a highschool biology student needs your help!

Michelle Facette mfacette at chat.carleton.ca
Tue Mar 19 18:13:26 EST 1996

Wild Dude (wild at epix.net) wrote:
> Dear scientists, teachers, students, and others at bionet.general,
> 	I'm a 16 year old high school biology student. In class, we are
> studying genetics, and your project came up in discussion. I admire
> your work, and wish you well in it. My teacher said, jokingly, that
> she'd give an "A" to anyone who could put together a Punnett Square
> for a human being, showing all chromosomes and possible crosses. I
> know that creating a Punnett Square of this size would be impossible
> to do with a pencil and paper, but I thought that there might be a way
> to do it with a computer. I'd really like to do this, just to see what
> my teacher says about it. Please respond to me by email at
> WILD at EPIX.NET . Thank you VERY much for your valuable time.

> Sincerely,
> Brian Snyder
> wild at epix.net

Just a quick answer:  it's impossible.  Most genes do not
follow basic Mendelian genetics, therefore a Punnett square is not really
applicable.  Not to mention even if all genes followed Mendelian genetics,
all the alleles of each gene are not known.  The human genome is being
sequenced in the big project you've probably heard about, which means
there is a lot of AGATGGATAG.... information but what function is assigned
to each of particular base pair is not really known.  Not to mention that
the human genome is huge.  Anyone who put together a Punnett Square of the
entire human genome would get a lot more than an "A" in biology, although I
bet your high school teacher would be pretty impressed if you did manage to
come with one.

Michelle Facette
mfacette at chat.carleton.ca

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