PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Nigel Vivian, a Medical Research Council (MRC) scientist, uses a light microscope to examine a section of the testis of a transgenic, sex- reversed mouse that developed as a male following the injection of a fragment of DNA containing the Sry gene into a chromosomally-female embryo. Joint research by the MRC & Imperial Cancer Research Fund has shown that Sry (sex-determining region-Y gene) is the switch that determines which sexual pathway is taken during the differentiation of an embryo, through inducing sex-reversal in female mice. In mammals, the central event in embryonic sexual development is the differentiation of testes rather than ovaries.
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