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Medical researchers at Melbourne’s Murdoch Children’s Research Institute have made a new discovery about how a baby’s sex is determined – it’s not just about the X-Y chromosomes, but involves a ’regulator’ that increases or decreases the activity of genes which decide if we become male or female. The study, ‘Human Sex Reversal is caused by Duplication or Deletion of Core Enhancers Upstream of SOX9’ has been published in the journal Nature Communications. MCRI researcher and Hudson Institute PhD student, Brittany Croft, is the first author. “The sex of a baby is determined by its chromosome make-up at conception. An embryo with two X chromosomes will become a girl, while an embryo with an X-Y combination results in a boy,” Ms Croft said. “The Y chromosome carries a critical gene, called SRY, which acts on another gene called SOX9 to start the development of testes in the embryo. High levels ...
Children as young as eight are vulnerable to poor body image as hormone levels rise with the onset of puberty, a new study has found. Dr Elizabeth Hughes, the lead author and a research fellow from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) and the University of Melbourne, said the study explored a link between hormones and body satisfaction in young pre-pubescent children for the first time. The study is based on data from more than 1,100 eight- to nine-year-old girls and boys in Melbourne, collected for MCRI’s Childhood to Adolescence Transition Study. The research, ‘Body Image Dissatisfaction and the Adrenarchal Transition’ is published in the latest issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health. Dr Hughes said the study clearly indicated that there was a need for strategies in schools and at home to help children maintain a positive body image prior to the onset of puberty. She said the study ...