Genetics is not Politically Correct

"A good marriage would be between a blind wife and a deaf husband"1Actually, it seems that good marriages occur between a deaf husband and a deaf wife: Such is the attraction that, in the United States, 85% of individuals with profound deafness marry another deaf person. One consequence of this, according to a potentially explosive article in the American Journal of Human Genetics, is that the incidence of nonsyndromic deafness may have increased two-fold over the past 200 years.2The article is

Richard Gallagher
Jun 20, 2004

"A good marriage would be between a blind wife and a deaf husband"1

Actually, it seems that good marriages occur between a deaf husband and a deaf wife: Such is the attraction that, in the United States, 85% of individuals with profound deafness marry another deaf person. One consequence of this, according to a potentially explosive article in the American Journal of Human Genetics, is that the incidence of nonsyndromic deafness may have increased two-fold over the past 200 years.2

The article is labeled "Perspective" and, notably, carries a caution that it represents the authors' opinions and has not been peer reviewed. Authors Walter Nance and Michael Kearsey describe a computer simulation that shows how assortative mating accelerates the genetic response to relaxed selection. In other words, the removal of a strong selective pressure against a particular mutated form of a gene, combined with reproduction by phenotypically...

The Interactome

This issue highlights an emerging tool for functional genomics, the interactome. By mapping protein-protein interactions throughout the cell, scientists are finding functions for novel proteins and learning new roles for known proteins.

In addition to an article on page 18, make sure you get your poster of the Caenorhabditis elegans interactome included in this issue. Highlighting the magnitude of the interactome, as well as how it can be used in systems biology, this poster will make a fine addition to any decor.

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