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Recessive gene registry

Knowledge is power
  [vote for,

In the case of certain inheritable diseases, a parent can have only one copy of a recessive disease gene and suffer no ill effects. If they reproduce with a person who also carries that gene, their child stands a 1 in 4 chance of a disabling or fatal disease.

These people should be cautioned away from partnering with people with similar problems lurking in their genes.

P.S. This is not eugenics. These people have billions of potential partners they should reproduce with instead of the few that will cause problems.

P.P.S. This is also the reason for our societal aversion to incest, making it baked on a villiage scale. However, in a modern, well mixed nation sized population, staying away from immediate family members is no longer adequate.

GutPunchLullabies, Jul 16 2004

Dor Yeshorim http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dor_Yeshorim
Anonymous system used to prevent two carriers of a genetic disease marrying amongst Orthodox Jews. [prufrax, Oct 21 2004]

Genetic info database Genetic_20info_20database
Similar concept. [bungston, Mar 22 2006]

Magnets vs. Malaria. http://www.washingt...june00/malaria.html
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Mar 23 2006]


prufrax, Jul 17 2004

       Do you really think that it's going to have an effect on who chooses to love who???
scubadooper, Jul 17 2004

       A lot of people will agree to do this rather than the alternative: disclosure to insurers or to social engineers who will make decisions based on good to society likely to come of such unions. To speak further would be to initiate a flamewar. Also, what [prufax] says to the 100th power.
dpsyplc, Jul 17 2004

       It's not baked. I've never been tested for recessive disease genes.
GutPunchLullabies, Jul 18 2004

       That is exactly the reason eugenics is such a bad idea.   

       The Database, however, does not encourage carriers of recessive mutations not to breed, simply not to breed with each other. All of the participants genes, including the 'defective' ones, are perpetuated as they would normally be.   

       Due to increased fitness of the offspring, these genes are actually more likely to passed on if the registry is used. Think about it.
GutPunchLullabies, Mar 21 2006

       [Bigsleep], from a species point of view, harmful recessives, (as opposed to normal recessives like hair colour), need to be removed or you no longer have survival of the fittest. This has been the case for many generations in man, and as a result we see ever greater numbers of inherited conditions. Medicine keeps individuals alive long enough to reproduce, even though they would have died in other species, preventing the genes being passed on. This makes us weaker as a species.   

       As eugenics is not an option in normal society, GPLs suggestion is a good one, until we have the knowledge to fix inherited conditions at the gene level, and in carriers offspring too. Luckily, these conditions serve to also motivate us to find cures for them, for selfish and altruistic reasons.   

       Finally, potential wonders of mankind are lost every time an egg goes unfertilised or embryo miscarries - we haven't got room for that many combinations of genes (in human form).
Texbinder, Mar 21 2006

       Actually, in some cases recessive lethals, (or genes which are deleterious when homozygous) can be selected for. Typically there is an advantage to the carriers - for example carriers of the gene which causes sickle-cell anaemia are resistant to malaria. Therefore humanity may in fact be stronger for the duration of the assortive mating scheme.
Loris, Mar 22 2006

       Why not consider this: The best way to get genes that work better than the ones we have now may be through these same recessive genes.   

       They may work poorly or not at all with one mutation, and so be selected against unless they can hide out as neutral recessives, diluted in the population.   

       Then, after five or six more mutations, there is randomly created a protein that works better than the original, which then becomes a dominant, useful trait that is strongly selected for.
GutPunchLullabies, Mar 22 2006

       Oh [phlish], you gone and done it now.   

       The PCspeechometer has just returned its first negative value, it seems to originate around here. Did anybody see anything out of the ordinary?
methinksnot, Mar 22 2006

       Of course, this would allow for an informed decision on whether to breed with your brother/sister, instead of bowing to primitive taboos.
spidermother, Mar 23 2006

       /after five or six more mutations/ - you're saying five or six generations of people should live with those recessive conditions? Possibly a bit harsh on them.   

       [Loris] where a recessive condition (like sickle cell) has a survival trait, even though it is harmful to homozygous carriers (well, fatal), it still confers 'fitness' to survive in it's environment for heterozygous carriers, and still follows survival of the fittest. When malaria is finally conquered, it won't have any advantages and should slowly be removed from the gene pool.
Texbinder, Mar 23 2006

       [Texbinder] , I'm saying five or six (hundred?) generations have to live as recessive CARRIERS of the gene before chance will mutate it into something beneficial.
GutPunchLullabies, Mar 23 2006

       Texbinder, I'm not sure what you are trying to say, but you seem a bit confused by the terminology.   

       If a gene is completely recessive, then carriers are phenotypically indistinguishable from homozygous dominants. I'll rephrase that without the terminology : Recessive genes are (typically) non-functional versions. Humans have two copies of almost every gene. Usually, one working copy of a gene is enough.   

       In this context, carriers are those with a hidden copy of a lethal/deleterious/detectable gene. They're perfectly healthy. (Otherwise, the gene cannot be said to be recessive - this effect is called 'co-dominance'.)   

       With your statement addressed to me above, you seem to have failed to grasp that my comment was a counterexample. I'm not sure whether it was to you or a comment which has since been deleted. In any case, in regions with malaria, increasing the number of heterozygous carriers of sickle-cell anaemia would increase overall fitness.
Genes for which heterozygotes are fitter than either homozygote are by no means unusual.

       Perhaps another way you could think about it is that you distinguish between "harmful recessives, (as opposed to normal recessives like hair colour)". Every gene has its context; that is, even though a gene may be favourable in some situations it isn't in all. Blonde hair is a disadvantage in regions with bright sunlight, as it doesn't stop as much UV.
Loris, Mar 23 2006

       //When malaria is finally conquered//   

       MMmmm magnets, is there anything they can't do? [link]   

       Of course there is no longer complete survival of the fittest. Whether you like the idea or not, eugenics is being put to use everyday, even if it begins by a physician's advice to (or not to) breed with sb.   

       And, by the way, a whole lot more problems are due to disease-linked genes that to the fraction of recessive, disease-associated alleles. We do have molecular insights into what is going on below the gene level, so the 'recessive guy is the bad guy' statement is doubtful. Remember most genes can be disrupted with little mutational effort, so living beings are 'living, steadily ammended mistakes', rather than the 'perfect machines' such as those everyone seems to think of here.
mayihave, Aug 28 2007


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