Showing posts with label Gay Genes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Genes. Show all posts

April 17, 2016

Half of Straights Carry the Gay Genes Combination


     

                                                                         
gay_genes_rect-620x412.jpg
Genetic Literacy Project
                                                          

 Prevalence of homosexuality in men is stable throughout time since many carry the genes
Computer model sheds light on how male homosexuality remains present in populations throughout the ages
                                                                           _*_

Around half of all heterosexual men and women potentially carry so-called homosexuality genes that are passed on from one generation to the next. This has helped homosexuality to be present among humans throughout history and in all cultures, even though homosexual men normally do not have many descendants who can directly inherit their genes. This idea is reported by Giorgi Chaladze of the Ilia State University in Georgia, and published in Springer's journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. Chaladze used a computational model that, among others, includes aspects of heredity and the tendency of homosexual men to come from larger families.

According to previous research, sexual orientation is influenced to a degree by genetic factors and is therefore heritable. Chaladze says this poses a problem from an evolutionary perspective, because homosexual men tend not to have many offspring to whom they can provide their genetic material. In fact, they have on average five times fewer children than their heterosexual counterparts.

Chaladze used an individual-based genetic model to explain the stable, yet persistent, occurrence of homosexuality within larger populations. He took into account findings from recent studies that show that homosexual men tend to come from larger families. These suggest that the genes responsible for homosexuality in men increase fecundity (the actual number of children someone has) among their female family members, who also carry the genes. Other reports also suggest that many heterosexual men are carriers of the genes that could predispose someone to homosexuality.

Based on Chaladze's calculations, male homosexuality is maintained in a population at low and stable frequencies if half of the men and roughly more than half of the women carry genes that predispose men to homosexuality.

"The trend of female family members of homosexual men to have more offspring can help explain the persistence of homosexuality, if we also consider that those males who have such genes are not always homosexuals," says Chaladze.

The possibility that many heterosexual men are carriers can also explain why estimates of the number of men who have reported any same-sex sexual behavior and same-sex sexual attraction are much higher than estimates of those who self-identify as homosexual or bisexual. According to Chaladze, non-homosexual male carriers might sometimes manifest interest in homosexual behavior without having a homosexual identity.

The possibility that a large percentage of heterosexual people are carriers of genetic material predisposing to homosexuality has implications for genomic studies. Researchers should therefore consider including participants who do not have homosexual relatives in such studies.

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Springer
*Springer. "Prevalence of homosexuality in men is stable throughout time since many carry the genes: Computer model sheds light on how male homosexuality remains present in populations throughout the ages." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 April 2016

January 14, 2016

There Might Not be ‘One’ Gay Gene but Researchers find a Genetic Variety


 Out this five babies, would there be one who is gay?

 U.S. researchers say they’ve come up with a formula that can show someone's sexual orientation by looking at genetic changes. 
It's a controversial idea, and they have not made public the details of what they did. But the research, being presented at a meeting of genetics experts, suggests a variety of factors come together to help determine whether someone is gay or straight.

"To our knowledge, this is the first example of a predictive model for sexual orientation based on molecular markers," said Tuck Ngun, a researcher at the David Geffen School of Medicine of the University of California, Los Angeles, who led the study.

Other experts said Ngun may be going too far in saying he can predict someone's sexual orientation by looking at his or her genes. His study group was very small.

“I HOPE THAT THIS RESEARCH HELPS US UNDERSTAND OURSELVES BETTER AND WHY WE ARE THE WAY WE ARE."

The idea that sexuality can be found in the genes isn't at all new — Dean Hamer of the National Institutes of Health reported in 1993 that he had found a batch of genes linked with homosexuality, and researchers have reported a variety of genetic findings since then. One thing they agree on: there is no single "gay gene".

Genetic changes can be handed down from generation to generation, or they can be made as a part of living life, from the moment a child is conceived through adulthood. These are called epigenetic changes and while they don't change the underlying code, they can alter how a gene is expressed — how it works.

"The observed epigenetic changes, particularly if from blood DNA, unlikely determine the complex behaviors, such as sexual orientation," said Dr. Peng Jin, a professor of human genetics at Emory University.

Ngun told an American Society of Human Genetics meeting in Baltimore that he looked at epigenetic changes called methylation in 47 pairs of male twins. Identical twins have the same underlying DNA, but the epigenetic changes can make big differences in what happens to them later in life.

