Thursday, March 24, 2005

Wired News: Mendel's Law May Be Flawed

I heard this story on NPR yesterday and in Wired today. If genetics are not what we think they are, what does that say about our use of gentics to make medical decisions? Til we nail this down, how can we ethically make life and death decisions based on genetics?

Wired News: Mendel's Law May Be Flawed: "Challenging a scientific law of inheritance that has stood for 150 years, scientists say plants sometimes select better bits of DNA in order to develop normally even when their predecessors carried genetic flaws.

The conclusion by Purdue University molecular biologists contradicts at least some basic rules of plant evolution that were believed to be absolute since the mid-1800s, when Austrian monk Gregor Mendel experimented with peas and saw that traits are passed on from one generation to the next. Mendelian genetics has been the foundation of both crop hybridization and the understanding of basic cell mutations and trait inheritance."
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