In a study, it was found that the gene responsible for activating male development is surprisingly unstable, leaving inconsistencies in the pathway to male sexuality. Normally, in human development certain genes act as master switches that ensure we are born with similar attributes such as one hand, two lungs and 10 fingers. These genes tend to highly reliable and resistant against environmental factors. However, the SRY gene on the Y chromosome has the job to set off the growth of male sex organs in human embryos but if this gene is unstable and fails to fire, it can leave a genetically male embryo to develop as a sterile female. Researchers found that the SRY is highly vulnerable, allowing any interruption to alter male sexual development, which would ultimately lead to a variety of testosterone related male attributes.
I liked this article because I’ve heard of these cases in the past where the female inherits male attributes as an embryo. To realize that it’s the SRY gene that causes this defect is interesting especially because they say it’s very sensitive to environmental factors. It would be nice to see if they would research what exactly these factors are to help prevent this defect from reoccurring in the future.