Do you eat fruits and vegetables? How about a papaya? Are you eating a male, female or a hermaphrodite papaya?
It is important to know that, "Scientists are preparing to perform a sex change operation on the fruit papaya".
According to the Mother Nature Network:
"We're going to change the sex of the papaya to help the farmers," said University of Illinois plant biology professor Ray Ming, leader of a new initiative to assist farmers who are frustrated with the bizarre sexual evolution of the papaya.
Papayas already come in three sexual varieties: male, female and hermaphrodite, but it is only the hermaphrodite varieties that produce the succulent fruit that is sold commercially. The problem for farmers is that seeds from hermaphrodite varieties don't always produce more hermaphrodites, and it is impossible to tell the sex of a seed until it has grown up and flowered.
The complicated sex life of the papaya is about to get even more interesting, thanks to a $3.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant will fund basic research on the papaya sex chromosomes and will lead to the development of a papaya that produces only hermaphrodite offspring, an advance that will enhance papaya health while radically cutting papaya growers' production costs and their use of fertilizers and water.
If a grant can be set aside to research hermaphrodite offspring’s for $3.1 million, just imagine how much a grant would cost to research the hermaphrodite offspring in humans.