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CrowdScience

Author: BBC World Service

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We take your questions about life, Earth and the universe to researchers hunting for answers at the frontiers of knowledge.
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Why do Women Live Longer than Men?
From Russia to Rwanda, women live longer than men and have done so for over 100 years. But why? Is it encoded in our genes or is it something to do with the way we live? This is something CrowdScience listener Michelle from England has been wondering about. From cradle to grave, Marnie Chesterton examines the complex web of factors that are involved in how men and women age differently. It seems that, right from the word go, male embryos are already in the firing line because of their genetics. Marnie hears how women’s genetics are configured so that they have a backup copy of some of their genes, whereas men only have one copy. Not only does this make male embryos less resilient (and therefore more likely to miscarry), men are also at risk of a set of genetic diseases later in life like haemophilia. Puberty is an important component in this story too when a surge of hormones changes girls' and boys’ bodies into adults. But something in the way a boy develops sets them up for diseases late in life. They may be fitter, faster and stronger - all traits that were evolutionary important to make a man the alpha of the group - but this comes at a cost. For instance, the way that a man’s cardiovascular system is ‘configured’ means that they’re far more likely to have a heart attack than women. But it’s not just this, behaviour is also a really important factor and it’s why the gender gap in mortality differs from country to country. In Russia, the gap is nearly 13 years (the highest in the world) and it’s thought that a culture of heavy drinking and smoking is why women outlive men by more than a decade....which got Marnie thinking - could men change their destiny and outlive women? Presenter: Marnie ChestertonProducer: Graihagh Jackson(Photo: A group of ladies having coffee in modern café. Credit: Getty Images)
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Comments (5)

Graham Reid

I like cabbage.

Jan 27th
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Sonny Darvishzadeh

the expert doesn't know what she's rejecting about OMAD. simply pushing carbs carbs carbs. Sport is masking the poor diet of carb eaters. what is the nutritional value of bread and rice she's talking about?

Oct 31st
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my.android. Mfz

there's a poluler singer duo band named BnS in Sri Lanka. the singer by the name Bathiya who can't speak properly but sing so well that got them some international awards also.

Jul 22nd
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my.android. Mfz

this isa super exciting

Jul 16th
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Anna Lovatt

I am a night person and my body would naturally want to keep the hours of sleep at 2am, wake at 10am.. was so weird to hear someone else say this!!

Dec 29th
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