|It has been said that men are useful in war and that (wo)mankind could do well with a (relatively) small number of sperm donors to contribute the appropriate gamete. This may prove false.
Sex Reversal Gene: Male Mice Can Be Created Without Y Chromosome Via Ancient Brain Gene
ScienceDaily (Dec. 22, 2010)— Researchers in Australia are a step closer to unraveling the mysteries of human sexual development, following genetic studies that show male mice can be created without a Y chromosome — through the activation of an ancient brain gene.
Males usually have one Y chromosome and one X chromosome, while females have two X chromosomes. A single gene on the Y, called SRY, triggers testes development in the early embryo, and once these begin to form, the rest of the embryo also becomes male.
However, Adelaide researchers have discovered a way of creating a male mouse without a Y chromosome by activating a single gene, called SOX3, in the developing fetus.
SOX3 is known to be important for brain development but has not previously been shown to be capable of triggering the male pathway. In a major international collaborative study, they also have shown for the first time that changes in the human version of the same gene are present in some patients with disorders of sexual development.
The results of this work are published online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, and will be published in the journal’s print version in January 2011.