in the lab

Scientists Can Create Lesbian Mice With Just 1 Switch. Here Comes the ‘Gay Gene’ Debate Train!

By deleting the fucose mutarotase gene in mice, Korean scientists got the lady rodents to crush on other gals. Does that mean they’ve found THE GAY GENE?!

The gene fucose mutarotase (abbreviated as FucM … now, say it again) causes mice to release an enzyme of the same name. Without FucM, female mice won’t let a male mouse hump them. Not only that, but it inhibited all sexual involvement with males; female mice wouldn’t even sniff male pee. Instead, they sought the company of other lady mice.

Disabling the gene causes the female mice to develop more extra oestrogen, which supposedly masculinzes the brain. (It doesn’t have the same effect in people.) The scientists aren’t jumping to any conclusions about whether this alone determines sexuality, or whether this gene can really be dubbed “the gay gene.”

But really, it doesn’t so much sound like researchers found out how to create lesbian mice — just how to get female mice to act reasonably around disgusting sex-obsessed men. Namely, ignore them.

[Telegraph, Discover, Aol]

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21 Comments

  • This will be fascinating

    Once a gay gene — or even a gay marker — is found, the gay community is going to have to grapple pretty aggressively with its (as a general matter) staunch support for abortion … or acquiesce in a radical reduction in future generations of gays.

  • Hilarious

    Call me a cynic but I don’t think they’re dumping money into this just for general information.

    If they can find the cause they can find the “cure” and the “cure” can be purchased over the counter for a steep price every month.

    I don’t care why I’m gay. I’m just glad I am.

  • bill

    @Hilarious:

    agreed! I would not ‘change’ being gay even if I could. can’t even imagine moving on over to the side of the oppressors.

    but it will be most interesting to see how quickly the ‘Christians’ make a ‘gay exception’ to their ‘all life is sacred’ argument when sexual orientation is able to be determined in the womb.

  • B

    No. 2 ยท Hilarious wrote, “Call me a cynic but I don’t think they’re dumping money into this just for general information.”

    What they really want to know is how to go about determining what genes might be responsible for complex behavior or disease symptoms, which is a difficult problem. Sometimes finding solutions for special cases gives you a hint as to what approach might work in general.

  • Fitz

    @This will be fascinating: I totally, 100% agree. In fact, this news is sort of old— Indian scientists did something similar 2 or 3 years ago, and I already “went there” with questioning my pro choice life-long stance. Also threatening that stance was just getting older (sigh) and seeing that sometimes (and go ahead and flame me, I am used to it by now) abortion is like genocide for poor people. Once people can selectively kill a gay fetus, do you really think that they will bother taking it to term or raising it?

  • jason

    Why are we even obsessed about a gay gene? The human being is an intricate entity influenced by both genes and environment. Genes interact with environment and environment with genes. Let’s not get too hung up on the need to prove the existence of a gay gene.

    We don’t need a gene justification for our sexuality.

  • bluenosedive

    LOL!!! FucM….O_O!!…realy…<_<??.. LMFAO!! ^_^

  • Paschal

    This all just basically means that these mice lost their libido. No? Seeking company with fellow female mice does not mean that the mice were sexually attracted to them. Genes and hormones are likely the causes of male homosexuality, according to science. Whatever the case may be, just celebrate your gayness or bisexuality.

    I’m not a fan of abortion at all. We should all be extremely uncomfortable about the issue of abortion. A human life deserves protection regardless of whether or not he/she is born. I don’t base my beliefs on religion at all. If some religious people agree with me, so be it. I also oppose the death poenalty, as does the Roman Catholic Church.

  • Steve

    Lots of things aren’t controlled by single genes, but many. Genetics is more complicated than implied by “we found the [one] gene for X”

  • Dan

    Since overpopulation is the number one threat to the survival of the planet, perhaps they’ll be able to get the breeders under control finally by turning them gay so they stop annihilating the world’s limited resources.

  • Paschal

    @Dan: Increasing oppurtunities for women is actually incredibly effective at tackling overpopulation. Imporoved health care results in people having fewer children as children are more likely to survive childhood. Poor people have many children also because they need to rely on their children to care for them in old age. Basically, reducing poverty is the answer. See, Geography class is important.

  • jeffree

    I do not care if my mice are lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, questioning, transexual, intersex, asexual, or pansexual.

    I just want them to be happy and play responsibly :-)
    Oh, and they gotta pay their rent on time !
    ——
    Whenever someone thinks they can equate my gayness to a cleft palate, down syndrome or left handedness, it chills my blood.

    At that odd intersection of science & theology we have people who believe the world is 6000 years old, the earth is flat, and that if we find the errant “gene” that causes the gheyness, we can guarantee it will go away.

    Sorry to rain on their parade –um not really– but nothing is as simple or binary as the want it to be.

  • jeffree

    Yikes: make that last phrase “as they want it to be.”

  • Enron

    If there was a Gay Gene, it would only encourage anti-LGBT Advocates to even discriminate more by saying we are inferior, born damaged and need to be fixed if their is some magical over the counter prescription ‘cure’ developed.

    If its one thing they are known for is being hypocrites, the minute they realize we are born this way, they are gonna look for the next best excuse to hate us. Probably gonna use some excuse, we were conceived in sin, so the devil is in the details why we are gay. You just have to believe in who you are and accept it (it can be traumatic for some persons, including yourself), if no one wants to believe or accept that, well, let them continue being the blinded idiot.

    I can guarantee, if God or Jesus came down from heave and told anti-LGBT Advocates, he made us this way, they would find some excuse to still hate us.

  • blassr

    from my 20yr old son: “wow ma… i thought mice hated the pussy!”

    yep… thats my boy…. :)

  • gilber

    hahhaha i think that’s not the “gay gene” that’s the heterosexual gene,it is how you want to interpret the result,they just took away the heterosexual gene ,and now the poor mice don’t like to absorb masculinization from the masculine sex.it is important to understand the general idea that they are convinced that they are actually masculinizing the rats.all this researches are not knew,in fact now is estrogen the one who masculinizes, it used to be testosterone.the good thing with estrogen is that if you keep injecting more and more to the poor males they are gonna end up growing a pair of tits plus lesbianism.however,psychologists quickly uses this researches in order to enforce their gender and behavior social scheme,to the point that if a male do oral sex to a female he is proving that he is masculine but if he ever does the same to another male,he is feminine,of course the mind doesn’t work like this,is actually the other way around.another important thing is that estrogen was supposed to make male rats attracted to females,for females it used to be testosterone.

  • wmcarpenter

    This doesn’t seem to really make these mice develop same-sex attraction. It just makes them not want to breed with males.

  • mary

    Who cares!!! My boyfriend thinks the same with me. He is eight years older than me, lol. We met online at http://www.euagematch.com a nice and free place for younger women and older men, or older women and younger men, to interact with each other. Maybe you wanna check out or tell your friends.

  • the crustybastard

    @Paschal: This all just basically means that these mice lost their libido. No? Seeking company with fellow female mice does not mean that the mice were sexually attracted to them.

    The FucM Knockout mice were mounting the other female mice.

    That’s hardly evidence they “lost their libido” or weren’t “sexually attracted to them.”

Comments are closed.