Muggle Genetics

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Post  Elanor on Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:18 am

Muggle Genetics

This topic serves as an archive of a thread from the Harry Potter Lexicon Forum as hosted on World Crossing which ceased operation on April 15, 2011. At that time, this thread was still set in the "Archived Thread to be Worked" folder of the WC forum. Elanor

Vertex - Oct 8, 2003 1:40 am
Edited by Kip Carter Jan 12, 2006 12:22 pm
I changed the title of this thread from Ginny's Genetics to Muggle Genetics as it discusses general genetics and its implications on human inheritance (by request of the members), and moved it to this folder. - S.E. Jones


A little thought occurred to me the other day.

Ginny is described as the only Weasley child with brown eyes, which means that one of her parents has to have brown eyes. It won't work otherwise genetically.

Does any of the books ever mention that Arthur or Molly have brown eyes? Rowling usually describes the eye colour of her character but I can’t remember her describing Arthur’s or Molly’s eye colour. I can’t find anything about it in our dear lexicon either.

If Arthur or Molly have brown eyes then it is very unlikely they have six children with blue eyes since brown eyes are dominant it should be the other way around.

If neither of Ginny's parents has brown eyes then she can't be a biological child to both of them... and if this is something intended by Rowling then perhaps she has omitted the eye colour of Arthur and Molly Weasley for that reason.

Just a thought.

I don't know if this has been brought up yet. If it has can some one point me there?

There is a fun little Java thingy here to calculate eye colour [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Post  Elanor on Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:19 am

Ricky Warner - Oct 8, 2003 4:40 am (#1 of 147)
I looked at that site. That is weird. To have blue eyes, both parents must have blue eyes. So if all the other children (bar Ginny) have blue eyes, then Arthur and Molly must both have blue eyes. If Arthur has brown and Molly has blue (or vice versa) then the childs eyes would always be brown, I think. Thats confusing. Not only would we have to know Molly and Arthurs eye colours, but I think we also need to know their parents.

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Sassi Fras - Oct 8, 2003 6:16 am (#2 of 147)

Vertex the site explains that "Human eye color inheritance is a complicated polygenic system..." Simply because Ginny's brothers have blue eyes is, in my opinion, not a clear indication that she is not the biological child of Molly and Arthur. I'm sure S. E. Jones can explain this better (hint, hint). So Sarah, if you don't mind, I'd like to hear your opinion.

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Denise P. - Oct 8, 2003 6:39 am (#3 of 147)

Ravenclaw Pony
Sorry to throw a wrench into the works but I have blue eyes, my husband has brown and of our 8 children, 6 have blue eyes.

I don't think there is any doubt that Ginny is the child of her parents.

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Ladybug220 - Oct 8, 2003 6:41 am (#4 of 147)

...moves faster than Severus Snape confronted with shampoo
Actually for a child to have blue eyes both parents must have the recessive gene BUT that doesn't mean that both parents have blue eyes. Brown is dominant over blue so if a child gets one brown gene (B) and one blue gene (b) then the child will have brown eyes (Bb). If the child gets both blue genes (bb) then obviously s/he will have blue eyes. This happened in my family with my aunt and uncle both having brown or hazel eyes but my cousin has blue and it is very obvious that she is my uncle's daughter because she looks so much like him other than the eye color. Now, if two blue eyed parents have a child with any eye color other than blue, they should be worried...

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Mayme Fitzgerald - Oct 8, 2003 6:47 am (#5 of 147)

Actually, two blue eyed parents can have a child with hazel eyes as it is a mutation. They cannot have a brown-eyed child as it is a dominant gene. The eyes don't have to be blue if the parents' eyes are blue, just not brown.

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Vertex - Oct 8, 2003 7:45 am (#6 of 147)

Well that should clear that up!

I just got a little worried since Rowling didn't mention Arthur's or Molly's eye colour (if she did I missed it) plus that Ginny is the only child with brown eyes.

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Madame Librarian - Oct 8, 2003 10:52 am (#7 of 147)

I'm sure I couldn't quote the science chapter and verse on this (help, Sarah!), but a few years ago, I remember reading that the inheritance rules on eye color are not as cut and dried as once thought. Hazel eyes are a mix, for instance. It's probably not the best basis for determining parentage, especially in a book written by a non-scientist, and in a book about magic and Wizards.

Ciao. Barb

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S.E. Jones - Oct 8, 2003 10:53 am (#8 of 147)

Let it snow!
Firstly, I don't see where it says in the books that Ginny is the only one with brown eyes, could someone please point that out to me?

Secondly, per request, eye color is polygenic (A and B) and uses more than just one gene (B) and is additive (which means that each copy of the gene dumps in a little pigment and all the pigment together makes the eye color). The color of your eyes depends on the number of dominant vs recessive alleles (versions of the gene) you have overall and whether there is any change, on a molecular level, to the protein. To have dark brown or black eye color you have all dominant alleles at both genes, for a total of four dominant alleles (AABB). To have brown eyes, you need three dominant alleles (AABb, AABb, or AaBB). To have Green, light brown, or hazel, you need two dominant alleles (AaBb, AAbb, or aaBB). To have blue or green to bluish-green, you need one dominant allele (Aabb or aaBb). To have light blue or what is sometimes described as grey eyes, you can't have any dominants (aabb). There are also intermediate colors (you'll notice that there is brown listed on three of the cases listed above and green listed on two) because there are other factors that allows these states to blend together a little. So, yes, two brown-eyed parents can have a blue-eyed child. Two blue-eyed parents can have a hazel-eyed child, if they have were heterozygous at different genes, depending of course on whether the "hazel" eyes are more green or more brown....

Did that help any? I tried to make it as simplistic and non-scientific as possible so as not to be too confusing for anyone....

I have a chart that may help but I have to run off to class now as my lunch hour is over. It's pretty simplistic and, as Barb pointed out, the genetics aren't near as simplistic as I've described here (there are gene complexes and linkage...) but the chart is pretty neat and shows a bell curve and how you could get some of the eye colors. I'll try to scan and upload it after class....

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Sassi Fras - Oct 8, 2003 12:16 pm (#9 of 147)

S. E. Jones, thanks for taking the time to write that. I think your explaination really helps clarify how Ginny could be brown eyed with blue eyed parents. I feel so much smarter now. If you have time I'd like to see that chart. It sounds really interesting.

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Sly Girl - Oct 8, 2003 12:46 pm (#10 of 147)

Plus S.E. is right- nowhere does it say what ALL the Weasley boys's eyecolor is. We don't even know what color Ron's eyes are. In the movie they're blue- in the book, JKR has never said.

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Vertex - Oct 8, 2003 12:52 pm (#11 of 147)

S.E. Jones - Firstly, I don't see where it says in the books that Ginny is the only one with brown eyes, could someone please point that out to me?

Oh, sorry *blushes furiously* unless anyone else has read about the Weasley eye colour I think I may have been under the influence of fanfiction plus the fear of Ginny not being a Weasley.

Anyway, thanks I will be able to sleep peacefully tonight knowing Ginny is as much Weasley as ever.

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S.E. Jones - Oct 8, 2003 1:01 pm (#12 of 147)

Let it snow!
Sassi Fras, here's the chart. I added the physical description of the colors to the right, but keep in mind that eye colors do overlap to an extent (see the green). Keep in mind also that this is one very simplistic model....

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Sassi Fras - Oct 8, 2003 4:30 pm (#13 of 147)

Thanks Sarah, that chart is very interesting.

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Susurro Notities - Oct 8, 2003 7:12 pm (#14 of 147)

Thank You S.E. Jones. This is the second genetics discussion I have read that you have clarified with an informative but simple explanation. You have a gift for communication of difficult scientific information!

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Lumos* - Oct 9, 2003 12:59 am (#15 of 147)

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet?
Ginny is definitely a part of the Weasley Family...

In OP page 671 it says that Ginny's jaw was set in an uncanny resemblance to Fred and George.

Even if she is not a part of the family (which I doubt) what advancement will this prove to the overall plot?!

<|Surprised)

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Joost! - Oct 9, 2003 1:44 am (#16 of 147)

Second line of information
I missed something in your explination, Sarah; what kind of genes did Voldemort's parents have to give him red eyes?

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Susurro Notities - Oct 9, 2003 5:59 am (#17 of 147)

Edited by Oct 9, 2003 6:14 am
Inebriated genes?

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Sassi Fras - Oct 9, 2003 8:26 am (#18 of 147)

heehee...Susurro

I don't think Voldie's red eyes have anything to do with his parents/genetics. I don't recall Tom Riddle being described as having red eyes in COS. So my take on this are that the red eyes formed during his transformation into Lord Voldie.

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Ricky Warner - Oct 9, 2003 8:29 am (#19 of 147)

Didn't he have green eyes in COS?

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S.E. Jones - Oct 9, 2003 4:15 pm (#20 of 147)

Let it snow!
I don't think it says what color his eyes were in CoS, but they obviously weren't something as unusual as red because Harry didn't point them out as being peculiar. I think the red eyes come from some of the magic he used to become what he now is....

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::StinkerBell:: - Oct 9, 2003 4:27 pm (#21 of 147)

Use to be LongLiveSnuffles.....
Maybe shes just wearing colored contacts..........

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S.E. Jones - Oct 9, 2003 6:08 pm (#22 of 147)

Let it snow!
Who Snuffles? Ginny? I don't think so. We've seen glasses in the WW but we haven't had any mention of other types of corrective eye care (contact lenses, some sort of magical way of fixing the eye...).....

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::StinkerBell:: - Oct 11, 2003 12:41 pm (#23 of 147)

Use to be LongLiveSnuffles.....
Joke....I was only joking.....

