Being gay could be in your DNA

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    Feb 14, 2014 8:40 AM GMT
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2559021/Being-gay-DNA-researchers-claim-controversial-new-study.html

    Being gay IS in your genes, say scientists in controversial new DNA study

    Two stretches of DNA linked to homosexuality in men discovered
    Strengthens claims homosexuality is decided by biology, not choice
    Fears breakthrough could be used to develop tests for expecting mothers
    Reignites debate over whether a 'gay gene' exists

    By Fiona Macrae Science Correspondent In Chicago



    Being gay could be in the DNA.

    Scientists have found two stretches of DNA linked to homosexuality in men.

    The confirmation of the existence of a ‘gay gene’ or genes will strengthen arguments that homosexuality is a matter of biology, rather than choice.

    However, it also raises the prospect of a genetic test that could be used by insurance companies to discriminate against clients or by pregnant women to abort gay babies.

    In the study, Chicago University researchers analysed the DNA of more than 400 pairs of gay brothers, recruited at Gay Pride festivals at marches over several years.


    This revealed flagged up two pieces of DNA that seem to be linked to homosexuality.

    It is not known which of the many genes they contain are key or how they affect the development of sexual orientation.

    However, the result, revealed at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s prestigious annual conference, backs up a contentious 1993 study.

    That research, the first to find evidence of a ‘gay gene’, created a storm of controversy, which was further fuelled when other scientists failed to find a genetic link.

    Dr Michael Bailey from Northwestern University in Illinois, who contributed to the latest study, said it is the biggest of its kind.

    He added: ‘Sexual orientation has nothing to do with choice. Our findings suggest there may be genes at play – we found evidence for two sets that affect whether a man is gay or straight.

    ‘Although this could one day lead to a pre-natal test for male sexual orientation, it would not be very accurate, as there are other factors that can influence the outcome.’

    Despite this, he would not would not object to a prenatal test being developed.

    He said: ‘Clearly parents should not be allowed to torture or kill babies. But they can currently choose to terminate a pregnancy early on, so they should be allowed to have as much information on the future child as possible.’

    Qazi Rhaman, a King’s College London psychologist, said that genes are thought account for up to 40 per cent of a person’s sexual orientation is governed by genes, and that it is likely that many genes are involved.

    This would make developing a genetic test incredibly difficult.

    He said: ‘There is no real risk of anyone finding a 'genetic test' for sexual orientation based on these or any of the scientific findings about the genetics of sexuality from the past 20 years.

    ‘The reason is that there is no gay gene. You are not going to be able to develop a test to find them all.’

    Dr Rhaman, who has written a book about sexual orientation, added that all psychological traits involve genetics and people should not be afraid about link homosexuality to genes.

    Richard Lane, of gay rights organisation, Stonewall, said that while studies into the origins of homosexuality have yet to produce convincing evidence, they do to point to a biological root.

    He said: ‘The thing that’s consistent across all of them is that they all point to sexual orientation being something fundamental to a person rather than the lifestyle choice some opponents of equality repeatedly suggest.’

    Other studies suggests that conditions in the womb also influence sexual orientation.

    For instance, the more older male siblings a man has, the greater chance he will be gay.

    Scientists say the phenomenon cannot be explained by the youngest boy being babied and mollycoddled or other differences in the way they are brought up.

    It is thought that carrying a male baby in the womb triggers an immune response in the mother, creating antibodies that attack part of the unborn child's brain linked to sexual orientation.

    This response gets stronger the more boys a woman carries, raising the odds of homosexuality.

    Exposure to hormones in the womb is also likely to be important and some argue that upbringing plays a role in sexuality.



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    Feb 14, 2014 11:19 AM GMT
    Will mothers now choose to engineer their babies so they are straight?
  • frogman89

    Posts: 418

    Feb 14, 2014 12:09 PM GMT
    xalphaa saidhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2559021/Being-gay-DNA-researchers-claim-controversial-new-study.html

    Being gay IS in your genes, say scientists in controversial new DNA study

    Two stretches of DNA linked to homosexuality in men discovered
    Strengthens claims homosexuality is decided by biology, not choice
    Fears breakthrough could be used to develop tests for expecting mothers
    Reignites debate over whether a 'gay gene' exists

    By Fiona Macrae Science Correspondent In Chicago



    Being gay could be in the DNA.

    Scientists have found two stretches of DNA linked to homosexuality in men.

    The confirmation of the existence of a ‘gay gene’ or genes will strengthen arguments that homosexuality is a matter of biology, rather than choice.

