News Brief by Katie Campbell
The conflict about the legitimization of sexual orientation just got a little more scientific. Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles have created an algorithm to predict sexual orientation based on epigenetic markers. Tuck C. Ngun, PhD, and his colleagues have been studying DNA methylation, which determines how strongly a gene is expressed, in pairs of identical, male twins. They created an algorithm called FuzzyForest, which uses patterns of DNA methylation, to predict the sexual orientation of the participants. Their algorithm appears to be up to 70 percent accurate, but they are now testing it in a larger population of men. Not much is known about the genetic or molecular bases for sexual attraction, but Ngun hopes this research “helps us understand ourselves better and why we are the way we are."
American Society of Human Genetics. "Epigenetic algorithm accurately predicts male sexual orientation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 October 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151008141634.htm>.