OK… So They’ve Got A Pill That Can Make You Straight Or Gay… Just Imagine The commercial For THAT One!!.. Better Yet… Imagine How Your Poor Abused Gay Bashing, Yet Closet Queer Senator Will Claim To Have Been Slipped One Whenever He Gets Snagged In A Sting!
Pop a pill and be straight or gay? It’s a lot more exciting, and complicated, than that.
The news last week that scientists induced homosexual courtship in male fruit flies by changing levels of a neuro chemical was greeted with predictable headlines: “Scientists make fruit flies gay, then straight again.” On science blogs, discussion raged about whether this meant that a drug altering sexual orientation would, or should, be developed by the demon Big Pharma. Others trotted out arguments about whether homosexuality was learned or genetic, and about its existence elsewhere in the animal kingdom, and then meandered into why places with large contingents of gays — such as San Francisco and Boulder, Colo. — are usually nice places to live.
By experimenting with altering synapse strength chemically, independent of the mutation, the researchers homed in on exactly what was at work. Manipulating glutamate transmission, they discovered, allowed them to alter — sometimes within hours — whether the flies courted males or females. The altered males interpreted the odors of other flies (the primary come-hither signal) differently from their wild counterparts.
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