    However, it also raises the prospect of a genetic test that could be used by insurance companies to discriminate against clients or by pregnant women to abort gay babies.

    In the study, Chicago University researchers analysed the DNA of more than 400 pairs of gay brothers, recruited at Gay Pride festivals at marches over several years.


    This revealed flagged up two pieces of DNA that seem to be linked to homosexuality.

    It is not known which of the many genes they contain are key or how they affect the development of sexual orientation.

    However, the result, revealed at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s prestigious annual conference, backs up a contentious 1993 study.

    That research, the first to find evidence of a ‘gay gene’, created a storm of controversy, which was further fuelled when other scientists failed to find a genetic link.

    Dr Michael Bailey from Northwestern University in Illinois, who contributed to the latest study, said it is the biggest of its kind.

    He added: ‘Sexual orientation has nothing to do with choice. Our findings suggest there may be genes at play – we found evidence for two sets that affect whether a man is gay or straight.

    ‘Although this could one day lead to a pre-natal test for male sexual orientation, it would not be very accurate, as there are other factors that can influence the outcome.’

    Despite this, he would not would not object to a prenatal test being developed.

    He said: ‘Clearly parents should not be allowed to torture or kill babies. But they can currently choose to terminate a pregnancy early on, so they should be allowed to have as much information on the future child as possible.’

    Qazi Rhaman, a King’s College London psychologist, said that genes are thought account for up to 40 per cent of a person’s sexual orientation is governed by genes, and that it is likely that many genes are involved.

    This would make developing a genetic test incredibly difficult.

    He said: ‘There is no real risk of anyone finding a 'genetic test' for sexual orientation based on these or any of the scientific findings about the genetics of sexuality from the past 20 years.

    ‘The reason is that there is no gay gene. You are not going to be able to develop a test to find them all.’

    Dr Rhaman, who has written a book about sexual orientation, added that all psychological traits involve genetics and people should not be afraid about link homosexuality to genes.

    Richard Lane, of gay rights organisation, Stonewall, said that while studies into the origins of homosexuality have yet to produce convincing evidence, they do to point to a biological root.

    He said: ‘The thing that’s consistent across all of them is that they all point to sexual orientation being something fundamental to a person rather than the lifestyle choice some opponents of equality repeatedly suggest.’

    Other studies suggests that conditions in the womb also influence sexual orientation.

    For instance, the more older male siblings a man has, the greater chance he will be gay.

    Scientists say the phenomenon cannot be explained by the youngest boy being babied and mollycoddled or other differences in the way they are brought up.

    It is thought that carrying a male baby in the womb triggers an immune response in the mother, creating antibodies that attack part of the unborn child's brain linked to sexual orientation.

    This response gets stronger the more boys a woman carries, raising the odds of homosexuality.

    Exposure to hormones in the womb is also likely to be important and some argue that upbringing plays a role in sexuality.




    What's interesting is that they only examined gay brothers. They have no comparison to a gay man with a straight brother. Sounds like a very vague study.


    I very vehemently doubt that the male baby in the womb triggers an immune response in the mother creating antibodies that attack part of the unborn child's brain. First of all, how the hell should that happen. The placenta can only be passed by the mother's IgG antibodies. But no proteine of the unborn child can pass the placenta barrier. So how is the mother's immune system supposed to react to something that they are not confronted with?
    When the child is born, there is some exchange of blood between the mother and the child. That's the reason why Resus neg. mother's can develop antibodies against Resus pos. children. But there's no exchange of blood and brain and the child's brain is not his blood.

    There is absolutely NO WAY the mother could develop antibodies against the child's brain in ANY WAY. Scientists who claim that are ridiculing their own reputation.
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    Feb 14, 2014 12:39 PM GMT
    Maybe but I was attracted to him because of his jeans, not his genes.
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    Feb 14, 2014 5:12 PM GMT
    Honestly I think it would be horrible if someone aborted a baby just because they know they would become gay.
  • monet

    Posts: 1093

    Feb 14, 2014 5:54 PM GMT
    Being gay could be in your DNA

    Well, duh.
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    Feb 14, 2014 5:59 PM GMT
    Jaggal saidAs a scientist and Engineer, those conducting the studies should be killed because results could prove detrimental to the gay community. Abortions everywhere.


    It could be an interesting scenario. Would a religious couple (who is against abortion) abort their potentially gay baby?
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    Feb 14, 2014 10:02 PM GMT
    S34n05 saidHonestly I think it would be horrible if someone aborted a baby just because they know they would become gay.

