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From: maa32 <maa32@dana.ucc.nau.edu>
Subject: genetics and me
Date: Tue, 08 Jan 2002 22:33:07 -0700

And, in case my vast knowledge of genetics surprised any of you, I really do 
have an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Notre Dame ... 
Unfortunately, I got tired of lab work and no longer do anything related to 
A bottleneck effect occurs when a population is stuck in a small area and 
their is no new genetic material that comes in, increasing the frequency of 
some mutations since recessives eventually meet.  The post-flood Urth would 
have experienced just such a limiting of available creatures and land mass, 
leaving only a little room for variation in the creatures.  In a small 
population like that, mutations can occur at a highly accelerated rate, 
possibly evolving into a species that can no longer breed with the original in 
a comparitively small number of generations.  
Interestingly enough, when you hybridize two plants, you often get a doubling 
of chromosomes (but not always a doubling of expression, of course)
A genome that contains three or more full copies of the haploid chromosome 
number are polyploid. As a general rule polyploids can be tolerated in plants, 
but are rarely found in animals. One reason is that the sex balance is         
important in animals and variation from the diploid number results in 
sterility. Those few animals, such as brine shrimp,that avoid the hazards of 
polyploidy, utilize parthenogenesis, the development of the an individual from 
an egg without fertilization, to initiate embryo development. In light of 
this, let's go back and examine in chapter 17 (or was it 19?) in Return to the 
Whorl in which the mating habits of the inhumu are discussed at such great 
length as if they were important.  Maybe they are.  I think Gene knows all 
this stuff.  He is the master.  The life of Blue has been mutated from plants, 
and the genetics of plants account for the doubling of limbs.  Alleluia.  I 
have done it.

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