Tag Archives: genes

Do genes make a person Homosexual?

This is the main question that is lurking the minds of biologists for quite some time now because many possibilities for the occurrence of a homosexuality gene exist. During the 1990s many researcher were studying the topic but by the end of the 20th century all such research work was slowed down as many people are shy when they are asked on topics related to sex and specially homosexuality. Scientists Sergey Gavrilets and William Rice have developed some guidelines for explaining the causes of homosexuality. During the past decade the scientists have discovered some patterns that might point to genetic causes of homosexuality. Among the discoveries the main finding was that in case of male homosexuality it seems to be inherited more from the mother than the father and the female maternal relatives of gay men have higher that average reproduction capacity. Another shocking discovery was that the chances of homosexuality increases in males with the number of older brothers he has even if the child has grown up away from his brothers. The reason for this is that the with each male fetus the mother develops an increased immunization to an antigen that is produced by male fetuses and this antigen plays an important role in masculinizing the brain. All the studies have strong evidences that homosexuality is caused by a gene but no research has pointed to any specific gene and the idea to which each research points is towards a polymorphic gene. Rice commented that, ‘We know that homosexuality (gay or lesbian) can be caused by simple genetic changes in fruit flies, and since so many reproductive and neurological genes are shared by flies and humans, it seems highly likely that there are major genes influencing homosexuality in humans, However, we also have firm evidence for a birth-order effect on male homosexuality, and discordance in the expression of homosexuality of identical twins, so clearly there is also an environmental influence on the trait.’ This research is the most guiding research on the topic, though it also has not pointed out any particular gene but this will be the backbone of all future researchers that can one day tell us the exact cause of Homosexuality.

Genetic engineering can lead to unpredictable impacts

With the aid of genetic engineering scientists can insert genes from one species into another which might not be possible naturally. One of the best examples of this is human genes in rice and fish genes in tomatoes. The biggest problem encountered is that insertion of genes might interfere with the genes of the animals or plants and hence cause the food to become toxic. This may further lead to interbreeding with natural organisms and hence contaminate various non genetic engineering environment and future generations might suffer as a result of this. Some experts are of the opinion that genetic engineering might lead to unpredictable impact on health of human beings, animals and even plants. It is also quite difficult to recall these organisms if they are released in the environment. Genetic pollution is hard to control and Greenpeace and other organizations have been campaigning against such practices for almost a decade. Let us stop experimenting if we would like to save our world from any irreparable damage.

Four genes that drive the spread of breast cancer identified

Researchers in the United States have isolated a set of four genes closely linked to the growth of breast cancer cells and their spread to the lungs, according to a study released on Wednesday. The study, conducted in mice and reported in this week’s Nature, helps to explain how cancer metastasis can occur and highlights targets for therapeutic treatment. Metastasis is the leading cause of mortality in cancer patients – entails numerous biological functions that collectively enable cancerous cells from a primary site to disseminate and overtake distant organs. A number of genes are already known to contribute to the spread of breast cancer cells to the lungs. Using genetic and pharmacological approaches, Dr Joan Massague, and colleagues showed how four genes facilitate the formation of new tumor blood vessels, the release of cancer cells into the bloodstream, and the penetration of tumor cells from the bloodstream into the lung. The gene set comprises EREG (an epidermal growth factor receptor ligand), the cyclooxygenase COX2, and MMP1 and MMP2 (matrix enzymes that are expressed in human breast cancer cells). The researchers conclude: The drug combinations that target one or more of the proteins encoded by these genes may prove useful for treating metastatic breast cancer. Breast cancer is one of the most common type of carcinoma, the formation of malignant tumors in cells found in the skin and in the lining of certain organs, including the lungs and the colon. Via : BBC