Do We Need the Y-Chromosome?

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. 

Algernon

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.

See more in ScienceDaily…

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About carlos

I'm a curious person, of reasonable intellect, "on the beach" (retired) and enjoying my interest in anthropology, language, civil rights, and a few other areas. I've been a hippie/student/aerospace tech writer in the '60s, a witness to the Portuguese revolution in the ‘70s, a defense test engineer and witness to the Guatemalan genocide in the '80s, and a network engineer for an ISP in the '90s. Now I’m a student and commentator until my time is up. I've spent time under the spell of the Mesoamerican pyramids and the sweet sound of the Portuguese language. I've lived in Europe, traveled in Brazil, Central America, Iceland, New Zealand, and other places. My preferred mode of travel is with a backpack and I eat (almost) anything local. Somehow, many of the countries I have been to have had civil unrest (for which I was not responsible). I'm open to correspond with anyone who might share my liberal, humanist interests. I live in San Buenaventura, California.
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