Can you use an ordinary compound microscope to see the sex chromosomes from the DNA of a bird?
The method of microscopic gender-determination in humans is identification of the Barr body. Female humans have two X chromosomes in their cells, but one of them is inactivated as a “Barr Body”, which is visible to microscopes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barr_body Human males only have one x chromosome, so do not have a Barr body. Birds use a similar sex-determining system, but with different chromosomes: males have two Z chromosomes (ZZ), while females have one Z and one W chromosome (ZW): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZW_sex-dete… I do not know if male birds have an equivalent Barr body to human females, but it is possible. Alternatively, it might be possible to examine the karyotype of the cells, assuming enough is known about the structure of the Z and W chromosomes:
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