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Name: Laura
Status: Student
Grade:  9-12
Location: OR
Country: United States
Date: February 2006

When you are missing a chromosome what will happen to your learning abilities?

Depending on which chromosome is missing, learning ability may be the least of your worries! Humans don't tolerate changes in chromosome number well. One too many chromosomes cause diseases such as Down syndrome and Edward syndrome. Females can tolerate one less X chromosome; this causes Turner syndrome. It doesn't necessarily affect mental abilities. Usually though, one less crhomosome isn't compatible with life and the embryo is usually miscarried before the mother knows she is pregnant.


Since there are no known examples of a persom missing an autosome (non-sex chromosome), this condition is presumably lethal. The only example of a person missing a chromosome is girls with only one X-chromosome. This condition is known as Turner's Syndrome and results in many abnormalities including mental retardation.

Ron Baker, Ph.D

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