genetics (non-linguistic aside)

Michael Covarrubias mcovarru at PURDUE.EDU
Thu Apr 29 19:58:23 UTC 2010

On Apr29, 2010, at 3:34 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> At 4/29/2010 02:59 PM, Alison Murie wrote:
>> Women carry the gene; men express it.
> Alison,
> Can you remind me how a gene carried by only one gender becomes
> "expressed" in the other?  (I assume that if (only) women carry the
> gene, it must be in the Y chromosome.)
> Joel

i believe the theory was that the x chromosome carried the gene, and since a Y chromosome from father meant the child would be male, the trait had to be inherited from the mother. so the son could have the gene in the X chromosome, but could not pass it on to a son; only to a daughter.

i believe more recent study has tempered the claim, suggesting that both mother and father contribute to the trait.

i have definitely inherited a hairline that resembles my father's, one of his brother's, and their father's scalp. and looks nothing like my mother's father's, or any of his other grandchildren's.

but i'll assert nothing, and say nothing more on the subject, as my understanding of genetics goes little beyond the old brown-eye/blue-eye charts and the attached/detached earlobe project i did with my family tree. in high school.


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