FIND THE GENE FOR WHIRLING DISORDER!
When individuals afflicted with Whirling Disorder hear old Rolling Stones tunes, even remade as Muzak, they let loose and dance uncontrollably.
As a geneticist studying Whirling Disorder, you have identified a large family in which some individuals have the disorder, and others don't. For this family, you've drawn up a pedigree, which is a diagram that shows how family members are related and which individuals have Whirling Disorder:
Here's your challenge:
Below, you'll find genetic jigsaw puzzles for 12 members of your Whirling Disorder family. Each puzzle has a number that corresponds to an individual in the pedigree above.
Your job is to find the puzzle piece that is responsible for Whirling Disorder.
(Puzzles too small? Try the enlarged versions).
Which puzzle piece is responsible for Whirling Disorder?
How do you know your puzzle piece is the right one? See Answer
Need a hint?
Are all genetic disorders this simple?
No. In fact, most genetic disorders are more complex than the fictitious Whirling Disorder.
Many disorders are multigenic, meaning that two or more genes are responsible for the disorder. Disorders caused by mutations in only one gene are not common.
Also, environmental factors such as diet and exposure to mutagens can greatly influence the severity of a disorder.
What can this tell us about NF1?
What can our genes, or puzzle pieces, tell us about our chances of inheriting a genetic disorder like NF1?
If one parent has the NF1 disorder gene, indicated by the green puzzle piece, then the child has a 50% chance of inheriting the gene.
This child has inherited the NF1 gene from his mother and will develop the symptoms of NF1.