Genes linked to homosexuality discovered by scientists

Genes linked to homosexuality discovered by scientists, by Sarah Knapton.

Genes linked to homosexuality have been discovered by scientists in the biggest ever study into the genetic basis for sexual orientation.

For the first time, researchers looked at the complete genome – a person’s entire DNA code – for more than 1,000 gay men and compared it to genetic data from a similar number of heterosexual males.

They discovered that DNA was different for gay and straight men around the genes SLITRK5 and SLITRK6.

SLITRK6 is an important gene for brain development, and is particularly active in a region of the brain which includes the hypothalamus.

The hypothalamus is crucial for producing the hormones which control sex drive, and previous studies have shown parts of it are up to 34 per cent larger in gay men.

The researchers, from North Shore University Health System’s Research Institute, in Illinois, US, also discovered differences in the TSHR gene, which is linked to the thyroid, another area which has previously been associated with sexual orientation. …

However British experts said more work was needed before it was possible to identify ‘gay genes’ because the genetic differences could point to other traits shared by the homosexual respondents. For example the variations may simply predispose people to be more open or candid about their lives.