are other characteristics that further help determine if a trait is autosomal, but those are less obvious and often require laboratory testing.


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