Wednesday, 16 December 2009

FOX and SOX

Well, FOXL2 and SOX9 anyway.

Some correspondence from Dr Syd Ecker, MD, regarding some previous posts and this article from the Times:
Hi Zoe,

Read your recent exchange with Gold and noticed that you quoted me. The older or very old generation just does not get it because of their upbringing and all they have experienced. It's obvious that he is not current on the science of Intersex and Transgenderism. So we can keep throwing out facts or science and a few people will get it. Even the recent leaders of NGLTF do better.

Now here is my take on the recent accomplishments in genetics. The newspapers again confuse Gender and Sex despite our best efforts. You just keep throwing out all those facts and by the time you're as old as Gold, people will listen. So regarding the article, which I have read and reread.

The importance of this work is best expressed in its title "Somatic Sex Reprogramming of Adult Ovaries to Testes by FOXL2 Ablation". Now they were looking at the ovaries of very specialized mice cross-bred for very specific genes. These were no ordinary mice.

But when we think about adult human ovaries producing testosterone, I think about the genetic changes in women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, where the adult ovaries produce excessive testosterone and decreased ovulation because of fewer follicles. Similar to what they saw in mice. Now these women have not experienced any gender dysphoria, but have developed male secondary sex characteristics, like increased facial hair. But the fact that the authors have localized and repressed a single gene FOXL2, which can do this is remarkable. Actually it appears to affect messenger RNA in the cell, while the gene is in your DNA.

Now this paper says "seems to", "we speculate", and "could" at least 6 times and to extend this to human function and gender is more than anticipation, it's speculation. The use of the words "gene therapy" in the newspaper is so far from reality at this time, that I can't imagine what they are talking about. Now the fact that this trans-repression of one of the genes, FOXL2 and SOX9, are in balance for a lifetime is an important finding. They did an experiment to rule out the effect (of) Tamoxifen on Estrogen receptor and many other things to narrow their point. It's all very interesting but has no relation to "Brain Gender Identity", where your gender is the opposite of your sex. When they look at mouse brains, then we can talk. But the genetics of sex differentiation are quickly coming together. I'll keep reading.

Best and Happy Holidays, Dr. Ecker
It bears repeating: I've met some truly remarkable people as the result of my peculiar transition.

Another remarkable person is Antonia D'Orsay - "Dyssonance" - whose article at Bilerico entitled What is Sex? is an excellent exposition on the subject. As they say, RTWT - Read The Whole Thing.

1 comment:

Shaded Spriter said...

Now this paper says "seems to", "we speculate", and "could" at least 6 times

I had assumed that but I was waiting for one of the skeptical blogs to pick it up and confirm this to me.

Just found your blog from a link in the Ron Gold comments. Glad you are showing him the science.