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Chapter 15

Chapter 15- Human Genetic Diveresity.docx

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McMaster University
Jon Stone

Chapter 15 Human Genetic DiversityExplaining Human Variationwide variation among humansolanguage fashions customs religion technology architecture and other aspects of behavior differ among societiespeoples of the world vary in blood type and the incidence of many genetically transmitted diseasesscientists distinguish two sources of human variation genetic and environmentalgenetic variation differences between individuals that are caused by genes they inherited from their parentsenvironmental variation differences between individuals caused by environmental factors ie climate habitat and competing species on the organisms phenotypesofor humans culture is an important source of environmental variationdifficult to determine relative importance of genetic and environmental influences for particular phenotypic traitsgenetic variation is governed by processes of organic evolution mutation drift recombination and selectionvariation within groups differences between individuals within a given group of peoplevariation among groups differences between entire groups of peopleVariation in Traits Influenced by Single Genescan be certain that variation arises from genetic differences between individualsexample sicklecell anemiaoknow people with this disease are homozygous for a gene that codes for one variant of hemoglobincan prove that traits are controlled by genes at a single genetic locus by showing that their patterns of inheritance conform to Mendels principlesif scientists suspect that a trait is controlled by genes at a single genetic locus they can test this by collecting data on occurrence of trait in familiesif inheritance shows close fit with Mendels principles then we can be confident that traits is affected by a single locusresearch on genetic basis of a language disorder called specific language impairment SLIotrouble learning to speakorun in families but genetic basis of condition is unclear in most areasosome cases of SLI are caused by a dominant allele at a single genetic locusobecause SLI is rare in population as a whole the HardyWeinberg equations tell us that almost all ALI sufferers will be heterozygotes1
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