There are plenty of slimy gays out there – and the University of Utah made a few more.
The sexual preferences of nematode worms can be changed by flipping a genetic master switch in their brains, a new study says.
A worm’s sex is determined by chromosomes found in its DNA. If a worm is male, for instance, all the cells in the body–including those in the brain–will be male.
The scientists weren’t able to change the gender of worms. But they were able to fool their nerve cells into acting like those of the opposite gender by manipulating the worms’ genes.
Many scientists believe that such sexual behaviors stem from parts of the brain that are larger in each respective gender.
Instead this experiment suggests that these behaviors can also stem from brain regions in which there are no noticeable size differences.
Jorgensen says the study’s less about sexuality and more about brain activity. “This tells us is that the brain is sexualized.” Well, we’ve always found brain very sexy.