In 37 of the twin pairs, one brother was homosexual and the other wasn't. In 10 pairs, both brothers were.

Ngun and his colleagues came up with a computer algorithm, a formula, that suggested that patterns of methylation in nine regions were associated with sexual orientation with 67 percent of the time.

"Sexual attraction is such a fundamental part of life, but it's not something we know a lot about at the genetic and molecular level. I hope that this research helps us understand ourselves better and why we are the way we are," Ngun said.

Other researchers said the idea would have to be tested in many, many more people to see if the effect is real. "Without validation of the result in an independent data set it is not really possible to know whether there is any substance in this claim," said Gil McVean, a statistical geneticist at Britain's University of Oxford.

"My gut feeling it that, as the complete story unfolds, the association may not be quite as simple as the summary (abstract) and press release suggest. The important thing to note however is the mounting evidence that homosexuality is a perfectly normal trait segregating in human populations," added genetics professor Darren Griffin of the University of Kent.

But Dr. Margaret McCarthy, who studies the developing brain at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said epigenetic changes could happen while a fetus is developing.

"Developing male fetuses produce very high quantities of testosterone during the second trimester and this directs psychosexual development along masculine lines, a component of which is preference for females as sexual partners," McCarthy said in a statement.

"This study provides a major step forward in our understanding of how the brain can be affected by factors outside of the genome. It is also possible that the experience of being a homosexual or a heterosexual has itself impacted the epigenetic profile. But regardless of when, or even how, these epigenetic changes occur, their findings demonstrate a biological basis to partner preference."

According to Gallup, about 3.8 percent of the adult population identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. If that percentage seems low is because it is, (except when calculated in millions of this country’s population is not). These are the people that outed themselves in a secret and fill out a questionnaire. How about the millions that are bisexual or even totally gay but will not for their reasons admit them to others and sometimes to themselves. that they prefer their own sex many times. To know the numbers perhaps the research should be done on the closet cases. If we get a number of closet cases we will know the numbers of gays.

y 

January 31, 2015

The “Gay Gene" Replicated Again 20 yrs Latter





HONOLULU —Mention this topic in almost any setting, and you're sure to spark a debate. Are you born gay, or is it simply an alternative lifestyle?







More than 20 years ago geneticist and National Institutes of Health researcher Dean Hamer made a splash and created controversy when he released a study that pinpointed two chromosomes where a gay gene or genes could be located. But it was one chromosome in particular, Xq28, that held the most promise.
"And that indicated there was something in there, some gene or genes that was somehow tipping the balance for people being gay as opposed to heterosexual," Hamer said in an interview with KITV4.  
Hamer’s 1993 study examined about 40 pairs of brothers who were both gay and found many of them shared genetic material in the Xq28 chromosome. Although the study was peer-reviewed, the sample size left some critics wondering whether it was valid.
“It was a very mixed reaction and a very explosive reaction,” said Hamer, who is now retired and lives on Oahu’s North Shore. “It really caused a lot of news at that time.”
Last year, a follow-up study by researcher Alan Sanders and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development duplicated Hamer's results tenfold, linking the same Xq28 chromosome to male sexual orientation, and a likely hiding spot for a gay gene. Instead of 40 pairs of brothers, Sanders examined 409 pairs.
“It was a big, very international type of study and they found exactly the same results: same exact linkage, same numbers, same spot (and) probably the same genes,” said Hamer. “We were really delighted because it puts to rest any controversy about whether or not this original result was right and there really is a gene there at Xq28.”
John Rosario and Justin Pigott, two men who have been in a romantic relationship for the past eight years, say Hamer’s 1993 study and the follow-up research last year doesn’t come as much of a surprise.  
"I can't speak for other people, but I always knew from a young age (I was gay)," said Pigott.
"It's something that you're born with,” added Rosario. “It's not a choice that you make in life or anything that necessarily happens to you. I believe I was born this way as many of my friends were."
However, some like Garrett Hashimoto of the Hawaii Christian Coalition aren't so convinced a gay gene or genes will ever be found.
"I'm sure we're going to be hearing more of these stories and until something definite comes up, I won't believe it,” said Hashimoto. “And if I may, I believe like other people that same-sex is not natural."
Those who are familiar with Hamer’s research say it's time to move past wondering whether a gay gene exists and into the next stages of the research.
"Most of the scholarly research for a generation now has indicated that sexual preference is a genetic issue, it's not a personal choice issue,” said John Hart, chair and professor of Hawaii Pacific University’s Department of Communication. “Now what we're doing is chasing down exactly what is that genetic cause."
After starting the race to find a gay gene more than 20 years ago, Hamer is eager to see it finished during his lifetime.                                                                    
"I'm so curious what the gene will be, not so much for what makes people gay, but what makes people heterosexual,” said Hamer. “You know guys liking girls, and girls liking guys seems just natural, but it has to have a mechanism somehow and it’s a really potent mechanism.” 
kitv.com                                                                           
picture and more on this subject: http://hubpages.com/hub/Is-Homosexuality-Genetic







