    I read an article about how in India they looked at the numbers and there was a very strong correlation between having the wife get an abortion and having had a gender test and finding out that the fetus was a girl.
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    Feb 14, 2014 10:04 PM GMT
    Speaking of DNA, there's a report on CNN tonight at 8 eastern about how babies are born prejudice.
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    Feb 14, 2014 10:04 PM GMT
    Lumpyoatmeal said
    S34n05 saidHonestly I think it would be horrible if someone aborted a baby just because they know they would become gay.

    I read an article about how in India they looked at the numbers and there was a very strong correlation between having the wife get an abortion and having had a gender test and finding out that the fetus was a girl.

    No surprise there. icon_sad.gif
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    Feb 14, 2014 10:08 PM GMT
    S34n05 saidHonestly I think it would be horrible if someone aborted a baby just because they know they would become gay.

    There's a movie about that.
    "The Twilight of the Golds"
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120392/
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    Feb 14, 2014 10:17 PM GMT
    The gay gene is natures way of population control from what I can tell, but the actual truth really won't convince the bigots. There's still people who don't want responsible same sex couples adopting unwanted babies given up by irresponsible heteros because it's unnatural. Those same people also tend to be pro-life. There's just no end to these contradictions, people just need to get over the fact that it's not "un-natural"
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    Feb 14, 2014 10:22 PM GMT
    I'm still more of the thought that hormones during growth in the womb has something more to do with it than genes. This is why they believe the more sons a woman has, the higher the chance each future son will be born gay.

    If it was genes then all identical twins would be gay if one was gay, which isn't the case. Probably multiple things at play.
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    Feb 14, 2014 10:52 PM GMT
    S34n05 saidI'm still more of the thought that hormones during growth in the womb has something more to do with it than genes. This is why they believe the more sons a woman has, the higher the chance each future son will be born gay.
    If it was genes then all identical twins would be gay if one was gay, which isn't the case. Probably multiple things at play.

    Actually, there is no such thing as an identical twin. The reason the embryo splits into two or more fetuses is because there is one gene that was reproduced in a slightly different way and the embryo starts to reject itself.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Feb 14, 2014 11:22 PM GMT
    Sure, being gay could be in my DNA.

    I could also be Cleopatra reincarnated.
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    Feb 14, 2014 11:48 PM GMT
    If it is true then a lot of religious nuts will try to pray for their babies or even abort them.
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    Feb 14, 2014 11:49 PM GMT
    S34n05 saidI'm still more of the thought that hormones during growth in the womb has something more to do with it than genes. This is why they believe the more sons a woman has, the higher the chance each future son will be born gay.

    If it was genes then all identical twins would be gay if one was gay, which isn't the case. Probably multiple things at play.


    I think the theory you say can explain trangender people, not gays.
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    Feb 15, 2014 2:21 AM GMT
    I can imagine a mother having a heart to heart with her son, 21 years later. Son, you were suppose to be gay, but I made you straight.

    Maaaaaa, how could you????

    Wishful thinking maybe?
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    Feb 15, 2014 2:58 AM GMT
    frogman89 said


    There is absolutely NO WAY the mother could develop antibodies against the child's brain in ANY WAY. Scientists who claim that are ridiculing their own reputation.


    So what you're saying is that we already know everything there is to know about the human immune system, both generally and among the six or seven billion separate instances of it on the planet, and every way each of those can go wrong?
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    Feb 15, 2014 3:28 AM GMT
    How does being gay fit in with natural selection and evolution?

    Otherwise, this finding will get branded as a maladaption (negative mutation)..
  • Joeyphx444

    Posts: 2382

    Feb 15, 2014 7:05 AM GMT
    Sexual orientation is not black and white like oh you WILL have brown hair and blue eyes that's it

    It can be shaped somewhat with society and our environment-especially in our childhood and it doesn't show till we hit puberty, in most people

    Is it society in the beginning that makes us experiment and even love, marry and have children with women? Or have our genetics not yet kicked it? What about bisexuality?

    I still don't believe it is 100% genetic. Maybe 90-95%

    There is some room for everything else to shape who we are.
  • frogman89

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    Feb 15, 2014 10:04 AM GMT
    flyingdiamond said
    frogman89 said


    There is absolutely NO WAY the mother could develop antibodies against the child's brain in ANY WAY. Scientists who claim that are ridiculing their own reputation.


    So what you're saying is that we already know everything there is to know about the human immune system, both generally and among the six or seven billion separate instances of it on the planet, and every way each of those can go wrong?

