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Author Topic: What genetic skeletons are we harbouring in the genomic closet?  (Read 3753 times)

Offline taupo19

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Is it theoretically possible that an undiscovered 'weakness' in our genes could lead to the human species demise? Can't think of a good example but say...Males become sterile or some such.

Andy

[PLEASE PHRASE YOUR POST TITLES AS QUESTIONS - THANKS, CHRIS]
« Last Edit: 26/09/2009 20:31:55 by chris »


 

Offline JnA

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Yes... though it's probably less likely genetics but disease that will take us down.


of course that is if we manage to dodge significant meteorite strike, global warming and the sun killing us all.
 

Offline Don_1

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Could our genes lead to our demise? Could they make us sterile?

Hmmm, it is suggested that our jeans can do this, if they are too tight!
 

Offline Dimi

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Females can survive on their own
 

Offline Pwee

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The human Y chromosome is slowly degenerating. I'm not an expert on the subject (please someone elaborate on this), till than, see the wikipedia link
for more information.

 

Offline Nizzle

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Could our genes lead to our demise? Could they make us sterile?

Hmmm, it is suggested that our jeans can do this, if they are too tight!

No, the entire genome is made for one specific purpose, and that is reproduction. All traits that don't directly influence our reproductional success, will influence it indirectly.

It's cruel to say, but the fact that mankind's gene pool quality is deteriorating is solely because we humans, as a species, allow the genetically weak to survive.


Females can survive on their own

What you refer to is parthenogenesis.
This implies that all offspring will be genetic clones of their mothers. Just like inbreeding, the genetic material becomes weaker over time.

In theory, females can survive on their own, but only a limited amount of generations, before all offspring will become so genetically abnormal/weak, that only dead babies will be born.
« Last Edit: 21/09/2009 14:55:02 by Nizzle »
 

Offline Pwee

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Did anyone see this classic: Seksmisja?
I recommend it if you are interested in the parthenogenesis subject.

It's cruel to say, but the fact that mankind's gene pool quality is deteriorating is solely because we humans, as a species, allow the genetically weak to survive.

Who are the genetically weak? The ones who have Down syndrome? The ones who have diabetes? The ones who have depression? What does it mean that our gene pool is deteriorating? What are the symptoms of a deteriorated gene pool? The things that meant a disadvantage in the wild are not necessarily that disadvantageous here and now.
This is a difficult subject indeed.
 

Offline Nizzle

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Who are the genetically weak? The ones who have Down syndrome? The ones who have diabetes? The ones who have depression? What does it mean that our gene pool is deteriorating? What are the symptoms of a deteriorated gene pool? The things that meant a disadvantage in the wild are not necessarily that disadvantageous here and now.
This is a difficult subject indeed.

In my opinion (ergo, not a fact): The genetically weak are those that require more care than the average human of comparable age.
 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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but then, isn't that one of our greatest strengths, doesn't that show that we have survived and adapted amazingly to the world as we are as a species in order to look after unfortunate people?
 

Offline taupo19

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I wouldn't say it's a strength as practicing TLC toward a group/individual works for us as the sick/injured/weak can recover and contribute again. My original question was - theoretically - could something in our genes drive the Human species to extinction - We've branched off into what helps us survive.

A question - do we care for the sick/disabled/weak because we live in the lap of comparitive luxury and so can afford to? If we were a small group suffering hardship I expect the Old/sick/weak would be left out in the 'snow' to die as before. I genuinely think we're just Australopithicines wearing clothes.
 

Offline Pwee

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A question - do we care for the sick/disabled/weak because we live in the lap of comparitive luxury and so can afford to? If we were a small group suffering hardship I expect the Old/sick/weak would be left out in the 'snow' to die as before. I genuinely think we're just Australopithicines wearing clothes.

Peolple always cared for eachother. There are some archeologic evidence that people who suffered serious injuries were cared about and could heal. There were some roles for the old in ancient tribes too.
We are intrinsicly altruistic to some extent, its in our genes.
 

Offline taupo19

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Altruistic? I think there's always a survival reason - without being too cold about it - Annnnyyyway

 Is it possible that there might be a hidden 'bug' in our Genes which will mean we'll fail as a species? I was reading the other day that Homo Sapiens are the only surviving branch of a 'failed' tree what with Homo Erectus, Neanderthal et Al all going the way of the big E. I'm particularly interested in Extinction Events at the moment (I know they were caused by external forces)
 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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of course there is a survival reason, but does that exclude the existence of altruism? nuh-uh.. does it mean it's less special if there is, at the root, a survival mechanism? is sex any less enjoyable when you realise it's evolutionary purpose is to reproduce and pass on genes..?

i don't think we have any inherent weakness in our genetic code that would destabalise the entire race in one go - no magic disease could wipe us out. survival is an arms race, and the best defense against so many weapons is using so many defenses - genetic diversity. as for events like extreme global warming, cooling, destruction, etc.. i don't know. who does?
 

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