by Shawn Alff
Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology hypothesized that the exposure of the hormone oestrogen to the brains of female mice influences which gender role they takes on. In mice, the fucose mutarotase (FucM) gene regulates the amount of exposure to oestrogen that the brain is subjected to. When this enzyme-producing gene is deleted
, their bodies are unable to filter out extra oestrogen. With their brains flooded with this hormone, these female mice behave as males in terms of sexual preference, mounting normal female partners and preferring female urine.
Oestrogen doesn't have the same impact in human brains. However, many believe that the manipulation of similar genes and hormones in humans could have similar effect. Unfortunately for the scientific community, it's difficult to find willing volunteers for such research.
Read the full study at biomedcentral.com