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November 22, 2014

New US Large Sex Study Erodes any Notion that Sex, Any Sex is a Choice



                                                                          
 Human Genome

A new scientific study of 409 pairs of gay brothers could put to rest decades of debate over the existence of the so-called ‘gay gene’.
Research conducted by the NorthShore Research Institute in the US found clear links between male sexual orientation and two specific regions of the human genome, with lead scientist Alan Sanders declaring that the work “erodes the notion that sexual orientation is a choice”.

The study is three times larger than any previously done and highlights two genetic regions that have been tied to male homosexuality in separate research: Xq28, first identified in 1993, and 8q12, spotted in 2005.

However, Sanders does not claim to have identified a single gene which ‘causes’ male homosexuality in humans and stresses that with complex human traits like sexual orientation there are many influencing factors, both genetic and environmental.

For the study Sanders and his team collected blood and saliva from 409 pairs of gay brothers and analysed their genetic code for markers known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).
Although Xq28 and 8q12 were the two regions that were most frequently identified as home to genetic markers common among the 818 gay men, three other SNPs were also highlighted.

Speaking to the New Scientist, neuroscientist Simon LeVay commented: “This study knocks another nail into the coffin of the  hosen lifestyle' theory of homosexuality.”

Yes, we have a choice in life, to be ourselves or to conform to someone elses idea of normality, but being straight, bisexual or gay, or none of these, is a central part of who we are, thanks in part to the DNA we were born with,” said LeVay, who previously claimed to have found a region of the brain that was smaller in gay men.                                 
 Boys in love

However, the announcement is unlikely to be met with great acclaim in the LGBT community, with Samantha Allen at The Daily Beast pointing to the murky history of conclusive evidence for any genetic causation.
She writes: “If it’s hard to get excited about these studies, it’s because, at this point, biological explanations for homosexuality are like iPhones—a new one comes out every year.”

Commenting on the research to The Independent, Richard Lane of LGBT rights charity Stonewall echoed Allens reaction, saying: "While some people may choose to focus on the continuing debate of whether people are born gay or not, we'll continue to focus on making sure everyone has the same rights and opportunities regardless of who they love."

November 20, 2014

When Scientists find The Gay Gene Will gay unborn be deselected or aborted by Homophobes?



                                                                          
Lately, “pro-choice” has been “evolving” into “pro-abortion”–including support for sex selection abortion.
But what if we find there is a gay gene that could identify fetuses who would have a propensity to be homosexual?  That may be on the horizon.
From the New Scientist story:
A genetic analysis of 409 pairs of gay twins has provided the strongest evidence yet that gay people are born gay. The study clearly links sexual orientation in men with two regions of the human genome that have been implicated before, one on the X chromosome and one on chromosome 8.
The finding is an important contribution to mounting evidence that being gay is biologically determined rather than a lifestyle choice.
The story notes that the gene factor would not be determinative, but one factor in sexual orientation as a biologically-caused phenomenon. 
So, if a test became available to determine such a propensity–as is currently available for sex or Down syndrome–should we permit abortion to eliminate babies likely to be gay from being born, e.g.,–or for that matter, straight–e.g., eugenic abortion?
Or, will we allow likely orientation to be used as a factor in determining whether to implant an embryo after IVF?
I think this will be a good case for strict government regulations where you like the government or not.

