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No. 116: Mar-Apr 1998

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The Ultimate In Unisex

At the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, doctors have been examining a "boy" with an ovary and a fallopian tube instead of a left testicle. Part of "his" body's cells are male (one X and one Y chromosome), part female (two X chromosomes). This hermaphrodite-like condition apparently developed because "he" was conceived via in vitro (IVF) fertilization. Probably both a male embryo and a female embryo were transferred to "his" mother's uterus, where they fused and formed a single fetus.

(Anonymous; "Two into One," New Scientist, p. 21, January 24, 1998. Cited source: The New England Journal of Medicine, 338:166, 1997.)

Comments. We have already cataloged two similar conditions:

  1. Human blood-chimeras, where one person has two types of blood due to the absorption of one fetus by its twin, each having different blood types. (BHC15 in Biological Anomalies: Humans II)
  2. Birds that are female on one side and male on the other (bilateral gynandromorphism). (BBA1 in our forthcoming Biological Anomalies: Birds)

From Science Frontiers #116, MAR-APR 1998. 1998-2000 William R. Corliss