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schoff - Oct 11, 2003 7:04 pm (#24 of 147)

Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
Edited by Oct 11, 2003 7:29 pm
Sassi Fras: I don't recall Tom Riddle being described as having red eyes in COS

SE Jones: I don't think it says what color his eyes were in CoS, but they obviously weren't something as unusual as red because Harry didn't point them out as being peculiar. I think the red eyes come from some of the magic he used to become what he now is....

I don't have the book with me for the exact quote, but in "The Heir of Slytherin" Harry describes Tom's eyes as having "an odd red gleam" in them. I think that's somehow connected to Voldie having pure red eyes now. So evidently Tom had the red-eye connection before he submerged himself into the Dark Arts (after Hogwarts). Maybe it just marked the start of his descent into the Dark Arts, as a student?

Either that or it was last minute clue to let us know Tom was actually Voldie, right before JKR did the anagramed name and let the cat out of the bag.

EDIT: Found the quote, on the old Eye Color thread from the Forum Annex. I'll repost my post here:
In CoS, JKR refered to the red in 16-year-old Tom Riddle's eyes. Based on that, I assumed Tom's eyes always had some red component to them, that just dominated after his return in GoF.

There was an odd red gleam in his hungry eyes now. Ch. 17, p313 Am. paperback


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Sassi Fras - Oct 12, 2003 1:46 am (#25 of 147)

Maybe your eyes just turn red when you become evil.

There is an ocular albinism which causes one to have a lack of pigmentation in the eyes, but no distinct discoloration of the skin or hair. However, according to NOAH (the National Organiztion for Albinism and Hypopigmentation) human albinos usually do not have red eyes. They are blue, green, and sometimes even brown.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

I didn't get all my info from this page, but it all came from the NOAH site. You may want to surf around the site it's pretty interesting.

I still think Lord Voldemort's red eyes have something to do with being evil rather than genetics.

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Kevin YouBustSlug - Oct 12, 2003 1:18 pm (#26 of 147)

Two thoughts! The first is a question. Where does it say that Ginny is the only Weasley with brown eyes? I do remember reading that she has brown eyes. I don't remember reading that she is the only Weasley child to have them. Second, It is not true that blue eyes can only be passed on as a simple recessive. They can also be passed on as a complex dominant gene system. Among the "Black Irish", black hair and blue eyes are passed on by three tightly linked dominant genes. One for black hair, one for the formation of the pigment for brown eyes, and a third which prevents the pigment from being deposited into the irises. Such a person would have blue eyes, but carry the genes for brown eyes. A different gene for brown eyes could be passed on without the gene which prevented it from being deposited in the iris and the child would have brown eyes. Blue eyes are also passed on as a simple dominant among some Indonesians. Genetics was one of my best subjects in grad school.

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Ladybug220 - Oct 12, 2003 7:53 pm (#27 of 147)

...moves faster than Severus Snape confronted with shampoo
Kevin, when I posted my simplistic explanation, I did it for those who are not scientifically inclined at all. It is a habit for me since several of my friends visibly shudder when the word biology is even mentioned. SE Jones gave a wonderful (and much better) explanation a few posts later.

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S.E. Jones - Oct 12, 2003 8:02 pm (#28 of 147)

Let it snow!
Kevin you can go back and look at my first post, I gave a basic overview of the genetics of eye color. Of course, I left out all the stuff about it being part of an adaptive gene complex and all the complicated gene linkages that go into it, but still....

"There was an odd red gleam in his hungry eyes now. Ch. 17, p313 Am. paperback"

I think the "red gleam" isn't an actual coloration of the eye so much as an indication of mood and mindset. Red is associated with many things, from love to hatred, so the "red gleam" could be a "hateful gleam"....

EDIT: Oops, sorry Ladybug, I didn't see your last post, you must have posted it while I was writing....

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Jami P. - Oct 13, 2003 2:07 am (#29 of 147)

Well let's say that Molly and Arthur both have blue eyes. Than it would be impossible for Ginny to be their daughter. Now I'm not saying I think this is true but everyone knows how people have been speculating about Hermione and Harry being related right? Well Hermione looks nothing like Lily or James. Ginny on the other hand could be. She has Lily's hair and Jame's brown eyes. Ginny could have been the daughter that they had together but was sent away for her own protection. Yet this wouldn't fit bc it wouldn't match the sequence of events bc Harry was only a year old when his parents died and I'm not sure that there could have been enough time for them to have another baby. Well they could have but I doubt it. Maybe with only a year between them. It all depends on whether Harry's parents died the same year he was born or the following year. Also if either Arthur or Molly has brown eyes than Ginny is their child. It would be interesting if Ginny turned out to be Hrry's long lost sister but I think that she is Arthur and Molly's child. For Ginny to be Harry's sister his parents would have to have died the year after he was born and both Arthur and Molly would have to have blue eyes.

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S.E. Jones - Oct 13, 2003 11:02 pm (#30 of 147)

Let it snow!
If Molly and Arthur both had blue eyes (Aabb and aaBb) then Ginny could have light brown/hazel eyes (AaBb), so it is possible. BTW, Ginny has "bright red hair" as do the other Weasleys, Lily had "dark red hair" so I don't think we can simply go by hair color to suggest blood relationships....

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SarcasticGinny - Oct 14, 2003 8:27 am (#31 of 147)

I'm pretty sure our Gin has the same genetics as anyone else in her family. I don't think that it says anywhere what the other Weasley children's eye colors are except maybe for Ron. Does it ever say what Bill, Charlie, Percy, or the Fred n George's eye colors are? I always pictured Percy at least with brown eyes too. Let me know if I need to read it again to see where the other kids' eye colors are mentioned. I'm guessing that even if they don't have brown eyes, its just recessive genes like everyone else has mentioned and that Ginny is 100% Weasley.

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S.E. Jones - Oct 14, 2003 10:28 am (#32 of 147)

Let it snow!
No, as far as I know, the other Weasley's eye colors have not been mentioned. Ginny is as much Weasley as any of the others.....

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katy - Oct 15, 2003 5:46 pm (#33 of 147)

My sister has brown eyes and both my parents have blue eyes, my brother has blue ees and I have green eyes, How does that work? or does it?

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S.E. Jones - Oct 15, 2003 9:24 pm (#34 of 147)

Let it snow!
Okay, going for simplicity here so bear with me. Your parents are probably Aabb & aaBb, or Aabb & Aabb, or aaBb & aaBb, thus having blue eyes (I'm assuming it's not a very light blue/grey color). If your sister inherited a dominant allele from each parent she could be AaBb, AAbb, or aaBB and have brown eyes. Your brother would have inherited only one dominant allele from one parent making him either Aabb or aaBb, giving him blue eyes. You could have inherited either a single dominant, like your brother, or two dominant alleles, like your sister, and still have green eyes.....

Does that help?

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Suzzie - Oct 20, 2003 5:38 pm (#35 of 147)

I'm Katy's sister, and I was always wondering how we turned out like this too Smile thanks for the explination. To be a little more specific about the colors: My dad's eyes are light/greyish blue, my moms are blue, mine are..well when I was younger they seemed to be brown but now they are kind of brown/green if thats possible. My brothers are about the same as my moms and my sisters are light hazel/green.

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S.E. Jones - Oct 20, 2003 5:41 pm (#36 of 147)

Let it snow!
Actually Hazel is a mixture of the dark blue, green, brown because it can look a different shade depending on what the person's wearing....

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Fawkes Forever - Oct 21, 2003 2:39 am (#37 of 147)

Crookshanks is not ugly, he's just aesthetically challenged ;o) Hee hee, looks like there's more than one ginger male in Hermiones life!
I have Hazel eyes... which as you said S.E. do change depending on what I wear, or the light or, according to my friends.. on my mood (somehow I think this one is made up )

S.E. I did a bit of genetics for my A-level biology (NEWTS ), as you said is a very complex subject & not so straight forward. That said, I enjoyed the subject! Thanks for your help, your explanations are excellent. They threw a bit of light on to such a complex subject & made it easy for the rest of us to grasp the ideas behind it. By the way, you ever considered a lecturing/ teaching position?

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S.E. Jones - Oct 21, 2003 7:07 pm (#38 of 147)

Let it snow!
Actually, I used to be a professional tutor, and am going into counseling so this was good practice for me....

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Jumbo - Oct 22, 2003 7:23 am (#39 of 147)

Just found this for those that are interested in eye colour and genes.

Jumbo

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Viola Intonada - Oct 22, 2003 1:18 pm (#40 of 147)

Wow, what they teach in genetics have gotten a lot more complex than when I studied them. (Back in the 80's) I have a B.S. in Microbiology, I took several genetics courses, though they all related mostly to microbial genetics. Thanks for the info. Maybe I will have to enroll in a course and see what other developments I've missed.

I've just finished rereading books 1-4, I thought I remembered something in them that said there was a similarity between Dumbledore's and Riddle's eyes.

I guess the red eye feature on most of today's cameras are pretty useless when taking a picture of Voldie!

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Jenny M. - Oct 23, 2003 7:05 pm (#41 of 147)

I'd like to put in my two knuts on the Ginny-as-Harry's-sister theory. We know that Harry was one year old when his parents were killed. Ginny is one year younger than Harry, meaning that her mother's pregnancy overlapped Harry's first year of life. Most women cannot become pregnant while breast-feeding an infant. So if Lily breast-fed Harry for even three months (which seems like a minimum), she would not have had time to complete a full nine-months' pregnancy in the year before she died. This means that Lily cannot be Ginny's mother.

I am sure that Ginny is the daughter of Molly and Arthur Weasley. I can't remember any canon reference to any Weasleys' eyes. I'm sure I would've remembered it if I saw it, given the importance placed on Harry's eye color.

