Friday, June 19, 2015

Darwin on Paired Genes


Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, Chapter I:

Some instances of correlation are quite whimsical; thus cats with blue eyes are invariably deaf; colour and constitutional peculiarities go together, of which many remarkable cases could be given amongst animals and plants. From the facts collected by Heusinger, it appears that white sheep and pigs are differently affected from coloured individuals by certain vegetable poisons. Hairless dogs have imperfect teeth; long-haired and coarse-haired animals are apt to have, as is asserted, long or many horns; pigeons with feathered feet have skin between their outer toes; pigeons with short beaks have small feet, and those with long beaks large feet. Hence, if man goes on selecting, and thus augmenting, any peculiarity, he will almost certainly unconsciously modify other parts of the structure, owing to the mysterious laws of the correlation of growth.

2 comments:

Mary Pang said...

Skin, glands, and hair, not sure about teeth, develop from the same "bits" (excuse my ignorance)in the embryo which may explain this interconnection.
The BBC is showing a series "Your Inner Fish", which you may enjoy if it's available in your part of the world.

PBurns said...

Teeth and hair are connected through the Fox13 gene. See >> http://www.wired.com/2008/09/scientists-fi-1/