Journal article

Of sex and determination: marking 25 years of Randy, the sex-reversed mouse

Peter Koopman, Andrew Sinclair, Robin Lovell-Badge

Development | COMPANY OF BIOLOGISTS LTD | Published : 2016


On Thursday 9 May 1991, the world awoke to front-page news of a breakthrough in biological research. From Washington to Wollongong, newspapers, radio and TV were abuzz with the story of a transgenic mouse in London called Randy. Why was this mouse so special? The mouse in question was a chromosomal female (XX) made male by the presence of a transgene containing the Y chromosome gene Sry This sex-reversal provided clear experimental proof that Sry was the elusive mammalian sex-determining gene. Twenty-five years on, we reflect on what this discovery meant for our understanding of how males and females arise and what remains to be understood.