Apr 25, 2010

DNA Testing/Character Resemblance

*Note: the picture on the left has nothing to do with DNA testing, I just thought it was great! :-)

So, you're doing your character sketch and wondering about the genetics of recessive eye coloring. You have two people with blue eyes, so what color would the babies be? Blue. Why? Blue is a recessive gene. In order to disrupt the blue gene, you need to sprinkle in a dominant color, i.e. brown. The scientific explanation is below:

This is the simplest case of dominance. The allele that produced the working protein would be dominant over the allele that produced the defective protein. Individuals with two copies of the working allele and individuals with one copy of the working and one copy of the defective allele would both be able to produce working protein. Only individuals with two copies of the defective allele would be unable to produce working protein. The allele that produces this defective protein would be recessive to the allele that produces the functional protein.

Dominance can also be produced by other differences between the protein products of alleles - a recessive allele does not mean a defective gene product. Dominant and recessive should be taken only as descriptions of the expression of alleles, and not given any value judgement. Blue eyes are not worse than green or brown eyes.

Dominant and recessive flavors of genes and the presence of genes on chromosomes that come in pairs can explain the eye color inheritance patterns described here (but remember that there is more to human eye color inheritance than the simple two gene model described here).

The bey2 gene has two flavors - brown is dominant over blue. Each individual has two copies of this gene, each can be one of the flavors. The possible allele combinations for the bey2 gene are: brown-brown, brown-blue, and blue-blue. Of these three, the brown-brown and brown-blue combinations will both produce brown eyes, as brown is dominant over blue. Only the blue-blue combination will produce blue eyes.

But there is a second common gene for eye color - the gey gene. It also has two flavors - green is dominant over blue. In addition, a green allele of gey is dominant over a blue allele of bey2 and recessive to a brown allele of bey. Thus the alleles of the two genes have a dominance hierarchy - bey2-brown is dominant over everything else, gey-green is dominant over bey2-blue and gey-blue but recessive to bey2-brown, and both of the blues are recessive to everything else. Thus the bey2 (brown/blue) gene might be better thought of as the brown/non-brown gene.

To tie this into a nice easy explanation, let us try...

Chromosomes are long, stringy aggregates of genes that carry heredity information. They are composed of DNA and proteins and are located within the nucleus of our cells. Chromosomes determine everything from hair color and eye color to sex.

Human genetics. A discipline concerned with genetically determined resemblances and differences among human beings. In normal humans, the nucleus of each normal cell contains 46 chromosomes, which comprise of 23 different pairs.

The final piece of the story (and remember, it is just a story, there are more than just these two genes involved in eye color inheritance) is that a child gets one chromosome of each pair from each parent. The bey2 gene is on chromosome 15. A parent with brown-blue alleles of the bey2 gene has a pair of chromosome 15s, with the brown allele on one and the blue allele on the other. This parent could give either the chromosome bearing the brown allele or the chromosome bearing the blue allele to a child. A child with brown-blue alleles of the bey2 gene got the brown allele (and one copy of chromosome 15) from one parent, and the blue allele (and the other copy of chromosome 15) from the other parent.

If you are looking for those dominant traits, check the simple inheritance patterns.
A few dominant traits are: Widow's peak, facial dimples, unattached earlobe, cleft chin, brunette iris, color vision, brunette hair, normal nose, ability to roll tongue, normal pinkies, normal thumb, freckles and wet-type earwax.

Science, don't cha just luv it? Enjoy those critical character items.

Apr 6, 2010

A New Outlook or...Never Stop Learning

Yes sir ree! I ate lotsa goodies for Easter. Peeps - I sure love them peeps. Not so much them green ones, they just don't look quite right. Wish it had been prettier weather. Would have liked to catch me some of them cute little bunnies...I mean Easter eggs, yeah-wrangle me up a mess of good looking, pretty, colorful Easter eggs. That's Right!!

Hope everyone had a great Easter. My husband and I enjoyed "The Blind Side" Easter Sunday afternoon and I must say, that was a very good movie. I love Sandra Bullock. Have watched almost all of her movies, but I don't really see 'award winner' here. Her role, (don't get me wrong) was great. A hard nosed, do as I say, yet big heart'ed Christian woman is truly outside of my expertise. I'm just saying that Tim McGraw, Kathy Bates and Quinton Aaron did a fantastic job as well. Bravo to all. I especially loved the little brother-what a kid!

On to the importance of my blogging. Writing. My passion, my reason for getting up every morning (other than lounging around in my jammies with a great excuse). I have been spending a huge amount of my time, learning. That's right. One of the most important aspects of writing is 'always learning.'

Learning how to form a sentence. Learning to draw a picture with words and learning how to mold a character into someone a reader can love or hate. It's not that easy. When I started writing, I thought - Gee, how tough could this be? I graduated from high school, so easy, breezy. Poo!

Hello, can you say 'draw' not 'tell'. Show the reader exactly what you see. Wow, that's hard. I see everything in my mind. I see the oak tree blooming right above the young lovers heads. Yeah, I can see that soft glow of color waiting to shout, I'm here! A tiny tinge of green waiting to burst out into a full leafy bloom. But, how important is that?

Well, let's see: Young Lovers beneath a tree in early spring have the crisp clean air around them. The birds that have been gone since winter are back, chirping and hopping from limb to limb. The tree is coming alive, her leaves are just at the edge of unfolding into brand new bright green. All of that plays a big part in, let's say, their first kiss. The gentle breeze brushes her hair aside as his hand gently cups her cheek. The song of the birds seem to serenade as he leans his head into hers. There lips touch once, twice, before opening up, unfolding like the leaves. It's all new. A new season, a new birth, a new relationship.

Oh, and don't forget the ground, the grass, the flowers...or the sky, the bright blue, puffy white clouds, the sun shinning down and warming up what was recently frozen. It all adds to the couple. It isn't just a boy and a girl tenderly kissing for the first time. It's the whole picture. Major drawing, not just telling.

Every book I've picked up for the last few months, I'm sorry; but happy to say, has been a how to, smooth out your craft. And I really think that this Paranormal YA and Contemporary Romance writing chick is starting to GET IT!!! Soon, Excuse Me, Did you say Feta Cheese, will be done and on it's glorious way to find a agent to room with. :-0

Here's to the future start of another fun book.