Thursday, March 16, 2017

Medicowesome secret project: Embryo – Male or female?

What is the secret project? How can I participate?
Name: Afees Ahmed
Passion: Reading about religion

What determines the future sex of the developing embryo? It seems a fairly simple question to answer, the genetic constitution of the embryo at the time of fertilization! If a sperm containing Y chromosome fuses with an Ovum containing X chromosome (ovum always has X chromosome), sex chromosomal constitution becomes XY, and thus A BOY is born! Whereas, if a sperm containing X chromosome fuses with Ovum which is always X, the constitution becomes XX and it's a girl!

But recently I stumbled upon a saying by Prophet Muhammad, that the sex of the embryo is determined between 40-45 days of gestation. To a common man, it may seem contradicting to what we mentioned in the beginning. But as person who considers the sayings of Prophets (Whether it be Jesus, Moses, Buddha or Krishna - Considering them to be messengers of peace and love) to transcend time, it had to be true.

It must be surprising to know that after fertilization the embryo is sexually indifferent up to a certain period of gestation. Then a gene called SRY (Sex determining region) is activated. This gene is located in the short arm of Y chromosome (Yp). It codes for a protein called SRY protein (or Testis determining factor TDF). This protein further activates certain genes that causes development of male genital organs. While in absence of SRY protein, female genital organs develop and believe it or not, the SRY gene is activated at 6 weeks, i.e. 42 days to be precise.

Thus something that was mentioned centuries before, that was not accepted by the science of that age, is confirmed by the science of today.

Science changes with time but it's interesting how old foretold facts stand true over the course of time! :D

Happy learning!


  1. I suppose to this ahadith from Sahih Muslim

    1. Yes , it's from Saheeh Muslim - a collection of sayings of the Prophet


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