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mischa fan - Oct 23, 2003 8:28 pm (#42 of 147)

Easy being green, it is not
Jenny M, Hi, 2 things struck me when I read your post, first, since Harry's parents died when he was 15 months old, born July 31, his parents where killed on Oct 31 of the next year, that gives 6 months for Lily to get pregnant, not 3. The second thing is I remember when my wife and I where going to Lamaze (sp?) class the Nurse teaching the class told us on the first class, and several after, "Many of you have herd that a woman cannot get pregnant while breast feeding, Don't Believe it!!

Don't know how true that is, it is just your post made me think of that. Though none of this post really matters that much since I have no doubt that Ginny is anything but a Weasley.

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S.E. Jones - Oct 23, 2003 8:29 pm (#43 of 147)

Let it snow!
Actually, they died when Harry was 1 year and 3 months old. Um, where did you hear the Ginny is Harry's sister idea? I've never heard that one before. Did I just miss something?

EDIT: Hi Jim! I guess you were posting while I was writing. I agree, it is possible for a woman to get pregnant while breat feeding, in fact Molly probably was pregnant with Ginny and breast-feeding Ron at the same time (let's not mention that to Ron though). And, even if they waited three months to get pregnant again, Lily would have had a full year in which to have had Ginny, if you believe the idea, which I don't.... I think Ginny's as much a Weasley as any Weasley ever was....

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LilyP - Oct 23, 2003 8:51 pm (#44 of 147)

I haven't heard this theory before either. What about the statement that Ginny looked just like the twins? Do we ignore this?

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Viola Intonada - Oct 24, 2003 5:26 am (#45 of 147)

It is physically possible to have children within 12 months of each other. I know a woman who had 6 children in 6 years, no multiple births. I also know someone who has a brother 8 months younger than herself, but that was a case of a premature birth, evenso at full term they still would have been slightly under a year apart.

I don't think Harry and Ginny are siblings. Dumbledore said that Petunia and Dudley are Harry's only living blood relatives.

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Viola Intonada - Oct 24, 2003 5:31 am (#46 of 147)

It is not impossible or uncommon to have children less than one year apart. I know someone who had six children in six years with no multiple births. I also have a friend who has a brother eight months younger than herself. Now granted it was a premature birth, but still if the pregnacy went to full term, they still would have been less than one year apart.

I don't think that Harry and Ginny are siblings. Dumbledore said that Petunia and Dudley are Harry's only living blood relatives.

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timrew - Oct 24, 2003 1:58 pm (#47 of 147)

Middle-aged Harry Potter fan
Wouldn't making Harry and Ginny siblings be venturing into "Star Wars" territory? Much along the same lies as saying that Harry is Voldemort's son (or grandson).

And didn't JKR herself state that it was getting a bit too, "Star Wars" when someone put this to her in a question?

Next, we'll be hearing that to defeat Voldemort, Harry has to use "The Force".

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Jim the Potty - Oct 24, 2003 3:15 pm (#48 of 147)

President of the Potties, forum member since the beginning, never online
Errrr...tim? Dumbly's already told us Harry has to use 'The Force' behind the door in the DoM

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Sly Girl - Oct 24, 2003 7:57 pm (#49 of 147)

As for the ahem.. canon reference to Weasley eyes.. Page 40- CoS American Edition, up near the top...

"On the third landing, a door stood ajar. Harry just caught sight of a pair of bright brown eyes staring at him before it closed with a snap.

"Ginny," said Ron. "You don't know how weird it is for her to be this shy. She never shuts up normally-"

There is at least ONE canon reference to Weasley eyes. It may be the ONLY canon reference. So.. what does that mean, exactly?

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mischa fan - Oct 24, 2003 8:03 pm (#50 of 147)

Easy being green, it is not
Sly Girl: So.. what does that mean, exactly?

I think it means Ginny has brown eyes. We won't know any more until we know the eye color of the other Weasleys, and then maybe not even then.
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Post  Elanor on Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:21 am

Sly Girl - Oct 24, 2003 8:09 pm (#51 of 147)
I meant what does it mean that Ginny is the only one we know the eye color for. Seems sort of odd to me, but hey, I write stories. I try to figure out why JKR does the things she does.

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S.E. Jones - Oct 25, 2003 11:22 am (#52 of 147)

Let it snow!
It might mean she'll become more important, it might just be a describer. Hm, maybe this argument should be moved to the actual "Ginny" thread....

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Kowalla - Oct 25, 2003 7:21 pm (#53 of 147)

Shepherdess' daughter, Kauwela
Ok, I'm just going to leave a note in here. i'm not necessarily supporting the theory that Ginny is Harry's sister, but there has been some controversy over if that's even possible or not. WEll, I just wanted to mention that I have a brother that is only 16 months older than I am. So basically, my mom got pregnant with me when my brother was only 7 months old (poor mommy).

I'd also like to thank everyone for this thread, I was always really good at genetics (the ONLY part of biology I WAS good at) & it was really nice to get a refesher course. I had forgotten all about it.

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Denise P. - Oct 25, 2003 7:29 pm (#54 of 147)

Ravenclaw Pony
I have children born in 4-1993, 6-1994, 12-1995 and 2-1997. It is certainly possible but I don't buy the idea that Ginny and Harry are siblings.

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S.E. Jones - Oct 26, 2003 6:44 pm (#55 of 147)

Let it snow!
Niether do I, Denise. I know at least some of this idea is based on the fact that Lily and Ginny have the same hair color, but Lily's hair is described as dark red while Ginny's is a bright red (like all the other Weasley's, may I add).....

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Tomoé - Oct 29, 2003 9:28 am (#56 of 147)

Back in business
Edited by Kip Carter Oct 29, 2003 12:44 pm
I changed a word. - Kip

Thank you all for the genetic class, I learn a lot ^_^ . I didn't know about ocular albinism.

For green eyes, I've heard around year 2000 that they're on a third gene, can your info be a bit old or have I been fooled?

For Ginny, I believe that she's a Weasley, even I'm sure that Lily had enough time for another baby.

For Tom, I didn't remember him wearing glasses or saying : "Err ... Rubeus, is that you ?", so I assume I did not suffer of ocular albinism.

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S.E. Jones - Oct 29, 2003 10:42 am (#57 of 147)

Let it snow!
Tomoe, nope, my info is new. Sorry....

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Tomoé - Oct 29, 2003 12:47 pm (#58 of 147)

Back in business
Edited by Kip Carter Oct 29, 2003 12:48 pm
I deleted the second paragraph. To answer you question, yes. And don't force me to put you on moderated status. - Kip

Don't be sorry S.E. , I just wanted to confirm or infirm the part I have heard elsewhere.

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Ovate - Oct 29, 2003 6:54 pm (#59 of 147)

There is indeed an allele for green eyes.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Ovate - Oct 29, 2003 7:14 pm (#60 of 147)

To be more complete I should say that there are three pairs of genes that determine eye color. One gene pair can have brown and/or a blue alleles. Another gene pair can have blue and/or green alleles. A third gene is a central brown eye color gene and has only the single brown allele.

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Tomoé - Oct 29, 2003 7:37 pm (#61 of 147)

Back in business
That's what I understand too, thanks for the link Ovate.

Many theories seem to co-exist then, because S.E. chart could explain how two bleu-eyed parents can have brown-eyed baby, but the SEPS theory could not. This one explain why some people have the certer iris of another color from the border and how green color appear while the other do not.

Genetic is still in progress, that's what we can conclude ^_^ .

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S.E. Jones - Oct 29, 2003 9:47 pm (#62 of 147)

Let it snow!
Yes, there are multiple models, the one I showed is one of the more recent ones. I've seen this one too and it is actually almost the same as the one I presented, with gene pairs that have relative dominant and recessive characters. However, this model theory suggests there is a third gene, and no it is not absolutely determined as of yet. Basically, this third gene, if the correct allele state is present, will give you brown eyes, no matter what alleles are present on the other two genes. This theory is actually tied into evolutionary biology but I won't go into all of that here. As I said, it isn't absolutely proven, it's a theorized model, one of the three or four that are generally accepted. The one I presented earlier is the most widely accepted model out of those. Of course, just about all genetics is technically theory and modelling. The problem with getting a more definate understanding of genetics is that these things are happening on a molecular basis, so we can't actually observe what is going on. When we do tests in vitro (in the test tube), the results can differ from the way they would appear in vivo (in the cell) because there are so many other factors to take into account. It can be quite a puzzle sometimes. You can see why I love it so much..!

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Ovate - Oct 29, 2003 10:28 pm (#63 of 147)

Of course there are people with grey eyes, hazel eyes, and black eyes. As yet no one knows what genes contribute to these particular phenotypes although other genes have been postulated as contributing to eye color other than the three mentioned in the link (the Melanocortin receptor for one). Eye color is very much a polygenic trait.

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Susurro Notities - Oct 29, 2003 10:47 pm (#64 of 147)

My mother has the most beautiful hazel eyes with tiny red flecks in the iris. OK. I know that adds nothing to the discussion other than that there seems to be millions of variations on the standard genetic theme.
BTW Thanks S. E. Jones for your professional consultation regarding genetics. You have been diligent and informative.

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Ovate - Oct 29, 2003 10:52 pm (#65 of 147)

...and people with beautiful hazel eyes with tiny red flecks. BTW eye-color has a heritability of about 0.80, which is very high but not complete. In addition, children's eye color can change as they age as I'm sure many of you have noticed.

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Gary Russell - Oct 30, 2003 9:15 am (#66 of 147)

Ginny is described as the only Weasley child with brown eyes, which means that one of her parents has to have brown eyes. This is not true. I have 3 boys each with different eye color. And only 2 parents. In are case the one with blue eyes is different.

