By Philip R Reilly
Twenty-four precise, wide-ranging stories of crime, heritage, human habit, disease, and ethics, advised from the private point of view of the writer, an eminent physician-lawyer who makes use of the tales to demonstrate the foundations of human genetics. Philip Reilly makes use of those tales to demonstrate the foundations of human genetics and to debate the wider matters.
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Additional info for Abraham Lincoln’s DNA and Other Adventures in Genetics
Women have two X chromosomes and men have one X and one Y chromosome. The Y chromosome transmits the gene that determines maleness, but compared to the much larger X chromosome, it has relatively few genes. The consequences of this for the two sexes are immense. If a girl inherits an X chromosome with a potentially harmful recessive gene, it is almost certain that the comparable gene on her other X chromosome will protect her from it. If a boy inherits an X chromosome with a harmful gene, there is no corresponding gene on his Y chromosome to counter its effects, and he will become ill.
But if Mendel’s work is tainted, it can only mean that he somehow deduced the theory of particulate inheritance and then sought physical evidence to support it, which is even more impressive. For, unlike most scientific advances, there is no evidence that his discovery was guided by the work of others. There is simply no published literature on particulate inheritance remotely close to Mendel’s work until his findings were rediscovered independently in 1900 by three botanists, an event that launched modern genetics.
If so, Henri had a fairly good chance (family studies put the risk to sons of affected parents at about 10%) of himself suffering from this disorder, an illness that drives many persons to alcohol abuse. Severe alcohol abuse is encountered more often among those with bipolar disorder than among persons who suffer from depression. Perhaps the TO U LO U S E-LAUTR E C ■ 37 Toulouse-Lautrecs were driven to drink in part to cope with the genetic burden of madness. If so, Henri’s alcoholism was not necessarily a response to having inherited the two defective cathepsin K genes that destined him to suffer from pycnodysostosis.
Abraham Lincoln’s DNA and Other Adventures in Genetics by Philip R Reilly
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