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Gene Determination - Essay Example

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Birth defect of the sex organs that result in a problem with assigning a definite sex to a newborn child is known as Ambiguous Genitalia or Atypical Genitalia. This condition is said to occur in about one in every 3,000 live births and is characterized by the presence of either a combination of male and female external genitalia…
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Gene Determination
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Download file to see previous pages Thus “for normal genital development, the gender 'message' must be communicated from the sex chromosomes to the gonads. The gonads must then manufacture appropriate hormones and the genital tissues and structures have to respond to these hormones. Any deviations along the way can cause ambiguous genitalia”. Some of the more specific causes of atypical genitalia that have been highlighted include androgen insensitivity. This is a genetic defect. It is characterized by the fetal tissues insensitivity to male androgen hormones. In this case, the baby could be a male but develops female genitalia due to the gonads insensitivity to the influences and control of the male hormone. For example, a newborn may have some of the female reproductive organs but also have testicles. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) - an inherited condition that affects hormone production. A child with CAH lacks particular enzymes, and this deficiency triggers the excessive manufacture of male hormones. In this case, a female may be born with what appears to be male genitalia due to the excessive male hormones.
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The gonads must then manufacture appropriate hormones and the genital tissues and structures have to respond to these hormones. Any deviations along the way can cause ambiguous genitalia" (Birth Defects, 2005). Some of the more specific causes of atypical genitalia that have been highlighted include:
Androgen Insensitivity: This is a genetic defect. It is characterized by the fetal tissues insensitivity to male androgen hormones. In this case, the baby could be a male but develops female genitalia due to the gonads insensitivity to the influences and control of the male hormone. For example, a newborn may have some of the female reproductive organs but also have testicles.
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) - an inherited condition that affects hormone production. A child with CAH lacks particular enzymes, and this deficiency triggers the excessive manufacture of male hormones. In this case, a female may be born with what appears to be male genitalia due to the excessive male hormones.
Sex Chromosome anomaly: Instead of the normal XX or XY chromosomal combination, an embryo may have a mixture of both or the misplacement of some genes in one of the chromosomes. A particular example of this is the gene known as WNT-4 on chromosome 1. It has been established that second copy of this gene could result in problems with sexual differentiation of a baby (UCLA geneticists, 2001; Committee on Genetics, 2000; Birth Defects, 2005).
Q2.
It could be possible that Dawn Simmons conceived and had a child. A reasonable explanation for this would be that, Dawn Simmons was actually a female at birth that suffered Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH). As explained above, this condition, during embryonic development, is ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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