Page URL: https://www.bionews.org.uk/page_87841

New study on 'gay gene'

26 April 1999
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 5

A study investigating the genetic basis of homosexuality has failed to support research published six years ago suggesting the existence of a 'gay gene'. A team of scientists led by Dean Hamer, an American Aids researcher, caused controversy in 1993 when it published results of a study claiming to have found a link between male homosexuality and a section of the chromosome called Xq28, inherited from the mother. But several subsequent years of research attempting to isolate the gene proved fruitless and a larger-scale study carried out by George Rice and George Ebers of the University of Western Ontario in Canada has cast serious doubt on the original research.

The Canadian group reports in the journal Science that it failed to find a connection between the genetic marker that Dr Hamer had claimed to have found and homosexuality, which should have emerged because their study was significantly larger than Dr Hamer's.

The Canadian scientists say it is unclear why their results were so discrepant from the original study but point out that their data do not support the existence of a gene that strongly influences sexual orientation. Previous research has claimed to have found genes for schizophrenia, alcoholism and even aggression, but these claims have largely been disputed or abandoned.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Doubt cast on 'gay gene'
The Daily Telegraph |  23 April 1999
Male homosexuality: absence of linkage to microsatellite markers at Xq28
Science |  23 April 1999
Research casts doubt on 'gay gene' theory
Washington Post |  23 April 1999
The celebrated theory that never made sense
The Observer |  25 April 1999
RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE
12 October 2015 - by Dr Ashley Cartwright 
Researchers in the USA have developed an epigenetic test which they claim can predict whether a man is gay or straight with 67 percent accuracy...
17 December 2012 - by Dr Nicola Davis 
Homosexuality is inherited, not through genes, but through 'epi-markers', a study based around mathematical modelling suggests...
12 July 2010 - by Dr Nadeem Shaikh 
In August, the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism will publish an article on a consensus reached by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and many others, regarding the use of dexamethasone (dex), a steroid used to treat a genetic condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), which can affect one in 15,000 babies...
6 June 2005 - by BioNews 
Tweaking a single gene alters the courtship behaviour of fruit flies, a new Austrian study shows. By altering a gene called 'fruitless' (fru), the researchers, based at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna, bred female flies that courted other females. But altering the same gene in male flies produced...
31 January 2005 - by BioNews 
US scientists have identified several different stretches of human DNA which could contain genes that influence male sexuality. The team, based at the University of Illinois, say that multiple genes interacting with environmental influences are the most likely explanation for differences in sexual orientation. The results, based on a scan...
HAVE YOUR SAY
to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions


Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.