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S.E. Jones - Oct 30, 2003 12:05 pm (#67 of 147)

Let it snow!
She's not described as the "onle Weasley" with brown eyes, she's just described as having brown eyes. I don't think the eye color of any of the relatives is ever mentioned....

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Susurro Notities - Oct 30, 2003 12:12 pm (#68 of 147)

Edited by Oct 30, 2003 11:16 am
S.E. Jones,
Is there any correlation between eye color and hair color? Is there an eye color that is likely to occur with red hair?

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Ovate - Oct 30, 2003 12:27 pm (#69 of 147)

In some cases, there is a link between brown hair and brown eyes on chromosome 15. There is also a genetic link between red hair and fair skin. There is also a high incidence of melanoma among people who have either red hair or blue eyes, but I don't believe that red hair and blue eyes are linked.

BTW I have a Ph. D. in Molecular Biology and have taught Evolutionary biology, Developmental biology and Cellular physiology at University.

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Susurro Notities - Oct 30, 2003 12:35 pm (#70 of 147)

Thank you Ovate. Wonderful to know we have another source for scientific information.

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S.E. Jones - Oct 30, 2003 1:30 pm (#71 of 147)

Let it snow!
Actually, they are linked. Hair, eye, and skin color are all part of a co-adaptive gene complex and are tied to evoluationary biological theory. Hey Ovate, have you heard about the theory that links these traits to reproduction in early man?

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Susurro Notities - Oct 30, 2003 1:58 pm (#72 of 147)

If hair, eye, and skin color are linked is one particular eye color seen significantly more often with red hair?

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S.E. Jones - Oct 30, 2003 2:06 pm (#73 of 147)

Let it snow!
Well, the loci are linked. I was actually discussing this just the other day with several of my professors, I tend to do that a lot, and I think one of them commented about green and blue eyes being the more common phenotype with red hair. I can double check, though....

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Ovate - Oct 30, 2003 6:23 pm (#74 of 147)

Its true that both red hair color and green eyes require an excess of a pigment called pheomelanin. Brown eyes and brown hair tend to have high levels a pigment called eumelanin. (Blue eyes tend to be low in pigments.) However, this doesn't require that there be a genetic linkage between the phenotypes. All that is required is that a population be somewhat isolated and that natural selection results in a high frequency of the alleles responsible for each phenotype. Lighter pigmentation seems to have been heavily selected for in northern Europeans over the last 30-50 thousand years, perhaps to allow for increased production of vitamin D, which requires sunlight that is somewhat blocked by heavy pigmentation. Oddly the only paper that I have been able to find that addresses a linkage between green eyes and hair color finds a linkage to brown hair, but this study was only done within one large Danish family. I would be interested in seeing any literature that shows a genetic linkage between green eyes and red hair since such a linkage seems totally reasonable to me given the frequency of phenotypic linkage, but at least one gene for red hair has been identified on chromosome 4 while all the genes that I know of that have been implicated in hair color green eye color reside on chromosome 19.

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Ovate - Oct 30, 2003 6:26 pm (#75 of 147)

Sorry I forgot to post a couple of links for anyone interested:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Ovate - Oct 30, 2003 6:42 pm (#76 of 147)

S. E. Jones do you mean a link with reproductive success as in sexual selection or reproductive success as in selection for survival which of course would allow for a greater degree of reproductive success. I believe that apes have very little pigmentation since their skin is protected by an excess of hair. As early hominids lost their hair, heavier pigmentation protected them from UV breakdown of folate and probably high incidence of skin cancer. As humans moved to higher latitudes, skin pigment may have lessened do to a need to produce sufficient previtamin D, which also requires UV light (UVB I think).

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S.E. Jones - Oct 30, 2003 7:00 pm (#77 of 147)

Let it snow!
Reproductive fitness. And, yes, I do believe it is Vitamin D but I thought there was a second Vitamin involved as well. I'm trying to think back to it. I believe it was looked at in some programs and studies trying to track the "mitochondrial Eve"....

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Susurro Notities - Oct 30, 2003 7:08 pm (#78 of 147)

I took a tiny bit of genetics 10+ years ago for my degree in nursing. Ovate and S.E. Jones you are stretching my memory and increasing my understanding - I think! Thanks.

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Ovate - Oct 30, 2003 7:26 pm (#79 of 147)

I have read somewhere that natural selection tends to favor darker skin everywhere, though to a lesser degree at high latitudes, but that there is a degree of sexual selection for lighter skin. In a way this would be akin to the male peacocks tail feathers, which are obviously not very likely to have any survival value, but may be "viewed" as attractive by female birds since given this disadvantage the peacock with a lot of plumage must be one extremely healthy bird.

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Fawkes Forever - Oct 31, 2003 9:27 am (#80 of 147)

Crookshanks is not ugly, he's just aesthetically challenged ;o) Hee hee, looks like there's more than one ginger male in Hermiones life!
Too true Susurro, it's been a long time since I heard anyone discuss alleles, mitochondria & natural selection.... (Silent thoughts... wow has it really been 8 years! Scarey!)

I must say I've been able to follow the whole discussion though... most interesting!

In my family we have a quite a range of skin tones... from the pale 'Irish' skin, to the more sallow tones (myself - but I still get the 'tell tale' freckles on my nose & cheeks when the sun comes out!)

Just shows you how crazy genetics can be, even within a family!

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S.E. Jones - Oct 31, 2003 1:55 pm (#81 of 147)

Let it snow!
According to the studies I was looking at, they were investigating two chemicals, one whose production is hindered by sunlight and one whose production is increased by sunlight. According to those studies, darker skin was maladaptive in higher latitudes, hence the rarity of natural darker skin tones in cultures from those regions. The same maladaption went for eye and hair color, though to a lesser degree. That's why I can't figure out the third "central brown" gene that was discussed in that paper, neither can any of my professors, since it would be maladaptive in many cases.....

Here's a question for you Ovate, do you know of a method of labelling methyl groups on DNA? I'm working on a theory regarding methylation patterns and their roles in X-inactivation but I can't think of a way of labelling them for experimental purposes that won't denature or in some other way interfer with the DNA itself. I'm planning a trip to the Biochem. division building next week but I'm trying to find a few things on my own first.....

BTW, someone mentioned red flecks in eyes. Things like small flecks in color are often due to mutations that occur during mitosis during development. Eye color isn't absolutely necessary for life, so there are fewer restrictions put on the DNA. Also, the cells of the eye must be clear so few proteins are produced there and most of the cell is emptied so that light can pass through it. For these reasons, mutations are allowed to occur more often, unchecked. Flecks can be due to mutations is single cells and their progeny cells. If the flecks are lighter than the rest of the eye, the mutation can be a deletion or knocking out of a more dominant allele, resulting in lighter color. If the flecks are darker, the mutation could be a revertant, in which the allele state actually changes back to resemble the more dominant allele, resulting in a darker color. Red flecks are often due to a total knocking out of the genes, resulting in no pigment at all in those cells (it's like a few of your cells having occular albinism). The red is due to the cells reflecting the blood underneath. Of course, there are many other mutations, such as in those genes responsible for post-translational modifications (er, the proteins that are responsible for folding the final pigment proteins and attaching additional groups is messed up so it folds the pigment incorrectly or adds the wrong group and so the pigment will more closely resemble a different pigment protein, thus looking a different shade or color).... Hope that made sense....

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Madam Poppy - Oct 31, 2003 2:05 pm (#82 of 147)

Kirsten Valleskey
Edited by Oct 31, 2003 1:10 pm
WhooEee! And the general public thinks that Harry Potter is for kids! I stand in awe people. Take a bow. This has been an interesting discussion (not that I understood all of it ). Beyond eyes, have you thought much about Squibs showing up in Magical families and Witches in Muggle families?...or did I miss that conversation?

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S.E. Jones - Oct 31, 2003 2:37 pm (#83 of 147)

Let it snow!
Still can't come up with anything for that Poppy. Everytime I think I almost get something the incidence rate is too far off for both populations.... Sorry.....

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Ladybug220 - Oct 31, 2003 2:41 pm (#84 of 147)

...moves faster than Severus Snape confronted with shampoo
I feel like I am in genetics class once again. All that I am missing are the friut flies that we did experiments with....

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S.E. Jones - Oct 31, 2003 2:53 pm (#85 of 147)

Let it snow!
I was in a genetics class this morning. One of the graduate students dressed up like a poindextor (Did I spell that right?) for Halloween. He was hilarious, had the whole class rolling in the aisles, and he never so much as cracked a smile the whole time. I must say, I was greatly impressed....

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Madam Poppy - Oct 31, 2003 3:35 pm (#86 of 147)

Kirsten Valleskey
S.E. what is a poindextor? In the old old Mystery Date Barbie game there was a geeky boy that poor Barbie never wanted to date. His name was Poindexter.

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S.E. Jones - Oct 31, 2003 3:53 pm (#87 of 147)

Let it snow!
Really? Hehe. Yes a "poindextor" is a "geek"... Sorry if I offended anyone, though.

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Denise P. - Oct 31, 2003 9:30 pm (#88 of 147)

Ravenclaw Pony
Edited Nov 1, 2003 6:09 am
Sarah and Ovate, you really need to take your private discussion to email. I am going to delete this conversation tomorrow, giving you a chance to save it to your computer if you so wish.

Edit:I deleted the posts that were specifically a dialog between Ovate and Sarah. The posts that deal generically with genetics have been left since a discussion of them does relate to the topic of this thread.

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Ovate - Oct 31, 2003 10:53 pm (#89 of 147)

Yes I agree the last few posts are personal, but a few people have expressed an interest in the more technical aspects of the genetics of eye and hair color so I hope that you will leave those posts that pertain to those subjects.

