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Female mouse embryos actively remove male reproductive systems

(NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences) A protein called COUP-TFII determines whether a mouse embryo develops a male reproductive tract, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health and their colleagues at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. The discovery, which appeared online August 17 in the journal Science, changes the long-standing belief that an embryo will automatically become female unless androgens, or male hormones, in the embryo make it male.
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