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Purple Orchids and Muggleborn Wizards: A Theory of Wizard Genetics



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  #1  
Old May 13th, 2006, 4:50 pm
blaqlives  Female.gif blaqlives is offline
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Purple Orchids and Muggleborn Wizards: A Theory of Wizard Genetics

Discussion of the editorial Purple Orchids and Muggleborn Wizards: A Theory of Wizard Genetics by T Brightwater.


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  #2  
Old May 13th, 2006, 6:10 pm
Dumbledoresgal7  Female.gif Dumbledoresgal7 is offline
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Re: Purple Orchids and Muggleborn Wizards: A Theory of Wizard Genetics

omg thats so confusing and i dont get it at all! but it's well written.


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  #3  
Old May 13th, 2006, 8:30 pm
Grumpyboy  Undisclosed.gif Grumpyboy is offline
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Re: Purple Orchids and Muggleborn Wizards: A Theory of Wizard Genetics

I don't mean to be rude but you all have way too much time on your hands.


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  #4  
Old May 13th, 2006, 8:31 pm
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Re: Purple Orchids and Muggleborn Wizards: A Theory of Wizard Genetics

Wow! That really was amazingly well thought out and written. It must have taken a while!

Quote:
As in the case of the sickle-cell gene, there is a trade-off; if these anomalous abilities do depend on Muggle genes, the price paid for the presence of these abilities is the occasional occurrence of Squibs. However, if Squibs marry into the Muggle population, they may contribute magical genes to their offspring, and magical ability may resurface generations later in their descendants, perhaps combined with advantageous genetic factors from the Muggle gene pool.
It's totally fascinating! I'm very impressed!


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  #5  
Old May 13th, 2006, 8:33 pm
Languish  Female.gif Languish is offline
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Re: Purple Orchids and Muggleborn Wizards: A Theory of Wizard Genetics

would i be right in thinking that Parseltongue would be in the same category as being a Metamorphagus, in that it's a rare genetic condition of some sort?


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Old May 13th, 2006, 8:35 pm
Maginny  Female.gif Maginny is offline
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Re: Purple Orchids and Muggleborn Wizards: A Theory of Wizard Genetics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpyboy
I don't mean to be rude but you all have way too much time on your hands.
That was kind of rude! If you don't think that topic is worth your time, then just don't read the editorial or waste more of your precious time posting rudenesses.

I don't really see the relevance of the whole genetics discussion either, but hey, that's what obsessive fans do! And really, it was well presented and thought through. And with a small effort at concentration, I don't think it's very hard to understand at all. Well done!


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There can't be a connection, there just can't. Or can there?
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  #7  
Old May 13th, 2006, 8:36 pm
FishEByrd  Male.gif FishEByrd is offline
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Re: Purple Orchids and Muggleborn Wizards: A Theory of Wizard Genetics

On the other hand, it could just be magic. :o)

Maybe the magic, like the wand, chooses the person to belong to.

If it is genetics, I agree that simply having magic be a recessive gene (so that the trait can seem to skip generations due to heterozygous pairings) would not explain how a squib could come from an all-magical family, though it could possibly explain seemingly "muggle-born" witches and wizards. And when magic generally does run in families, it is hard to imagine another explanation than "something to do with genetics." But since I'm determined to rain on everybody else's parade, let me be the first to suggest that there may be another reason for this that we aren't meant to know.


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  #8  
Old May 13th, 2006, 8:52 pm
mad_hatter  Male.gif mad_hatter is offline
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Re: Purple Orchids and Muggleborn Wizards: A Theory of Wizard Genetics

a question to the writer: does this theory explain the fact that squibs are more rare then muggleborns? it's said so clearly in CoS, and i wonder.


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  #9  
Old May 13th, 2006, 9:02 pm
SinisterShorty  Undisclosed.gif SinisterShorty is offline
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Re: Purple Orchids and Muggleborn Wizards: A Theory of Wizard Genetics

I am sure that the secret of wizarding genetics, though very interesting to some people (like me) is probably irrelevant to the plotline of Harry Potter.