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Bash - Nov 1, 2003 9:50 pm (#90 of 147)

Ah yes, I was wondering how Harry has green eyes when James had hazel eyes, because the brown eye gene is dominant also over the green ee gene. But if the hazel eyed gene is a mutation, then I infer that it is not the same as brown?

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Ladybug220 - Nov 2, 2003 8:12 am (#91 of 147)

...moves faster than Severus Snape confronted with shampoo
Edited by Nov 2, 2003 7:19 am
Hazel is a combination of green, brown and blue. My Mom, oldest brother and myself all have hazel eyes but none of them are the same shades. My brother's are more brown than green; my mom's are almost even in both colors but with slightly more brown. Mine have more much green than brown and it's only when I wear certain colors that the brown is noticeable.

If you go back to earlier posts in the thread, SE Jones has given several excellent explanations about eye color and genetics. Look at post #'s : 8,12,34 and 36.

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milti girl - Nov 9, 2003 4:40 am (#92 of 147)

I'm missing something here, I think. Where in the books does it say that Ginny's the only Weasley kid to have brown eyes? Or did JK Rowling say so in an interview or something? Because in all my fanfic, I've always written that the Weasley kids (Ron!) had "haunting brown eyes" -- yes, sappy, but since I have brown-black eyes, I'm partial to brown eyes!

Before this forum was on EZBoard, months ago, I posted a question about the Weasley family's eyes. I wanted them to be green; most people were of the opinion that if they were an unusual colour Harry or Hermione would have noticed it in Ron when they first saw him. A lot of people replied saying that redhaired people normally have green/hazel eyes.

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S.E. Jones - Nov 9, 2003 12:29 pm (#93 of 147)

Let it snow!
Actually, milti girl, you're not missing anything. Nowhere does it say that Ginny's the only one with brown eyes. Nor does it ever specify the other Weasley's eye color, at least not to my knowledge. As far as the normal eye color for people with red hair, it ranges from a blue to a slight hazel, the most common color being of a dark blue or green nature. Hope that helps....

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Gred-n-Forge - Nov 11, 2003 10:39 pm (#94 of 147)

How about a toilet seat to brighten your day?
Wow...miss the forum for a week at a time and see what I miss!

First, S.E., glad to hear that I'm a normal looking redhead with the greenish hazel eyes (most all the other redheads I know, including my daughter, have either blue or brown eyes...I hoped there were more greenish eyes out there somewhere!)

This seems like the best thread to post this on, so here goes--Several posts ago, Madam Pomfrey posed a question about the genetics of squibs and muggleborns. I have a related question, perhaps you can help here, too, S.E.--are there any genetic explanations for talent in general? Let's just say, for example, a musical talent--for example, just looking at my immediate family, my mother has a definite musical talent. My brother has "inherited" this musical talent as well, but my sister and I are not musically inclined (not that we didn't try, mind you...). However, I am seeing musical talent budding in my son. It seems that musical talent runs in the family, it just seems to kinda hit and miss at random. Hopefully I'm not very far off the mark on this one (never took biology in school).

I ask this because I wonder if we could explain wizarding ability the same way we could explain talent or aptitude? It was just kind of a random and wild thought...

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Susurro Notities - Nov 12, 2003 6:36 am (#95 of 147)

Edited by Nov 12, 2003 5:37 am
I am interested in the answer to Gred-n-Forge's post too. Additionally it seems to me that my elders and now I frequently notice talents that 'skip' a generation, as with Gred-n-Forge's son and music. I understand that one might carry a music gene that is not expressed yet is expressed in later generations. I am wondering if there really is a common pattern of skipping one generation. (Hope this makes sense!) Ovate and S.E. Jones we call upon your expertise again.

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S.E. Jones - Nov 12, 2003 11:45 am (#96 of 147)

Let it snow!
....are there any genetic explanations for talent in general? Let's just say, for example, a musical talent--for example, just looking at my immediate family, my mother has a definite musical talent. My brother has "inherited" this musical talent as well, but my sister and I are not musically inclined (not that we didn't try, mind you...). However, I am seeing musical talent budding in my son.

....my elders and now I frequently notice talents that 'skip' a generation.... I am wondering if there really is a common pattern of skipping one generation.

Well, talents or traits that "skip" a generation are often due to the fact that they have to exist, genetically speaking, in the homozygous state as occurs often with recessive genes (two alleles the same, such as "aa"). Thus, a mother ("aa") passes only one allele to her daughter who then gets a different allele from her father, thus making her heterozygous ("Aa"). The daughter is what is termed a "carrier" because she can pass on that allele but doesn't exhibit it because it is overshadowed by a more dominant allele. When the daughter marries she ("Aa") and her husband ("-a", the "-" just stands for some allele) have a son who recieves both recessive alleles ("aa") and thus exhibits the trait. Make sense?

As for musical ability having a genetic basis, it does but maybe not the way most people would think of it. What makes someone have musical talent and another not is often how they percieve sound or touch. With most musicians, they can detect slight changes in tone quality and pitch that others cannot, thus allowing them to break down a piece of music in their head. This can be as a result of slight modifications (hm, maybe that's not the best word) in structures in the ear. If you've ever had an ear infection, you may have noticed that sound gets distorted because your eardrum gets water behind it and swells. Similarly, a slight natural modification of the ear drum, ear canal, or even the center of the brain that handles sound can allow someone to percieve subtleties that others do not. Hm, I hope that makes sense. This trait can be passed on, giving someone, literally, an ear for music. As for touch, I've heard it said by musicians that if you don't learn to play the violin by a certain age, you'll never really ever learn it. The reason is, as you develop, your nervous system is also developing. If a young child spends hours playing the violin, the nerves in his fingers will become more reactive, more sensitive, to subtle vibrations, thus allowing him to "feel out the notes". This sensitivity can also be passed on (though this isn't usually the case with most violinists) as can certain motor skills, such as being adept at subtle hand movements. As you can see, it is, again, far more complex than a simple "music gene" but there is some genetic basis. However (notice the stress on the however), as with any other skill, if it is not used and worked at, the skill will still be lost, genetic basis or no.....

Hope that helps a little....

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Madame Librarian - Nov 12, 2003 12:02 pm (#97 of 147)

I don't think JKR has expended much energy on a scientific analysis of the genetics involved, she's just following the conventional wisdom that all of us notice in the world around us. Without delving into DNA, RNA, chromosomes and the like we all know that certain skills do run in families even though they may skip a generation. But this is not the only way a talent can be present. Sometimes a huge talent just pops up in one person and that's that. Other times, it's a learned skill, but still a very formidable talent. I think the way it works in the Wizarding World is pretty much the same as in the Muggle world.

Ciao. Barb

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S.E. Jones - Nov 12, 2003 1:47 pm (#98 of 147)

Let it snow!
Yes, Barb, I quite agree. To quote JKR, "Sometimes these things just happen, and no one really knows why!"

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Gred-n-Forge - Nov 30, 2003 6:51 am (#99 of 147)

How about a toilet seat to brighten your day?
Actually, S.E., that explanation was VERY helpful (and supports what I suspected)! And, Barb, you took the words right out of my mouth (er, keyboard). Based on what I have read above,I am now convinced that wizarding ability is, indeed, a talent--which explains squibs and muggleborns.

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Andrew Hunt - Dec 4, 2003 5:37 pm (#100 of 147)

MASTER MODERATOR
Regarding the first post in this thread, if a child has brown eyes and both the parents don't, the child can still have genetics from their grandparents which can determine their eye colour.
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Post  Elanor on Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:22 am

S.E. Jones - Dec 4, 2003 6:29 pm (#101 of 147)
Let it snow!
Andrew, I think, if you read some of my responses, you will find a more appropriate answer to the first post that goes into carriers and character states (homozygous versus heterozygous) since children don't really inherit their grandparent's genetics.

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Andrew Hunt - Dec 16, 2003 6:58 pm (#102 of 147)

MASTER MODERATOR
Oops sorry. I didn't mean inherit a grandparent's genetics, I meant that sometimes people can have some of their grandparent's physical traits which are not visible in their parents. Does THAT make sense?

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S.E. Jones - Jan 27, 2004 9:50 am (#103 of 147)

Let it snow!
From my post #96: "If a young child spends hours playing the violin, the nerves in his fingers will become more reactive, more sensitive, to subtle vibrations, thus allowing him to "feel out the notes". This sensitivity can also be passed on (though this isn't usually the case with most violinists) as can certain motor skills, such as being adept at subtle hand movements."

There was something I forgot to point out about talent heritability. Talents can be inherited by learning as well as genetically. My comment about the violinists that I never quite completed, "though this isn't usually the case with most violinists", eluded to this. If a man is a violinist, his children are more likely to grow up watching him play and to play themselves, thus the talent is proliferated by operant learning. Now some traits are obviously easier to pick up from your environment than others. As was pointed out earlier, you may try and try and never be able to sing even though your entire family is musical, this is most likely genetic. But, it is possible to learn to sing if you devote enough time and energy to it and have a proper teacher, even if you are not musically inclined, this is learned.

Anyway, just thought I'd add that since I looked the thread up for citation and saw that it was left out.....

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MrsGump - Jan 27, 2004 2:25 pm (#104 of 147)

I haven't read the entire thread, but I have to disagree with the idea of talent inheritance. There is no such thing, at least genetically. You can pass on an ear drum that hears perfect pitch, but if you learn to hear the correct notes, you still pass on the ear you started with. If you learn to feel the notes, your children will not be born with this talent, but will also have to learn it. It would be like saying my sons have a Master's in Bio because I finished school before they were born. Doesn't happen. There were hundreds of mice who lost their tails to the chopping block, then had offspring with tails to prove this. Poor things.

