Thursday, June 21, 2012
Gene gender switch - recent news
I've blogged about this before, a while back when only female mice were turned into male ones by turning off the Foxl2 gene. Now the most recent study shows that by turning off the Dmrt1 gene in males, and I quote "you get an avalanche of feminization".
It also goes on to say that "the research predicts that cells of the testes would become more female, but outward appearances wouldn't change." This is rather vague. If by "outward appearances" they mean specifically the testes, ok, I get that. All the female hormones in the world aren't going to create a vagina. However, I do believe if you flip a switch, which forces the body to turn off testosterone production and ramp up estrogen, the rest of your body is going to get seriously feminized.
Every article also talks about how this has only been tested in mice, and it would have to be tested on other animals / humans to be sure. However, every article also says that nearly every human and animal is defined by the same gene structures. Quite interesting research, and sort of exciting. I mean I just think about a time where this becomes widely available. The idea of taking pills your whole life is sort of a downer (and costly). The idea of telling your body what you want seems so much more fitting. I also imagine a time when this is a medical correction, like "hey, this person is in the wrong body, flip the switch to match his head". Or I can see people using this as an excuse to change gender, blaming it on some sort of gene anomaly. "Oh I can't help it, I have a defect. That's why I'm transitioning, I have no choice. I wish I could keep being a man" (crossing fingers behind back).
Also I truly believe this is possible (and will happen someday). Perfect example is Chloe, who after a bee sting, causing a similiar bee sting, had his genes go haywire