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D2007-17

Dear Daisy Dog

I have a science homework assignment that requires me to list a body part for each letter of the alphabet. The only letter that is giving me a problem is Y.

I doubt my teacher will accept “yolk,” which I found in the dictionary. Can you help? Please rush your answer by e-mail.

Daisy Responds

I am a very bright English setter, so I can think of two answers.

First, the Y chromosome makes dogs and other animals – including you humans – male.

The chromosomes that determine gender come in two varieties, X and Y, and most of us have two sex chromosomes.

A female has two X chromosomes, one from each of her parents. A male has an X chromosome from his mother and a Y chromosome from his father.

A second body part that begins with Y is inside my eye.

The lens that focuses light on the retina has lines that form a Y on the front and back surfaces. These Y-shaped suture lines form where the lens fibers meet.

The Y suture lines are almost always transparent, so they don’t affect vision. However, sometimes cataracts develop along the lines, at least in us dogs.

Update: The student “aced” her homework assignment.

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