Environment can make a difference, though. I talk about science, explain things to my sons in science terms, correct mis-information from some of their teachers...... So if my sons turn out to be better at science than average, it's environment, not inheritance.

To get somewhat on topic, though, I don't see any reasons why wizards would have to follow our rules of genetic inheritance. They don't follow any of the laws of physics, I don't see why genetics should be any different. Granted, the Weaslys look similar, but who knows why? Just JKR.

P.S. S.E. Jones: very nice job of explaining dominant/ recessive inheritance. :-)

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S.E. Jones - Jan 27, 2004 3:20 pm (#105 of 147)

Let it snow!
Edited Jan 27, 2004 8:03 pm
MrsGump: You can pass on an ear drum that hears perfect pitch, but if you learn to hear the correct notes, you still pass on the ear you started with. If you learn to feel the notes, your children will not be born with this talent, but will also have to learn it.

Um, MrsGump, that's what I was saying with talent being both genetic and learned. (If you go back to my post #96, you can see a good example of how a talent can be genetic.) When a child starts playing violin at a very young age and their nerve endings become super sensitive to touch, that is a learned skill. Thier children cannot inherit this ability. However, you can inherit super sensitive nerves in the ear or a particular shape of eardrum that will allow you to pick apart sounds into individual pitches and thus could make you more musically inclined.

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MrsGump - Jan 27, 2004 6:55 pm (#106 of 147)

S.E.Jones;

I know what you mean, and I did read your post. But this is a quote:

"If a young child spends hours playing the violin, the nerves in his fingers will become more reactive, more sensitive, to subtle vibrations, thus allowing him to "feel out the notes". This sensitivity can also be passed on... "

This part sounds has if your nerves become more reactive, then this can be passed on. There is a subtle difference in the way it is phrased, and people with little biological background will interpret this being able to pass on learned skills. The same goes for using the phrase "talent inheritence". It implies a talent can be passed on genetically. It can not. You can inherit the ear for perfect pitch and not be a good musician because you have no interest, can't read the music, didn't inherit fine motor skills, etc.

I work with high school students and have been well trained by my college prof's not to imply something that they will mis-interpret. Because they will. I just didn't want anyone reading this to think that talent can be passed on genetically. Only physical traits can.

And this is probably more appropriate to the genetic only thread, and got pretty far away from Ginny. So....

I'd say Ginny's magical ability is environmental, not inherited, anyways. I was the youngest in my family, and I know that I did better in school and am a better reader because I followed my brother and sister around. I wanted to do what they did, so I made them read to me and follow with their finger so I could learn the words, I studied whatever they did so I could copy, etc. Having all those older brothers, Ginny must have picked up quite a few spells before she got her Hogwarts letter.

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S.E. Jones - Jan 27, 2004 8:30 pm (#107 of 147)

Let it snow!
MrsGump: This part sounds has if your nerves become more reactive, then this can be passed on.

Yes, I know how it sounded, that's why I posted my more recent post (#103) explaining the difference. Most violinist do not pass on a talent because of some inherited nerve sensitivity (a truely inherited trait, not something that was initially learned), they pass it on due to operant learning and develop nerve sensitivity in a similar way. (Example of inherited nerve sensitivity: Nerve hypersensitivity can be inherited, as is sometimes seen with people with exceptional hearing and sight, as the nerves in the ears and eyes are hyperexcited easily due to numerous mechanical reasons, such as hightened numbers of sodium channels; this is genetic.) I realized when reading over that initial post (#96) for reasons of citing it today that I hadn't completed my thoughts in that post and that's why I posted today. We're saying the exact same thing.

I just didn't want anyone reading this to think that talent can be passed on genetically. Only physical traits can.

As I've already said, this isn't entirely true. If the talent is learned, it can't be passed on genetically. But, if the talent is due to some genetic tendency that makes you more inclined to that trait (it doesn't have to be a physical trait, up to 68% of personality is inherited), it is a genetic mode of inheritance. This will of course be influenced by your environment. All human behavior is so influenced by our environment that even our basic biochemistry can change depending on our social structure/support system....

Don't worry about being off-topic on this thread. This thread strayed off-topic long ago (just look back through and you'll see what I mean) but has been allowed to continue because we had so many members comment that it lead them to a greater understanding of inherited traits in their own lives.

EDIT: MrsGump, sorry about mispelling your name, I just noticed my mistake and edited it...

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scully jones - Jan 27, 2004 11:51 pm (#108 of 147)

yeah right
I've never really known if traits are passed on genetically or environmentally, but if it is possible for genetics to pass on a trait... Can environment get rid of it?

Ugh too confusing... Being the younger sister, I wanted to be as unlike my brothers as possible. Thus, I'm smart and I like to read. I only learned later that my mother was the same way at my age.

Perhaps the Weasleys pass on the possibilities of traits, and each one's environment shapes the way it comes out in them.

This is getting too scientific for me... Smile

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S.E. Jones - Jan 28, 2004 12:03 am (#109 of 147)

Let it snow!
How's this, chiao? Genetics outline your potential but your environment (and later in life, personal cognitive responses, i.e. reasoning, thinking, decisions, etc.) determines how much of that potential is reached.... You can have, genetically speaking, a maximum "IQ" range (I don't like the word IQ, but that's an entirely different discussion) between 120 and 135, but if you grow up in an environment where you never get any mental, emotional, social stimulation, where you are neglected, your max. IQ may be in actuality around 85. However, if you are in an environment where you are constantly read to and talked to and given positive attention, your max. IQ may be actually around 135. Does that help?

EDIT:
but if it is possible for genetics to pass on a trait... Can environment get rid of it?

Well, what kind of traits do you mean? If it is a trait that will be physically present, then yes and no. If you have surgery to remove the large beaklike nose you inherited from your father, than yes, it can. If you are dealing more with some lack of receptor on a cell, then the environment can only effect it by you taking some medication. If the trait is some mental trait, such as personality, i.e. meekness, then you can learn to be more or less meek depending on the environment you grow up in, even though your natural tendency would be toward meekness. The trait is temporarily gone but is still there in your genetics because the gene creating the trait is still in your genome. Therefor, in all these cases, the trait is still passed on to your children.

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scully jones - Jan 28, 2004 12:05 am (#110 of 147)

yeah right
Yes I understand that all right... I guess I've got good potential then... My mom's IQ (I don't aprove of those either) was 165...

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MrsGump - Jan 28, 2004 4:46 am (#111 of 147)

S.E. Jones, you said 68% of personality is inherited. Where did you get this number? I thought the jury was still out on personality being genetic. There are some who go to the extreme of all traits are genetic (for example, James Watson believe everything is genetic, there is no such thing as love, women are gentically inferior, etc.... nice guy) and there are twin studies that will support or deny the idea.

I tend to take a more evolutionary approach to genetics, and therefore, only physical traits can be passed on. Ethology (or animal behaviors) follows this concept and explains all behaviors based on evolutionary theory.

I still think we are saying the same thing, though. I don't see personality being passed on, but I do see you adreniline system's responses being passed on. Or the basic structure of the brain and how those nerve endings connect, etc. End up with the same result; I was just taught to always look for the physical cause since that is what DNA codes for.

It's been cool having someone to talk with about genetics. No one around my house cares, and the biology teachers at work are far more interested in field bio that biochem or genetics. :-)(I'm certified to teach bio and chem; I have my Master's in Bio, though)

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S.E. Jones - Jan 28, 2004 10:15 am (#112 of 147)

Let it snow!
MrsGump: S.E. Jones, you said 68% of personality is inherited. Where did you get this number?.... I tend to take a more evolutionary approach to genetics, and therefore, only physical traits can be passed on.

Actually I said up to 68% of personality traits such as meekness. Various mental traits have various degrees of inheritability. For instance, general intelligence ranges 50-62% heritability, more specific intellectual abilities range 32-62% and personality traits, 50+%, with meekness being at one of the higher ends (don’t really know why). These are more recent findings, I will admit. As for evolutionary theory only pointing to physical traits being inherited, that’s not true. Natural selection and evolutionary theory also allow for the passage of non-physical traits ("The Big Five" personality traits, as David Buss called them) because they have a biological basis, though they do not have a physical manifestation. As someone entering the arena of genetic counseling, I have had the wonderful opportunity to speak with and learn from both geneticists and psychologists. It has been very intriguing to see the different vantage points on the same issues and I’ve been surprised at how similar their outlooks are, despite the psychologists’ lack of genetic knowledge, something that continues to frustrate me (um, no offense to any of our members in the psychological field, ).

It's been cool having someone to talk with about genetics.

I’m glad you’re enjoying the descussion. Any time...er, that is as long as it is about heritability since that is what this thread’s topic has sorta changed to....

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scully jones - Jan 28, 2004 5:40 pm (#113 of 147)

yeah right
I was one of three people in the whole school who took Genetics...

We mostly did out-of-the-book experiments... (I'll always miss Mr. Hoffman)

What we DID learn, was that the more complex the gene, the more alleles that make it up, therefore much more possibilities.

So, maybe wwaaaay back in the Weasley line, a recessive trait of back-stabbing was introduced... An easy way to explain away Percy's supposed behavior!

Just kidding...

I think Ginny could have gone either way... In the third and fourth books, she was straddling the line... Trying to figure out which way to turn... Shy and meek, or fred&georgey... Glad she took the latter route. So that part may have been environmental.

The Quidditch Gene in the family may just be the ability to react quickly to the environment around them... Percy uses it to be a good assistant... Fred, George, olderbrotherIcan'trememberwhich, Ginny, and Ron all use it for Quidditch.