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  #10  
Old May 13th, 2006, 9:42 pm
Aloysius  Male.gif Aloysius is offline
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Re: Purple Orchids and Muggleborn Wizards: A Theory of Wizard Genetics

To T. Brightwater:
What fools these mortals be! Don't listen to dismissals and complaints. Your essay was brilliant, and yet another example of how the Potterverse can explain or introduce us to so many concepts. I hope Jo sees it.

You are persuasive and humorous too. Many thanks.


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  #11  
Old May 13th, 2006, 10:19 pm
T_Brightwater T_Brightwater is offline
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Re: Purple Orchids and Muggleborn Wizards: A Theory of Wizard Genetics

"Pure-bloodedness" is an issue for many of Jo's characters, in one way or another, so why shouldn't a discussion of genetics be relevant?

Languish wrote:
"would i be right in thinking that Parseltongue would be in the same category as being a Metamorphagus, in that it's a rare genetic condition of some sort?"

Hmm, good point, since it seems to be hereditary in Slytherin's descendants. It must be dominant, since the Gaunts could all speak it and so could the half-blood Tom Riddle (if it were recessive it wouldn't have expressed itself in a first generation hybrid.) This suggests that if Slytherin's descendants had "bred out" more into the general Wizard population, Parseltongue would be a much more common ability.

Mad Hatter wrote:
"a question to the writer: does this theory explain the fact that squibs are more rare then muggleborns? it's said so clearly in CoS, and i wonder."

I think it does; Squibs need to have two recessive alleles of the same gene, while Muggleborns need only one dominant allele of each gene. There is no Wizard x Wizard cross that would produce all Squib offspring, but there is at least one Muggle x Muggle cross (AAbb x aaBB) that would produce all Wizard offspring. (I know it's a small sample, but perhaps the Creevey brothers' parents are such a couple?)

Also, even though Squibs are supposed to be really rare, we know of three: Filch, Mrs. Figg, and Mrs. Weasley's second cousin.

FishEByrd wrote:
"let me be the first to suggest that there may be another reason for this that we aren't meant to know."

Yes, it's quite possible that it's "just magic" and Jo didn't have any particular genetic theory in mind, but it so happens that there is a genetic mechanism which explains the "facts," follows the Mendelian rules and occurs in the real world. If anyone finds it interesting, fine; if not, that's okay too.

PS Thanks, Aloysius!


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  #12  
Old May 13th, 2006, 10:41 pm
aragorn_iz_cool  Female.gif aragorn_iz_cool is offline
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Re: Purple Orchids and Muggleborn Wizards: A Theory of Wizard Genetics

I don't undestand most of the genetic stuff, but I think I got the general idea. But what about Sirius and James (Pureblooded, in Sirius' case extremely so, and able to become Animagi at 15), or the entire Black family, for that matter?


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  #13  
Old May 14th, 2006, 2:46 am
kylarat  Undisclosed.gif kylarat is offline
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Re: Purple Orchids and Muggleborn Wizards: A Theory of Wizard Genetics

Quote:
Thus, Lord Voldemort is not only evil, he's wrong.
ROFL!

Great editorial!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aragorn_iz_cool
I don't undestand most of the genetic stuff, but I think I got the general idea. But what about Sirius and James (Pureblooded, in Sirius' case extremely so, and able to become Animagi at 15), or the entire Black family, for that matter?
JKR has said, either in interview or in the books, that most "Pure-blood" families aren't really pure. If wizards hadn't mixed with muggles, they'd have all died out by now.

So, really, the odds are slim that there are pure-blood wizards with AABB. Rather, they are more likely to have one or two recessives alleles in there.


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  #14  
Old May 14th, 2006, 2:54 am
Alhara Alhara is offline
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Re: Purple Orchids and Muggleborn Wizards: A Theory of Wizard Genetics

Thank you for this editorial. As a high school Bio/Chem student and a prospective Biology major in college, it's always cool to see two of my favorite things (Harry Potter and genetics...I'm such a nerd...) combined.

Since you wrote this editorial (as opposed to earlier ones, which suppose that the genes are Mendelian), surely you know that genetics are often far, far more complex than Mendel said they are, especially in complex organisms for humans. Eye color alone is controlled by three seperate genes, and hair color has at least two genes. I always figured the gene for Magicness (if there is one) would be incredibly complex.


