In this case, using injection or genomic editing at the stages of embryo development, it is possible to completely reprogram the sex, which will also affect the primary sexual characteristics. This mechanism can become fixed in the genome, be inherited, and generally replace the Y chromosome if it is lost during the process of human evolution, explained a geneticist, leading researcher at the Institute of General Genetics. N. I. Vavilova RASProfessor of the Department of Genomics and Bioinformatics of the Siberian Federal University (SFU) Konstantin Krutovsky.
“Humans have a chromosomal type of inheritance, but it is very strict. If XY, then it will definitely be a male, if XX, then it will definitely be a female. It has nothing to do with the environment. This kind of ensures that the one to one ratio in this form is always maintained. Although in reality, a little more boys are born for a number of reasons,” says Krutovsky.
However, there is another way to regulate sex – dose. “Poured” more of a certain gene, and a female develops, not a male, or vice versa. In this way, for example, the sex of some turtles is regulated. In warmer conditions, more females are born, and in less warm conditions, males are born. The activity of a specific gene depends on temperature.
According to the professor, it is also possible to artificially regulate sex in humans using a dose effect.
“It will be very easy to regulate, you raise the expression (activity) of one gene, and you start development according to the purely male variant. This can be done in the form of injections and probably maintain this dose for some time, or you can fix an increased dose and make it permanent through genome editing. If this is done in the early stages of development, before puberty, then the girl will no longer develop primary female sexual characteristics, she will not have a vagina and breasts. Development will follow a completely male pattern. Or, on the contrary, you can suppress the activity of certain genes in boys, and development will follow a completely female pattern. This is radically different from today’s picture of transition from one gender to another,” explained Krutovsky.