November 18, 2014

Study of Gay brothers Reinforces the theory that Genes Influence Male Homosexuality

                                                                        


CHICAGO (AP) - A large study of gay brothers adds to evidence that genes influence men’s chances of being homosexual, but the results aren’t strong enough to prove it.
Some scientists believe several genes might affect sexual orientation. Researchers who led the new study of nearly 800 gay brothers say their results bolster previous evidence pointing to genes on the X chromosome.
They also found evidence of influence from a gene or genes on a different chromosome. But the study doesn’t identify which of hundreds of genes located in either place might be involved.
Smaller studies seeking genetic links to homosexuality have had mixed results.
The new evidence “is not proof but it’s a pretty good indication” that genes on the two chromosomes have some influence over sexual orientation, said Dr. Alan Sanders, the lead author. He studies behavioral genetics at NorthShore University HealthSystem Research Institute in Evanston, Illinois.
Experts not involved in the study were more skeptical.
Neil Risch, a genetics expert at the University of California, San Francisco, said the data are statistically too weak to demonstrate any genetic link. Risch was involved in a smaller study that found no link between male homosexuality and chromosome X.
Dr. Robert Green, a medical geneticist at Harvard Medical School, called the new study “intriguing but not in any way conclusive.”
The work was published Monday by the journal Psychological Medicine. The National Institutes of Health paid for the research.
The researchers say they found potential links to male homosexuality in a portion of chromosome X and on chromosome 8, based on an analysis of genetic material in blood or saliva samples from participants.
Chromosome X is one of two human sex chromosomes; the other is chromosome Y, present only in men.
The study authors note that animal research suggests a gene located in one region of chromosome X may contribute to some sexual behavior; it’s one of the same regions cited in the new study.
Specific causes of homosexuality are unknown. Some scientists think social, cultural, family and biological factors are involved, while some religious groups consider it an immoral choice.
Study participant Dr. Chad Zawitz, a Chicago physician, called the research “a giant step forward” toward answering scientific questions about homosexuality and helping reduce the stigma gays often face.
Being gay “is sort of like having certain eye color or skin color – it’s just who you are,” Zawitz said. “Most heterosexuals I know didn’t choose to be heterosexual. It’s puzzling to me why people don’t understand.”

stlouis.cbslocal.com

February 20, 2014

These Are the Array of Genes That Will Make you Gay or Straight


Is sexuality a choice? Some religious conservatives continue to insist that it is, pushing conversion therapy programs on homosexual teens in hopes that they will successfully "pray the gay away." But research presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago last week said otherwise.
In testing the DNA of 400 gay men and straight members of their families, researchers found that genes on at least two chromosomes influenced the subjects' sexuality. In addition to a stretch of DNA on chromosome 8, a region of the X chromosome, Xq28, has an impact on men's sexual preferences.
Xq28, the chromosomal band and genetic marker impacting sexuality, via UNC Genomics
J. Michael Bailey, a psychologist at Northwestern University and a researcher behind the study, said, "Sexual orientation has nothing to do with choice. We found evidence for two sets [of genes] that affect whether a man is gay or straight. But it is not completely determinative. There are certainly other environmental factors involved." Among these factors may be exposure to hormones in the womb.
The researchers were careful to point out the nuances of their research. Not all of the gay men in Bailey's study inherited the same Xq28 region. Indeed, how genes interact and determine phenotypes or instruct behavior is complex, and there are almost always multiple factors at work.
The finding of this research corresponds with the results of a set of controversial studies from the early 1990s. Dean Hamer, a researcher at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, alsofound a link between Xq28 and homosexuality. In summarizing his findings, Hamer said that there is “a 99.5% certainty that there is a gene (or genes) in this area of the X chromosome that predispose a male to become a heterosexual." Hamer received criticism for his study from gay rights advocates who were concerned that scientists could develop a genetic test for parents who wish to abort their potentially gay children.
But as Qazi Rahman, a psychologist at King's College London, explained, these types of studies will likely help gay rights. "I don't see how genetics would contribute more to the persecution, discrimination and stigmatization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people any more than social, cultural or learning explanations," he said. "Historically, the persecution and awful treatment of LGBT groups has been because politicians, religious leaders and societies have viewed sexual orientation as 'choice' or due to poor upbringing."
While these studies are very useful for understanding the human body, they may not be necessary for public policy. Regardless of whether sexual preference is a choice, shouldn’t wetreat all groups equally?

Jess Remington's avatar image By Jess Remington  

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