Sunday, 29 May 2011

I've given up on saying anything's Impossible

Not when it comes to biology, and the science of sex and gender. All I can say is that some things are exceedingly unlikely - but probably inevitable, sooner or later.

Case in point (and thanks to OII science advisor M.Italiano for this one)

A case of combined hermaphroditism and autofertilisation in a domestic rabbit. Frankenhuis et al., Vet Rec. 1990 Jun 16;126(24):598-9
A true hermaphrodite rabbit served several females and sired more than 250 young of both sexes. In the next breeding season the rabbit, which was housed in isolation, became pregnant and delivered seven healthy young of both sexes. It was kept in isolation and when autopsied was again pregnant and demonstrated two functional ovaries and two infertile testes. A chromosome preparation revealed a diploid number of autosomes and two sex chromosomes of uncertain configuration.
The case of Petra Henderson has similarities, but as she lacked all the right equipment after falling pregnant due to botched hernia surgery causing auto-fertilisation, the foetus was re-absorbed.
Instead she was quickly asked to work on various defence products for and with "certain UK employers" including Marconi Space and Defence Systems Ltd., on specialised defence developments and systems from undersea to satellite systems.
She's a friend of mine, though I haven't contacted her recently. And yes, GEC-Marconi was a former employer of mine too, I still have one of their drink mugs.

Of course, I've also worked on "specialised defence developments and systems from undersea to satellite systems". An improbability factor of 8,767,128:1 against.


Major said...

Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem...

Zoe Brain said...

You got the reference! Well done!

Anonymous said...

GEC-Marconi was a former employer for me as well.

Have also been chief systems engineer on a 'special' underwater warfare programme.

Must be something in the water!


Glenn Ingersoll said...

A new meaning to Fuck Like Bunnies, eh?