Shape of the cochlea is a major determinant of identifying sex among individuals

Cochlea, also known as the auditory section of the inner ear does not retain the same shape as from birth, a trait which is common among all individuals, man or woman. Gradually, on the basis of the torsion of the cochlear spiral, its shape differs especially at its tip, on basis of gender of the individual.

The results of these research findings have helped experts in developing a reliable method for sex determination. The results have also helped to determine the study among children and cases where the information on DNA is either missing or is too altered.

Previously, it was nearly impossible to decide the sex of a child based on its skeleton. Among adults it could be identified by studying the pelvis, which was not always preserved. Cochlea, which is one of the hardest bones of the skulls is often discovered at archeological sites. The latest findings hence are beneficial in determining the sex of ancient fossils, in spite of them being immature or fragmentary.

This research published in the journal Scientific Reports was substantially led by a French-South African collaboration. The team involved participation from scientists belonging to CNRS, UT3 Paul Sabatier, and l’Université Clermont Auvergne. Moreover, the study also received funding from CNRS, which is a part of the 80|Prime programme. The programmed is especially designed to support and strengthen the course of interdisciplinary among CNRS institutes.