Twisted Calico Cats

from the NY Times article "Clues to a Very Old Extinction and Why Calicos Look That Way" Feb 24, 2014, by Douglas Quenqua:


The black and orange patchwork pattern on calico cats is rooted in the X chromosome, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, have found. In calicos (which are nearly all female, and thus have two X chromosomes), one X chromosome carries a black fur gene, and the other carries an orange fur gene. But one of the two is inactive, leading to the signature pattern. 

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