I had a schoolmate with long black shiny hair, and when I met her family, I was astonished. They all had curly red hair! She said that somewhere in her past a great-great grandmother had black hair. Now THAT'S a gene that's been hidden for a while.

So do you think that the.... uh..... Proliclivity(sp?) of the Weasleys is inherited too? Do you think Fleur would want to have over half a dozen kids as well?

Whatddya think? Sarah

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Mad Madame Mim - Jan 28, 2004 8:19 pm (#114 of 147)

"Don't tell me you've never heard of the marvellous Madame Mim?"
I think Ginny's genetics will play a role in the story, but not in the muggle sense. Isn't she suppose to be the seventh child of a seventh child. I believe that child is suppose to be a healer by touch. Maybe this is the genetic trait that's important.

I think that this has been discussed already. sorry for the repeat

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S.E. Jones - Jan 28, 2004 8:57 pm (#115 of 147)

Let it snow!
MrsGump, check out the Ginny thread for the "seventh child of the seventh child" discussion...

Chiaojones: ..the more complex the gene, the more alleles that make it up.... The Quidditch Gene in the family may just be the ability to react quickly to the environment.... So do you think that the...uh...Proliclivity(sp?) of the Weasleys is inherited too? Do you think Fleur would want to have over half a dozen kids as well?

A gene doesn't have to have more alleles to make it more complex, though this is often the case in complex genes, because you can have complex gene interactions and complexes and the like that make it plenty complex without needing any extra alleles. Hm, I think that made sense. I think the Quidditch gene is more a gene for extroversion, which is a personality trait (one of those Big Five I was talking about before). It could be a great many things that all combine to make for good Quidditch talent, though (which is the most likely answer). Um, okay. Proclivity? Predisposition/tendency? To what, a big family? Family size isn't genetic. Now you can have genes that aide reproductive fitness, but they don't really influence family size, especially in humans. Family size is more a learned behavior (as in you come from a big family which valued closeness so you want that and have a bunch of kids and you value family closeness so they all have a bunch of kids, etc.) or a personal decision. However, considering the way both Bill and Fluer feel about their little sisters, they'll probably end up with a large family, most likely all girls (just to even things out a bit...).....

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MrsGump - Jan 29, 2004 2:33 pm (#116 of 147)

Gee, since veela are magical at attracting men, I odn't see why they wouldn't have 6 or 7 kids, lol. Wonder if they'd end up with red hair like all the Weasleys? :-)

S.E. Jones, thanks for the hint on where to find the seveth child info. I'll agree with M. Mim that this will be more important than any real genetics. I think it was also interesting that it is based on an Irish ledgend, and all the Weasleys have red hair. Can't remember too much of hair color genetic other than multiple allels, you either have red or you don't, and brown/ blonde is a separate allel from red... (explains where my red-headed brother came from in a family of dark haired Sicilians, lol) Anyway, doesn't red hair tend to be associated with Irish?

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Dr Filibuster - Jan 29, 2004 4:36 pm (#117 of 147)

Sue, from Northwich, England.
Sometimes.

I heard that the highest concentration of red heads in the world is in Scotland.

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S.E. Jones - Jan 29, 2004 6:00 pm (#118 of 147)

Let it snow!
Can't remember too much of hair color genetic other than multiple allels, you either have red or you don't, and brown/ blonde is a separate allel from red...

Well, actually no. Hair color is a quantitative trait, er, meaning the genes produce a continuum of the phenotype. There are degrees of the phenotype. It is additive, like eye color and skin color. There are at least three genes, each of which has only two alleles (that science is currently aware of, though they seem to act in a Mendelian fashion so there is no reason I know of suggesting otherwise), the three genes act together but are not linked, each adding pigment in varying amounts. No gene is dominant or recessive to another so no gene is ever masked by another. I think the rarity of red hair has something to do with the % chance of getting all of a certain allele on all 6 of your chromosomes (3 homologous chromosomes) being very small, but I can double check on that. A chart for hair color would look similar, though a little more complex, to this simple chart for eye color that I posted all the way back at the beginning of this thread. All quantitative traits fall under a bell-shaped curve like this.

Oh, and by the way, I have streaks of red in my hair. I also know a few other people who do as well. It certainly isn't an "all-or-nothing" system....

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S.E. Jones - Jan 30, 2004 9:21 am (#119 of 147)

Let it snow!
Ooooh, exciting news! Okay, I found it exciting. The pigment that causes the red color in your hair is a variant of the pigment that causes the brown color and so may not lie on the bell curve as MrsGump suggested. I'm not yet certain whether it is due to a differenct allele, a different protein conformation, or a change in a seperate gene that handles protein processing. I've been having trouble reconciling the passage of red hair (especially in established gene lines) as it stands on the bell curve so I'm really eating this up. (Thanks for getting this going Chiao and MrsG.! ) I'll post again when I have more info. to share....

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fidelio - Jan 30, 2004 1:22 pm (#120 of 147)

It is exciting, even if I don't understand half of the technicalities. But it could explain the differences between the hard-core, seriously red-headed people I know, and people like you and me, who have some reddish tendencies--before the advent of the gray hairs [increasing every day] mine was a shade my mother calls "rusty brown", but no way could I ever have been mistaken, by complexion or hair color, for a real redhead, even one of a dark auburn shade.

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MrsGump - Jan 30, 2004 3:43 pm (#121 of 147)

I knew that red hair is a separate gene from brown/ blonde. I did some quick looking around to make sure, and red is dominate (to it being absent, not to any other color) on a gene called MC1R; found most commonly in people of Celtic decent. Brown is on a gene called HCL3. And I thought my brother was recessive, sigh. I still haven't been able to find an answer about what hair color you get if you have red and brown. Logically, I'd think that my brother, who has blue eyes, also has blonde on the HCL3 gene, letting the red pigment show through well. I have dark brown hair with copper highlights, that fades to the same color red as my brother during the summer. I would think I have brown and red, but I don't think they've quit figured that all out yet.

If you like reading scientific abstracts with lots of gene codes and chromosome locations, try here:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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icthestrals - Feb 2, 2004 11:01 am (#122 of 147)

Join Potty HQ on this forum! Woohoo, from janitor to VP!
This is probably unnecessary chatter here, so delete if necessary, but I have gotten interested in this thread because I have red hair. I'm hoping to learn something about myself. Very interesting reading!

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S.E. Jones - Feb 10, 2004 10:35 pm (#123 of 147)

Let it snow!
MrsGump: I did some quick looking around to make sure, and red is dominate (to it being absent, not to any other color) on a gene called MC1R; found most commonly in people of Celtic decent.

I didn't see anything in that abstract that pointed to it being dominat to brown or black hair, MrsGump. The abstract about red hair only said, "The family data and gene frequency analysis suggested to him that the presence of red pigment in the hair is dominant to its absence and is hypostatic to brown or black. (Rife, 1967)", but that doesn't mean it is dominant. "Dominant to its absense" suggests to me that it will be shown, phenotypically (physically) if the pigment is present unless there is something interfering with its expression. "[It] is hypostatic to brown and black [pigment]" means that it is masked/hidden in the presence of these pigments. (Epistasis is when one gene's product masks/hides another gene's product, the hidden gene is hypostatic.)

As for the MC1R, that's in reference the a receptor ("R" in the name indicates a receptor) that helps to regulate pigmentation but it doesn't generate the pigment directly. There are two types of malanin in the human skin, red melanin (pheomelanin) and black melanin (eumelanin). The black protects us from UV radiation (allows us to tan) while the red releases free radicals (causes skin damage and cancer). The proportions of these types is regulated by melanocyte stimulating hormone acting on melanocytes (which produce the melanin). It does this by binding to a receptor, the MC1 receptor (MC1R), on the melanocyte. People with red hair and really fair skin either have too much of the red malanin or they can't make enough of the black malanin. If they have a mutation at the gene encoding this receptor, the melanocytes never know to make more black malanin. Thus, this is in the same co-adaptive gene complex as skin, hair, and eye color but is not referring directly to those genes. Sorry.

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MrsGump - Feb 11, 2004 12:30 pm (#124 of 147)

MrsGump: I did some quick looking around to make sure, and red is dominate (to it being absent, not to any other color) on a gene called MC1R; found most commonly in people of Celtic decent

Ummm, I did say that is is dominate to being absent, you even quoted me.

Not sure what the sorry was for.

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S.E. Jones - Feb 11, 2004 7:14 pm (#125 of 147)

Let it snow!
MrsGump: Not sure what the sorry was for.

The MC1R. It isn't a gene encoding hair color, just pigment regulation via a receptor.

And sorry about mis-reading your post....

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Mikkel - Feb 12, 2004 10:29 am (#126 of 147)

Hey S. E. Jones.

This is definitely off topic in relations to Harry Potter but I guess so is most of this thread...

I know that haircolour is created through a mixture of pheomelanin and eumelanin and as far as I know black hair contains approximately 99% eumelanin and 1% pheomelanin, brown and blond hair contain 95% eumelanin and 5% pheomelanin; and red hair contains 67% eumelanin and 33% pheomelanin (Borges 2001).

I seems to me though that people with mixed brownhaired-blonde parentage often gets red or reddish hair. This seems odd to me since red hair contains more pheomelanin than either blonde or brown hair.

Do you have any explanation for this?

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MrsGump - Feb 12, 2004 12:47 pm (#127 of 147)

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Try here. They explain the difference in how the two pigments are made (they even quote the same source, Mikkel). They have a link to an abstract for a periodical I can't get to about the MC1R. There must be some change that causes people with red hair to turn thbase product for the pigment into the red instead of the brown/ black versions.

