17 September 1998
Could you choose the sex of your calves?

SCIENTISTS in the United States believe they have discovered the technology to do what farmers have wanted for thousands of years – control the sex of their animals.

Experts at XY Inc, based at Fort Collins in Colorado, have just completed the first successful experiment in “pre-selecting” the sex of horses.

The technique involves a machine called a flow cytometer. This separates sperm containing an X chromosome, which would produce a female embryo, from those containing a smaller male Y chromosome.

The technique was originally developed by the US Department of Agriculture, but was too slow. The scientists have now speeded up the process.

  • The Guardian 17/09/98 page 8/9 (Guardian Online)