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Inbreeding infor please!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I dont know where exactly to put this but I dont think it would be appropriate anywhere else. Genetics really fascinate me. Mainly though, the freaky things (im a freak my self...lol). Im interested in the effects of inbreeding in humans. I've studied the inbreeding of the white tigers for some time and want to move to something new.

I dont mean higher risk of Down Syndrome or whatever but the effects of long term severe inbreeding. I know there is a tribe of Africans who is prohibited by law to marry outside of the tribe and one of the deformities is what is called 'Ostrich feet' where there toes and/or hands are extremely deformed.

If anyone has any information/opinions I would really appreciate it!
post #2 of 5
No info, solidly, but for a very very long time royal families were inbred (and had a very high incidence of hemophilia as a result). Also, some tight-knit religious communities who will not marry outside the group face being increasingly inbred because of dwindling populations. Here's a link:http://www.as.wvu.edu/~kgarbutt/Quan...ing_Humans.htm
Try searching for consanguinity rather than inbreeding, as that is the more academic term for it in humans.
post #3 of 5
Lets see if I can still give the "Genetics TA" rundown of inbreeding....

Everyone in the world carries with them a few of what are termed "recessive mutations". So these are mutated genes that don't show any affect as long as there is a normal copy of the gene to go along with it - we can call that Aa. Big A is normal and little a is mutated. As long as you have a big A, then you're fine, but when you get two little a's, you would show symptoms of some disease. Ordinarily, everyone has different mutations in their genome, and so its a very rare event for any two of the same mutated copies to come together and form a disease. However, when you inbred, you in essence concentrate those bad genes - since each of your kids inherits one copy of each of your genes, if those kids were to interbreed or their kids, it becomes more and more likely that two copies of the same mutation will come together.

So in essence, this is what happened in the African tribe you mentioned, as well as the European royal families and the Egyptian royal families, among others. I know the Europeans were well known for having children who were hemophiliacs (blood can't clot) as well as other issues.

For more information on cases of inbreeding, try looking up terms like "founder effect" and genetic "bottlenecks". I might be able to look up specific examples later, but there are some interesting cases out there...For instance, there's a population of people somewhere where its perfectly normal for "girls" to become boys when they hit their teenage years due to some genetic abnormality, and another island where a very rare form of colorblindness affects something like 1 in 4 of the inhabitants. I'll try and find more info for you later!
post #4 of 5
Another item to look up is the island chain of Tristan da Cunha (Tristan de Cunha?) -- because of the area's remoteness and isolation, the people who live there are fairly closely related (not so close as to be siblings or first cousins, but second or third cousins do marry and produce offspring) and suffer higher instances of things like glaucoma, asthma and so on. We studied Tristan da Cunha in a soft [read: "bird course"] genetics course I took in university, and from what I remember, there's something like 280 people sharing 7 surnames! It's nothing so severe as the European royal families or how the Egyptians often married brother to sister to preserve the divine bloodlines, but it's an interesting incident of what is not quite inbreeding. (And it's still ongoing: although people do leave Tristan da Cunha to find spouses -- or just to move away, period -- and of course new people move to the islands and start families, a lot of the population has no desire to leave, so cousins are still marrying cousins and having children.
post #5 of 5
That's the name of one of the islands I was thinking about! I just couldn't remember it while I was at work.
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