Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Age, gender and COVID-19: A complex, hormone-driven interplay

Age is a well-known factor that influences the severity and fatality of COVID-19. In addition, male and female patients are known, at least anecdotally, to fare quite differently in the COVID-19 pandemic. Why might this be, ...

Obstetrics & gynaecology

How the contraceptive pill could help female athletes stay cool

If all goes to plan, athletes will compete in hot conditions at the rescheduled 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Indeed, summers in Japan can be quite intense—with hot and humid weather and temperatures reaching up to 35°C.

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Female

Female (♀) is the sex of an organism, or a part of an organism, which produces mobile ova (egg cells). The ova are defined as the larger gametes in a heterogamous reproduction system, while the smaller, usually motile gamete, the spermatozoon, is produced by the male. A female individual cannot reproduce sexually without access to the gametes of a male (an exception is parthenogenesis). Some organisms can reproduce both sexually and asexually.

There is no single genetic mechanism behind sex differences in different species and the existence of two sexes seems to have evolved multiple times independently in different evolutionary lineages. Other than the defining difference in the type of gamete produced, differences between males and females in one lineage cannot always be predicted by differences in another. The concept is not limited to animals; egg cells are produced by chytrids, diatoms, water moulds and land plants, among others. In land plants, female and male designate not only the egg- and sperm-producing organisms and structures, but also the structures of the sporophytes that give rise to male and female plants.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA