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]