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  #15  
Old May 14th, 2006, 3:37 am
aragorn_iz_cool  Female.gif aragorn_iz_cool is offline
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Re: Purple Orchids and Muggleborn Wizards: A Theory of Wizard Genetics

Quote:
JKR has said, either in interview or in the books, that most "Pure-blood" families aren't really pure.
Most, maybe, but the Blacks? They blasted off anyone who had anything to do with Muggles, so they only way Sirius could have Muggle blood is if a female ancestor had an illegitimate child with a Muggle and passed it off as her Pureblood husband's child. Not impossible, but fairly unlikely. The Blacks were like the Gaunts, they pretty much married cousins rather then dying out. That made then rather insane (although probably to a lesser degree then the Gaunts), but it's hard to argue that they're not magically powerful.


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  #16  
Old May 14th, 2006, 3:42 am
T_Brightwater T_Brightwater is offline
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Re: Purple Orchids and Muggleborn Wizards: A Theory of Wizard Genetics

Quote:
Originally Posted by aragorn_iz_cool
I don't undestand most of the genetic stuff, but I think I got the general idea. But what about Sirius and James (Pureblooded, in Sirius' case extremely so, and able to become Animagi at 15), or the entire Black family, for that matter?
I'm not claiming that pure-bloods are always inferior to Muggle-borns; obviously there are many talented and powerful pure-bloods as well. All I'm saying is that pure-bloods don't have an automatic advantage.

Also, Alhara, you're quite right. A two-gene model is the very simplest one I could make work. I believe there are even genes which suppress other genes, which complicate the possibilities even more.


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  #17  
Old May 14th, 2006, 5:10 am
Freddie437 Freddie437 is offline
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Re: Purple Orchids and Muggleborn Wizards: A Theory of Wizard Genetics

I love your editorial. Ever since we studied genetics in biology I had been wondering about how it would work. It was one of those things that just kept nagging at me. Now I can think about something else. YAY!! Thank You!!


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  #18  
Old May 14th, 2006, 5:40 am
neenee  Female.gif neenee is offline
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Re: Purple Orchids and Muggleborn Wizards: A Theory of Wizard Genetics

Wow, I really enjoyed reading this! I've been thinking about thi same thing for quite some time, but as I'm not much of a biology person, I just couldn't quite get it. Thanks for helping me out!


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  #19  
Old May 14th, 2006, 5:46 am
nat089  Female.gif nat089 is offline
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Re: Purple Orchids and Muggleborn Wizards: A Theory of Wizard Genetics

Wow, now that's a totally new way of looking at the whole genetic theory thing. Good job on that article! It IS a little confusing to understand at first, I'll admit (all the letters confused me for a while) but it was still a good explanation. I've always wondered how the genetics of magic worked ever since we did that topic in Biology. I tried to figure something out but it didn't work because Mendelian genetics (which is the only kind of inheritence we were taught) didn't seem to explain the whole thing satisfactorily enough. Glad we've got another concept to fill in the loopholes somewhat.

Of course, like you pointed out, Brightwater, there are so many things in genetics that complicates everything else. Genetics isn't just one simple thing to understand. Scientists are still working out some stuff about it even till today!

Haha. To add on to your 'genes suppressing other genes' point, it could be possible that the Magic gene suppresses the Muggle gene!

I wonder if one day JKR will sort out this mess of genetics for us... but I doubt it, since I don't think she really thought so specifically about the Magic gene's inheritence when she planned out the story and world of Harry Potter. Plus, it's her job to write the story, not fiddle around with how the genetics work.

I suppose if we really can't come up with a theory to explain all the genetics and occurances in the Wizarding World, we can simply say...

"It must be magic."


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  #20  
Old May 14th, 2006, 9:51 am
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Re: Purple Orchids and Muggleborn Wizards: A Theory of Wizard Genetics

That was a very good editorial! I wanted to try to find an explanation to this myself, but couldn't really find the time...
Anyway, it was very well written and I think it explains everything in a very logical way.


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