The Long Terms Effects of Evolution...Take a Chance -Reply

Steven Projan PROJANS at war.wyeth.com
Tue Dec 16 13:35:00 EST 1997

Jabriol wrote:

> so if we get rid..uh.. isolate every hemophiliac in the world, and
> casra...uh
> nuterize them.. would we remove the defective gene

No:  as is the case with most all recessive traits there may be a
slight shift in what is called the "Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium"
(which is reallly for autosomal recessive, not sex linked, traits)
but only to the extent that hemophiliacs now have children (which
accounts for a small percentage of the transmission of the gene). 
This is true even though the defective gene (coding for clotting
factor 8) for most hemophiliacs is found on the X chromosome making
this a "sex linked" characteristic (meaning that male offspring of a
heterozygous mother have a 50% of being hemophiliacs).  

Remember Queen Victoria?  The Tsaravich? Rasputin?  Don't we teach
this stuff in high school anymore?

The only way to remove such a gene from the population is for both
hemophiliacs and carriers of the trait to refrain from procreating. 
While this may sound like a good idea where do we draw the line on
this kind of practice for inherited traits?  Homosexuality? Baldness?
Votes for Republicans?  

Het, I'm a bacteriologist, what do I know?

Steve Projan
Wyeth-Ayerst Labs

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