Rationalising a fictional phenotype

Ian McDonald mcdonald at bsm.biochemistry.ucl.ac.uk
Mon Aug 15 03:49:39 EST 1994


I think this is the right newsgroup for this question.  If it isn't, then by
all means tell me where to go.

A group of us, especially those with some sort of Molecular Biology or Genetics
background, are debating the genetics of 'Garou' over on alt.games.whitewolf.
The people who wrote up this fictional phenotype had no real background in
genetics, but made various aspects of its phenotype hereditary through both 
parents.

This is all to do with a game.  It's a bit of fun and I'm throwing it open to you
guys in case you can think of a way round it.

This is the problem.

1.  There are three phenotypes.  "Garou", who express the major characteristics
of the phenotype and are healthy, "Metis", who express the major characteristics
but are sterile and usually suffer other genetic diseases such as Albinism or
Dwarfism and "Kinfolk" who do not express the major characteristics but express
some minor ones.

2.  "Metis" are only produced when two "Garou" mate.

3.  Matings between "Garou" and wild-types produce 10% "Garou".  A high
proportion of the other children are "Kinfolk"

4.  Matings between two "Kinfolk", or a "Kinfolk" and a wild-type produce "Garou"
less often, and frequently produce "Kinfolk".

We have found it quite difficult, in particular, to justify the "Metis" phenotype.
The idea of a collection of genes where a few trigger "Kinfolk" and many trigger
"Garou" seems workable, but we haven't looked at it too closely.

Ian McDonald
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department, UCL




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