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S.E. Jones - Feb 12, 2004 8:46 pm (#128 of 147)

Let it snow!
Well, Mikkell, good question. The structure for eumelanin isn't really known at the moment. (The structures shown in the link that MrsGump provided are extremely oversimplified. Here's another link to yet more sub-units of eumelanin that have been recently found.) Eumelanin is made up of various subunits in differing proportions to create polymers and these polymers are put together to make the fibers of your hair. The percentages you cited, Mikkell, don't take these subunit proportions and polymer combinations into account. I believe these things are controlled by the genes dictating the overall set levels of melanin types your cells will produce (i.e. whether have dominant alleles at all loci or recessive, etc.). I'm not sure that I'd say that "people with mixed brownhaired-blonde parentage often gets red or reddish hair" as I don't really know this to be true, but variations, such as auburn hair, can be attributed to the presence of red melanin (pheomelanin) because of the subunit changes in the eumalanin (the lighter the eumalanin pigment becomes due to changes in side groups on the molecule, the less it masks pheomelanin, and the more the two pigments blend). I hope that helped some.

If anyone is interested in a good summary of the creation of melanin (in case you want to impress your friends and family), here ya go:

A stimulus (often something related to light) is detected by the hypothalmus, at least in most mammals, which then sends a signal to the pituitary gland to excrete a hormone called melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH). MSH then travels to melanocytes (cells that produce pigment) and attaches to a receptor on the cell's surface, the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R), this causes a cascade that tells the cell that eumelanin needs to be made. The cell takes the amino acid tyrosine and converts it to eumelanin with an enzyme called tyrosinase, but it also takes an intermediate (dopaquinone) and adds cysteine, another amino acid containing sulfur, to it to create pheomelanin in the same process. This sulfur gives pheomelanin its yellow-orange/red color. (Here's a figure of a melanocyte cell.)

As poined out before, red hair seems to come about when there is a problem with the MC1R step of this process. Either the receptors are deformed or lacking in number; thus, even though the pituitary gland is secreting the appropriate amounts of hormone, the cells don't know how much they are recieving and think their levels are fine. Therefore, they keep creating pheomelanin and creating only small amounts of eumalanin, not realizing that they don't have a huge build up of black melanin stored somewhere. This is the reason people with red hair often have such pale skin and freckles, as well as the reason they don't tan well....

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fidelio - Feb 13, 2004 7:39 am (#129 of 147)

Sarah, if I was willing to risk sudden death, I'd go now and tell my housemate she has deformed melanocytes! However, since I don't want to be strangled outright, I'll have to find some other way to let her know.

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S.E. Jones - Feb 13, 2004 9:33 am (#130 of 147)

Let it snow!
Well, technically, it's defermed melanocyte receptors or he's/she's just lacking in them. See, you're making it sound much worse than it really is....

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fidelio - Feb 13, 2004 9:36 am (#131 of 147)

Well, that WAS my intention.

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vball man - Apr 1, 2004 10:17 pm (#132 of 147)

He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot loose. - Jim Elliot
Well, there is actually not a blue pigment in the iris. The collagen fibers, if they are of the right thickness, selectively reflect blue light. It's not actually pigment. So if you have a bit of yellowish-brown pigment and very blue-reflective collagen, then you'll have green eyes.

Or you could have magically green eyes.

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Aussie Weasley - May 21, 2004 4:14 am (#133 of 147)

Teacher
Hi, I am a science teacher with a genetics degree, there is a very nice and not too technical site on the inheritance of eye colour at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] On the whole this site has nice explainations of genetics that don't require a degree to understand.

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Chris. - Jul 6, 2004 4:29 am (#134 of 147)

HBP: 16th July 2005: the most anticipated day in history
If two Muggle-borns had a son or daughter, what would the child be classed as? Muggle-born or Halfblood?

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Mellilot Flower. - Jul 6, 2004 4:55 am (#135 of 147)

Pixie led
half blood... I think. The same as if a wizard married a muggle born. (not cannon)

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Loopy Lupin - Jul 6, 2004 7:51 am (#136 of 147)

If two Muggle-borns had a son or daughter, what would the child be classed as? Muggle-born or Halfblood? -- Prongs

I'd think it would have to be Halfblood. After all, the son or daughter would not actually be "muggle-born" would it?

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vball man - Jul 7, 2004 9:50 pm (#137 of 147)

He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot loose. - Jim Elliot
Good people wouldn't really classify anyone. Dark wizards would call them "mud."

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Matilda the Pygmy Puff - Jul 27, 2004 6:02 pm (#138 of 147)

No day but Today
This has nothing to do with eye color, but it does have to do with genetics as a hole.

If pureblood+pureblood= pureblood and pureblood+muggle born= half blood

Then does muggle born+muggle born=purblood? and does halfblood+ halfblood= halfblood? or halfblood+pureblood=still halfblood?

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S.E. Jones - Jul 27, 2004 6:11 pm (#139 of 147)

Let it snow!
Then does muggle born+muggle born=purblood? and does halfblood+ halfblood= halfblood? or halfblood+pureblood=still halfblood?

Muggle-born + Muggle-born most probably equals half-blood since the parents are wizards but still have "contaminated" blood from their Muggle parents.

I agree with the Half-blood + Half-blood = Half-blood and Half-blood + pureblood= Half-blood because the connection to Muggle blood is still too close. Now if the second pairing's descendants went on to marry only purebloods (or half-bloods far removed from their Muggle ancestors), I'm sure they'd eventually get the title of pureblood because the "bad blood" would be "weeded out". This is often what is found in pedigrees of families that had interracial marriages. For instance, my family has some Native American blood that people of the time (1800s, I think) would've considered "tainted". However, their descendants are considered Caucasian, even though they're actually 1/8 or 1/16 Native American.

Frankly, I agree with JKR that the idea of "tainted blood" and "weeding out bad blood from the gene pool" is silly.....

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Matilda the Pygmy Puff - Jul 28, 2004 8:31 am (#140 of 147)

No day but Today
Thanks S.E. I had been wondering that for a while. I always believed that muggle borns had to have someone who was magical in their family somewhere, otherwise there parents would have no clue about what Hogwarts was or if it was safe(unless there was some letter explaining it all) and it would explain full muggle familys and why Lily's parents were so happy when she got the letter.

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S.E. Jones - Jul 28, 2004 2:14 pm (#141 of 147)

Let it snow!
Muggle families do recieve an extra letter explaining it all, or rather a representative of the school who explains things:

World Day Chat, March 2004:
HPFreak7: How are muggle parents convinced to let their kids go to Hogwarts, a strange place they never heard of before; and wouldn't they think it was a practical joke?
JK Rowling replies -> In the case of Muggle parents, special messengers are sent to explain everything to them. But don't forget that they will have noticed that there's something strange about their child for the previous ten years, so it won't come as a complete bolt from the blue.

As for needing wizard blood in the family, they don't. JKR tells us this in an interview:

Barnes and Noble Chat, March 1999:
Q: How does a Muggle-born like Hermione develop magical abilities?
A: Nobody knows where magic comes from. It is like any other talent. Sometimes it seems to be inherited, but others are the only ones in their family who have the ability.
(underline mine)

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Matilda the Pygmy Puff - Aug 1, 2004 10:39 am (#142 of 147)

No day but Today
Oh, ok. Thanks again SE.

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Time Traveler - Aug 18, 2004 9:21 am (#143 of 147)

Hello, I'm a newcomer in this thread.. Can I ask this question to this thread? I've been wandering there seems to be some biological or genetical differences between Muggle and Wizard/Witch. For example, Muggle surgical operation with a mess obviously didn't work on Arthur Weasley.. Is this mean their skins or innards are somewhat different with.. us? I'm not sure whether I've heard this from HP book or U.S. sitcom Sabrina, a real witch in the Middle Ages really enjoyed being burned or standing in the center of fire several times. This also suggests me that their skins must be different, but when it comes to the Harry's detention with Umbridge, or other cases, their skins seem as vulnerable as Muggles' too..

If you guys have a theory about this matter, please let me know it too. I hope to listen eagerly!!

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Loopy Lupin - Aug 18, 2004 4:01 pm (#144 of 147)

Hi Traveler. Welcome.

I think for the most part, Wizards are humans but they have a "magical" talent. The muggle remedy of stitches most likely didn't work on Mr. Weasley because the snake bite was somehow a "magical wound." I think if he cut himself or was bitten by a regular snake, stitches would have been fine. Of course, he could probably just use his wand to mend that. And, it was Harry Potter that referred to Wendelin the Weird being "burned" at the stake numerous times. But, she was able to do that because she performed a "flame freezing" charm which made the fire tickle; it had nothing to do with her skin.

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Time Traveler - Aug 18, 2004 8:22 pm (#145 of 147)

Thanks, Loopy Lupin. Good explanation! I got it.:-)

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Kelly Kapaoski - Sep 17, 2004 9:41 am (#146 of 147)

one thing about genetics is that a dominant Gene can make an easy appearance. My younger brother has congenital Dwarfism (The Genetic Condition That makes someone born a dwarf) and that is a Dominant Gene. But the thing is neither one of our parents has congenital dwarfism. so it is very possible for Ginny to have Brown eyes while the rest of the family has blue eyes.

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S.E. Jones - Sep 17, 2004 2:59 pm (#147 of 147)

Let it snow!
We don't know the rest of the family's eye color.

As to dwarfism, it depends on the type of dwarfism. Achondroplasia dwarfism is autosomal dominant, but is usually due to a mutation in parental gametes. (Eye color has a much, much lower rate of mutation, so it is unlikely to see a dominant eye color appear as a result of a mutation.) Diastrophic dwarfism is an autosomal recessive disorder and both parents are affected or carriers (there is a far lower rate of mutation with this disorder). In either case the parents can be phenotypically normal (not show the condition).
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