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Biology Class Extra Credit

Biology Class Extra Credit

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Published by Scott

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Published by: Scott on Apr 07, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Simpson Gene:
Homer has the defective Simpson gene located on the Y-chromosome. The Simpson 'gene' is actually an allelic anomaly that exertsphenotypic dominance over its counterpart locus on the X-chromosome donatedby his mother, regardless of the fact that they are non-homologous. Because it isa dominant allele in this hemizygous condition, the exceptional intelligence thatwould result from the expression of the allele on the X chromosome is repressed. This repression allows for the expression of only the Simpson 'gene' and causesmental inertia to begin at approximately age 8 and continue to increase inseverity until adulthood when it plateaus. Homer's intelligence is thereforenaturally below average due to his genetic condition, but his years of work at thenuclear plant have mutated his Y-chromosome and have rendered his Simpsonallele inactive. This grants him not only normal intelligence but exceptionalintelligence (facilitated by the unblocked allele locus on his X-chromosomeinherited from his mother). This intelligence, however, is not expressed becauseof a crayon lodged in the frontal lobe of his forebrain (a key area of regulation forcognition and behavior) since he was a child( But he could not have been toosmart when he was child to put crayons up his nose). It had been removed,revealing his extra-ordinary intelligence but he insisted it be re-lodged to restorehim to normal social status of moron, rather than "nerdy genius".
All Blue-Eyed People Share A Common Ancestor:
A University of Copenhagen team has identified the gene which around 6-10,000 years agounderwent a genetic mutation in one individual who eventually gave rise to allblue-eyed people.Professor Eiberg from the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine beganhis research in 1996, when he "first implicated the OCA2 gene as beingresponsible for eye colour", as ScienceDaily puts it. Over the next decade, he andhis colleagues "examined mitochondrial DNA and compared the eye colour of blue-eyed individuals" in countries including Denmark, Jordan and Turkey.Eiberg explained: “Originally, we all had brown eyes. But a genetic mutationaffecting the OCA2 gene in our chromosomes resulted in the creation of a 'switch',which literally 'turned off' the ability to produce brown eyes."Specifically, ScienceDaily explains, the OCA2 gene "codes for the so-called Pprotein, which is involved in the production of melanin". The “switch”, located inthe gene adjacent to OCA2, doesn't turn off the gene entirely, but "limits its actionto reducing the production of melanin in the iris", thus “diluting” brown eyes toblue. That the switch doesn't entirely disable the OCA2 gene is significant, because acomplete shut-down of melanin production would result in albinism. The proof that all blue-eyed people have a common ancestor comes from the factthat whereas eye colours ranging from brown to green are caused by relativelylarge differences in the amount of melanin in the iris, controlled by "considerableindividual variation" in the area of the DNA responsible for melanin production,the variation in iris melanin levels across all blue-eyed individuals is very small.Eiberg elaborated: “From this we can conclude that all blue-eyed individuals are

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