cell biology

| December 3, 2015

A rare condition known as adermatoglyphia leads to such smooth fingertips that the individual has no fingerprints. It has been dubbed the “immigration delay disease” because sufferers have such a hard time entering foreign countries. Recently the cause has been traced to a point mutation in the very first nucleotide of an intron. The allele with this mutation (F) is dominant to the wild type allele (f). The condition also leads to less hand sweat than the average person and researchers think that the gene might help skin cells fold over one another early in fetal development. A woman with adermatoglyphia marries a man with adermatoglyphia (assume both are heterozygous). Why might it be difficult to calculate the probability they will have a child with fingerprints. Consider the genotypes and phenotypes of all potential children and the possible contribution of the gene to early fetal development? (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3155166/ – Amer. J. Hum. Genet. 89, 302�307, 2011. You do not need to consult this reference but you should read a commentary on it http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/08/the-mystery-of-the-missing-fingerprints.html).

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