One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small, densely staining structure in the cell nuclei of female mammals, consisting of a condensed, inactive X chromosome. It is regarded as diagnostic of genetic femaleness.
- ‘If the Barr bodies of a normal female were missing, she would exhibit Turners Syndrome.’
- ‘We now know that the ‘darkly staining’ Barr body is the condensed, inactive X chromosome.’
- ‘In some tissues, the inactive X chromosome can be identified in the nucleus as a Barr body and X inactivation provides an important model for the inheritance of gene expression.’
- ‘The formation of Barr bodies is the strategy that humans use for what is called dosage compensation.’
- ‘If the child is genetically female then a Barr body should be evident in approximately 10-20 percent of the cells.’
1960s: named after the Canadian anatomist M. L. Barr (1908–95).
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