the sexual orientation of fruit flies - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-03-2005, 08:06 AM   #1
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 30,471
Local Time: 12:16 PM
the sexual orientation of fruit flies

fascinating, on many levels.



June 3, 2005
For Fruit Flies, Gene Shift Tilts Sex Orientation
By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL,
International Herald Tribune

When the genetically altered fruit fly was released into the observation chamber, it did what these breeders par excellence tend to do. It pursued a waiting virgin female. It gently tapped the girl with its leg, played her a song (using wings as instruments) and, only then, dared to lick her - all part of standard fruit fly seduction.

The observing scientist looked with disbelief at the show, for the suitor in this case was not a male, but a female that researchers had artificially endowed with a single male-type gene.

That one gene, the researchers are announcing today in the journal Cell, is apparently by itself enough to create patterns of sexual behavior - a kind of master sexual gene that normally exists in two distinct male and female variants.

In a series of experiments, the researchers found that females given the male variant of the gene acted exactly like males in courtship, madly pursuing other females. Males that were artificially given the female version of the gene became more passive and turned their sexual attention to other males.

"We have shown that a single gene in the fruit fly is sufficient to determine all aspects of the flies' sexual orientation and behavior," said the paper's lead author, Dr. Barry Dickson, senior scientist at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna. "It's very surprising.

"What it tells us is that instinctive behaviors can be specified by genetic programs, just like the morphologic development of an organ or a nose."

The results are certain to prove influential in debates about whether genes or environment determine who we are, how we act and, especially, our sexual orientation, although it is not clear now if there is a similar master sexual gene for humans.

Still, experts said they were both awed and shocked by the findings. "The results are so clean and compelling, the whole field of the genetic roots of behavior is moved forward tremendously by this work," said Dr. Michael Weiss, chairman of the department of biochemistry at Case Western Reserve University. "Hopefully this will take the discussion about sexual preferences out of the realm of morality and put it in the realm of science."

He added: "I never chose to be heterosexual; it just happened. But humans are complicated. With the flies we can see in a simple and elegant way how a gene can influence and determine behavior."

The finding supports scientific evidence accumulating over the past decade that sexual orientation may be innately programmed into the brains of men and women. Equally intriguing, the researchers say, is the possibility that a number of behaviors - hitting back when feeling threatened, fleeing when scared or laughing when amused - may also be programmed into human brains, a product of genetic heritage.

"This is a first - a superb demonstration that a single gene can serve as a switch for complex behaviors," said Dr. Gero Miesenboeck, a professor of cell biology at Yale.

Dr. Dickson, the lead author, said he ran into the laboratory when an assistant called him on a Sunday night with the results. "This really makes you think about how much of our behavior, perhaps especially sexual behaviors, has a strong genetic component," he said.

All the researchers cautioned that any of these wired behaviors set by master genes will probably be modified by experience. Though male fruit flies are programmed to pursue females, Dr. Dickson said, those that are frequently rejected over time become less aggressive in their mating behavior.

When a normal male fruit fly is introduced to a virgin female, they almost immediately begin foreplay and then copulate for 20 minutes. In fact, Dr. Dickson and his co-author, Dr. Ebru Demir of the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology, specifically chose to look for the genetic basis of fly sexual behavior precisely because it seemed so strong and instinctive and, therefore, predictable.

Scientists have known for several years that the master sexual gene, known as fru, was central to mating, coordinating a network of neurons that were involved in the male fly's courtship ritual. Last year, Dr. Bruce Baker of Stanford University discovered that the mating circuit controlled by the gene involved 60 nerve cells and that if any of these were damaged or destroyed by the scientists, the animal could not mate properly. Both male and female flies have the same genetic material as well as the neural circuitry required for the mating ritual, but different parts of the genes are turned on in the two sexes. But no one dreamed that simply activating the normally dormant male portion of the gene in a female fly could cause a genetic female to display the whole elaborate panoply of male fruit fly foreplay.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/03/sc...03cell.html?hp
__________________

__________________
Irvine511 is offline  
Old 06-03-2005, 09:41 AM   #2
ONE
love, blood, life
 
financeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 10,122
Local Time: 06:16 PM
Fruit flies are instruments of the devil and promote an anti-Biblical agenda. They must not be allowed near our youth.
__________________

__________________
financeguy is offline  
Old 06-03-2005, 10:10 AM   #3
Blue Crack Addict
 
Hewson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Your own private Idaho
Posts: 26,468
Local Time: 12:16 PM
Re: the sexual orientation of fruit flies

Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
It pursued a waiting virgin female. It gently tapped the girl with its leg, played her a song and, only then, dared to lick her - all part of standard fruit fly seduction.

