Alan J. Robinson
robin073 at maroon.tc.umn.edu
Sat Sep 23 08:35:56 EST 1995
On Fri, 22 Sep 1995 18:50:32 GMT,
Eric Wassermann <ewass at codon.nih.gov > wrote:
>That's why I love usenet. You learn something new every day.
It's like sex education, Eric - there are many modalities of
instruction - just think of Usenet as like learning about sex on the
playground at school.
It's really quite surprising how many leading biomedical scientists
don't understand that diseases like manic depression are polygenic.
In Feb of 1994 I wrote a letter about the Dana Consortium research
into the genetics of manic depression to Koshland at Science and
copied a whole bunch of people including Watson. I tried to point out
nicely that didn't know what the <expletive deleted> they were doing.
I didn't expect them to print my letter, and they didn't.
But several months later a whole special issue of Science appeared on
the Genetics of Behavior (Science 264 Jun 17), and it answered
a number of my criticisms, even down to using unique terminology that
I had used in my letter. In one article they refered to the classical
model of genetic disorders as the OGOD model - one gene, one disease -
I didn't realize until yesterday that the acronym had another meaning
There are several basic results which quite clearly show the polygenic
nature of these disorders - the concordance rate for manic depression
in identical twins (80%) is much higher than the rate for fraternal
twins (20%); monoamine oxidase levels (which are correlated with
many disorders) are under the control of at least 5 genetic loci; the
nervousness trait in mice is under the control of at least 3
loci (just published in Science).
PS: I always thought the "hands on" lab work was the best part of sex
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