helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

  • Mood:

big load of "Ask a Geneticist" links

Argh, I just had to have a bloody great rant at someone on irc. Apparently she's been taught in a college-level biology course that Asians do not lack the mutation that allows adult mammals to digest milk, they merely "allow their bodies to stop producing it because they stop eating it, so their body stops producing the enzyme". This, in my opinion, is bollocks, because as anyone who hung out with me in college will attest, I ate pints and pints of ice cream every week, as well as huge hot chocolates from Starbucks every day as soon as Starbucks first appeared in London!

Anyway, finding real science from reputable sources led me to this site, and I've just spent about 2 hours reading various questions on it. I've ordered these links in approximate order of scientific understanding needed - later links are harder, generally.

The answer to my lactose intolerance question.

Are scientists weakening the gene pool for the human race? Is modern medicine causing a build up of bad genes?. Absolutely riveting answer which includes the famous peppered moth example only in a new light.

The genetic differences of dogs and wolves. Because we all love arguing with creationists.

The real genetics of eye colour, or why everything you're taught at school is rubbish. I do actually tell my students that the blue eye/brown eye gene idea is oversimplified. I'm gratified that most of them realise that for themselves and ask me about it. Also, some more on the same theme.

My sister married my husband's brother. We are all curious about how related our children will be. Absolutely fascinating answer which includes things like the fact identical twins are not 100% genetically identical, and that human beings start out with a single cell and end up with somewhere around 50 or 100 trillion cells.

About neurofibromatosis and why 50% of cases are new mutations, not inherited from parents.

The rules of blood group inheritance, including how it is, occasionally, possible for an O parent to have an AB child.

I recently read that the male Y chromosome used to have 1,438 genes, and only has 45 now. If the chromosome continues to degrade, are men going to go extinct? Also discusses recombination.

I read that many bony fish change sex throughout their life-spans. How does changing sex impact their DNA? Were they born with both X and Y chromosomes or somehow they were changed when the sex was changed? About how other species determine sex.

About mitochondrial DNA, which I didn't know much about, including aging and disorders that are likely to be caused by damaged mitochrondria.

About Fragile X, premutation and mutation. Also includes colour blindness.

I also found a fascinating article about 'vanishing' twins, twins who appear on early ultrasound scans but disappear before the follow-on scan a couple of months later, and the possible implications for surviving co-twins. Warning: contains text and photos that might be triggery.

Now to try to get done everything else I was supposed to be doing, before I got distracted ;)
Tags: links, science

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