Leave those worms alone
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Altering a gene in the brain of female worms changed their sexual orientation, U.S. researchers said on Thursday, making female worms attracted to other females.The statement by White is interesting. Do lesbians believe they act and think like men? They love women, but that doesn't make them male. Gender identity and sexual orientation are two different issues. Take for instance men who have gender reassignment surgery but live as lesbians post-op.
The study reinforces the notion that sexual orientation is hard-wired in the brain, said Erik Jorgensen, scientific director of the Brain Institute at the University of Utah.
"They look like girls, but act and think like boys," Utah researcher Jamie White, who worked on the study published in the journal Current Biology, said in a statement.
Researchers in Jorgensen's lab switched on a gene in female worms that makes the body develop male structures, but they only activated the gene in the brain.
As a result, the female worms still had female bodies, but they behaved like males.
"It suggests sexual behavior is encoded in our genes" and not caused by extra nerve cells specific to males or females, Jorgensen said in a telephone interview.
All of Jorgensen's work is good for headlines. Other than creating some lesbian worms, I don't think we've learned anything practical. Feel free to agree or disagree.
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