The Mermaid's Tale
Ken Weiss, Anne Buchanan and Holly Dunsworth blog about human genetics, the genetics of development, epidemiology, paleoanthropology, philosophy of science, academia, and more.
The Mermaid's Tale's Latest Posts
My drawing ability stalled out at the second grade level. To wit, this drawing of an imaginary place that I did in reply to a request from my daughter just 3 months ago. It is embarrassingly bad, and it perfectly illustrates why I didn't draw for my entire life. At least by hand. (What are those green blobs in the pond? Frogs? Lily pads?) Ok, yes, somehow I did manage to produce illustrations for two different, 'serious' books, but I thought of that as 90% Adobe […]
Someone wondered the other day why we keep saying the same thing over and over on our blog. "Ok, ok, we know things are complex, get on with your life." We, of course, wonder why we have to keep repeating ourselves. But his query reminded me that we've dealt with this issue before, so we're rerunning a post from 2012.The Groundhog Day blog?Sometimes it seems that we're posting the same story over and over again. Here are some new study results, here's what the authors say they […]
It was about 70 years ago that the complex problem of anemia, malaria, and genetic interactions, with their relation to hemoglobin was first beginning to be understood. Sickle cell anemia and its association with a globin gene variant, and similar associations between malarial susceptibility and other genes (such as G6PD and Duffy and other globin gene mutations) were also rapidly identified in roughly the same decades. The findings were showing that in areas of the world with […]
What 'causes' cancer? This was a very mysterious disease for a long time, and there were many theories about it. Prominently, in the 1970s or so, a major idea was proposed by Nobel laureate Macfarlane Burnet, an eminent Australian immunologist. The idea was known as the 'forbidden clone' theory and was about autoimmune disease but, more generally, about somatic mutation. The idea of cancer as a somatic mutational disease made sense if cancer arose from single founder […]
Log in to leave a comment