Pouring cold water on the notion that men are stronger than women, a new study conducted by Belgian researchers has found that women have a stronger immune system and have a better chance of resisting infections and cancer compared to their male counterparts.
Lead researcher Dr Claude Libert, from Ghent University, said that the reason for the difference in the immune system lies at the very basic level that differentiates a man from a woman. Dr Libert said that the microRNAs, which are very short strands of RNAs (Ribonucleic acid), tend to "silence" the immunity genes present in an X chromosome.
Since men have only one X chromosome, this "silencing" of the immunity genes leave them with a weaker immunity system compared to women who have two X chromosomes and hence one can compensate if the microRNAs do silence the immunity genes on the other X chromosome.
"Statistics show that in humans, as with other mammals, females live longer than males and are more able to fight off shock episodes from sepsis, infection or trauma. We believe this is due to the X chromosome which in humans contains 10% of all microRNAs detected so far in the genome (genetic code)", Dr Libert said. The study has been published in the journal BioEssays.