    No that's not what I'm saying. Don't over-interpret what I wrote. But the mysteries that are yet to be solved are details.
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    Feb 15, 2014 4:38 PM GMT
    frogman89 said
    flyingdiamond said
    frogman89 said


    There is absolutely NO WAY the mother could develop antibodies against the child's brain in ANY WAY. Scientists who claim that are ridiculing their own reputation.


    So what you're saying is that we already know everything there is to know about the human immune system, both generally and among the six or seven billion separate instances of it on the planet, and every way each of those can go wrong?

    No that's not what I'm saying. Don't over-interpret what I wrote. But the mysteries that are yet to be solved are details.


    Don't mind me, it's just that categorical statements about human biology are a personal hangup. The only sure thing is that there are trends and exceptions, and details often have a way of turning old paradigms on their head when someone finally makes a point of investigating them.
    I'd love to see the original research paper that describes the mother-fetal-immune-exposure idea and see what the evidence is. Maybe it's worth a second look; maybe there's new biology there.
  • frogman89

    Posts: 418

    Feb 15, 2014 4:48 PM GMT
    flyingdiamond said
    frogman89 said
    flyingdiamond said
    frogman89 said


    There is absolutely NO WAY the mother could develop antibodies against the child's brain in ANY WAY. Scientists who claim that are ridiculing their own reputation.


    So what you're saying is that we already know everything there is to know about the human immune system, both generally and among the six or seven billion separate instances of it on the planet, and every way each of those can go wrong?

    No that's not what I'm saying. Don't over-interpret what I wrote. But the mysteries that are yet to be solved are details.


    Don't mind me, it's just that categorical statements about human biology are a personal hangup. The only sure thing is that there are trends and exceptions, and details often have a way of turning old paradigms on their head when someone finally makes a point of investigating them.
    I'd love to see the original research paper that describes the mother-fetal-immune-exposure idea and see what the evidence is. Maybe it's worth a second look; maybe there's new biology there.


    I searched through pubmed.gov where basically every relevant study is published and I didn't find any article on that.
    I highly doubt that the pathogenesis as described in the OP's mentioned article is possible. It doesn't make any sense. There is no single disease except for the Morbus haemolyticus neonatorum (the one with the Resus-factor, blood transmitted) that describes a mechanism as described there. It is simply not possible.
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    Feb 15, 2014 5:38 PM GMT
    frogman89 said
    flyingdiamond said
    frogman89 said
    flyingdiamond said
    frogman89 said


    There is absolutely NO WAY the mother could develop antibodies against the child's brain in ANY WAY. Scientists who claim that are ridiculing their own reputation.


    So what you're saying is that we already know everything there is to know about the human immune system, both generally and among the six or seven billion separate instances of it on the planet, and every way each of those can go wrong?

    No that's not what I'm saying. Don't over-interpret what I wrote. But the mysteries that are yet to be solved are details.


    Don't mind me, it's just that categorical statements about human biology are a personal hangup. The only sure thing is that there are trends and exceptions, and details often have a way of turning old paradigms on their head when someone finally makes a point of investigating them.
    I'd love to see the original research paper that describes the mother-fetal-immune-exposure idea and see what the evidence is. Maybe it's worth a second look; maybe there's new biology there.


    I searched through pubmed.gov where basically every relevant study is published and I didn't find any article on that.
    I highly doubt that the pathogenesis as described in the OP's mentioned article is possible. It doesn't make any sense. There is no single disease except for the Morbus haemolyticus neonatorum (the one with the Resus-factor, blood transmitted) that describes a mechanism as described there. It is simply not possible.


    So I checked and found the original paper by R Blanchard and AF Bogaert in 1996. Do a pubmed search for blanchard R and bogaert AF. In it they use statistics to correlate birth order and self-reported homosexuality. They suggest a maternal reaction to the male H-Y antigen as a possible explanation. A number of subsequent papers by others go on to test the statistical methods & conclusions.

    Still looking to see if the most obvious experiments were done, to see if the antibody hypothesis was ever directly tested by measuring H-Y immunoreactivity in the mothers' sera. My questions would be these: is the H-Y antigen available at the interface between the placenta and the uterine wall? if so, can the maternal immune system 'see' it? If it can, is the H-Y antigen strong enough to elicit a response? How often does that happen?

    Lastly, for the hemolytic disease of the newborn, perhaps it's the only one we know of because it's impossible to miss. There are loads of rare and subtle disease conditions that haven't been described yet. Certainly the hemolytic disease is proof that maternal antibodies can pass through the placenta.

    The only way we'll know for sure is if someone does the experiments to definitively rule it out. Until then, we just don't know & it remains possible.
    If you find a ref where someone actually does the maternal blood experiments, please post!