Sounds much like a Saturday night at most universities.
__________________
Hewson is offline  
Old 06-03-2005, 11:54 AM   #4
Blue Crack Distributor
 
Headache in a Suitcase's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Stateless
Posts: 56,336
Local Time: 12:16 PM
Re: Re: the sexual orientation of fruit flies

Quote:
Originally posted by Hewson
Sounds much like a Saturday night at most universities.
boom tish
__________________
Headache in a Suitcase is online now  
Old 06-03-2005, 06:22 PM   #5
Acrobat
 
echo0001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: WV-USA
Posts: 349
Local Time: 12:16 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy
Fruit flies are instruments of the devil and promote an anti-Biblical agenda. They must not be allowed near our youth.
__________________
echo0001 is offline  
Old 06-03-2005, 07:02 PM   #6
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 03:16 AM
If sexuality can be partly determined by genetics should we give parents the option of minimising the risk that their children could be gay?
__________________
A_Wanderer is offline  
Old 06-03-2005, 07:05 PM   #7
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 30,471
Local Time: 12:16 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
If sexuality can be partly determined by genetics should we give parents the option of minimising the risk that their children could be gay?


should we do the same with potential red heads and left-handers?
__________________
Irvine511 is offline  
Old 06-03-2005, 07:09 PM   #8
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 03:16 AM
Yes. Improving the human race with genetic engineering seems fine, although in the ultimate conclusion it is a moot point because sexual reproduction would be surpassed.
__________________
A_Wanderer is offline  
Old 06-03-2005, 07:13 PM   #9
ONE
love, blood, life
 
financeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 10,122
Local Time: 06:16 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
If sexuality can be partly determined by genetics should we give parents the option of minimising the risk that their children could be gay?
No, the opposite. The world is vastly overpopulated, and accordingly we should encourage parents to have gay children.


P.S. Helpful hint: read Brave New World again.
__________________
financeguy is offline  
Old 06-03-2005, 07:14 PM   #10
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 03:16 AM
The world isn't overpopulated with rich people, it is the poor who overpopulate ~ given better standards of hygene and education that could change.

I do not think that using technology to better mankinds will create a dystopia.
__________________
A_Wanderer is offline  
Old 06-03-2005, 07:17 PM   #11
ONE
love, blood, life
 
financeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 10,122
Local Time: 06:16 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
If sexuality can be partly determined by genetics should we give parents the option of minimising the risk that their children could be gay?
If we're going down the social engineering route, I assume we would have to choose carefully who would be allowed to be parents.

In general, religious fundamentalists tend to be anti-gay. They also tend to be of below-average intelligence.

I am a little bit surprised that these points have passed you by.
__________________
financeguy is offline  
Old 06-03-2005, 07:20 PM   #12
ONE
love, blood, life
 
financeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 10,122
Local Time: 06:16 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
The world isn't overpopulated with rich people, it is the poor who overpopulate ~ given better standards of hygene and education that could change.

I do not think that using technology to better mankinds will create a dystopia.
Yes, and gays tend to be disproportionately wealthy. Go figure.

I agree that technology to better mankind will not (necessarily) create a dystopia.
__________________
financeguy is offline  
Old 06-03-2005, 07:22 PM   #13
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 03:16 AM
The genetic factors on intelligence are a lot more complex. Religion itself may be the strong retrograde force but by potential a religious fundamentalist can be just as intelligent as you or I.

Secondly there would not be choosing of who would be allowed to be parents, I am not advocating social darwinism.

Giving options to parents over their childs genetic predispositions does not seem like a bad thing.

Creating a post-human society is also not necessarily a bad thing.
__________________
A_Wanderer is offline  
Old 06-03-2005, 07:23 PM   #14
ONE
love, blood, life
 
financeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 10,122
Local Time: 06:16 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
The world isn't overpopulated with rich people
Actually, I'd disagree with that. The world is indeed overpopulated with rich people.

Dynastic wealth has given rise to many of the world's problems.
__________________
financeguy is offline  
Old 06-03-2005, 07:26 PM   #15
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 03:16 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy


Yes, and gays tend to be disproportionately wealthy. Go figure.
And I disagree, the prevailence of genetic factors in homosexuality are probably spread all through the human race. The social and cultural factors regarding that behaviour are however more specific. A well to do city dwelling westerner could openly be homosexual a lot easier than someone in say Saudi Arabia.

There is no gay gene, it seems to be multiple factors and even then it gives more of a predisposition to such behaviour. Nature versus nurture.
__________________

__________________
A_Wanderer is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:16 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com