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Transcriptional inactivation of one of the two X chromosome in the cells of female mammals.
Dosage compensation is necessary given the unequal gene "doses" found in males versus females with regard to the X chromosome. That is, girls have two but boys only one. To make up for what essentially is a two-fold excess of the associated genes in females, one of the two X chromosomes is inactivated. This inactivation is in terms of transcription, basically similarly to how metaphase chromosomes are not transcriptionally active.
The inactivated X chromosomes, resulting from dosage compensation, are known as Barr bodies.
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