Inbreeding - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 3 pages of information about Inbreeding.
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Increased Disease Risk

Many genetic diseases are recessive, meaning only people who inherit two disease alleles develop the disease. All of us carry several single alleles for genetic diseases. Since close relatives have more genes in common than unrelated individuals, there is an increased chance that parents who are closely related will have the same disease alleles and thus have a child who is homozygous for a recessive disease.

For instance, cousins share approximately one-eighth or 12.5 percent of their alleles. So, at any locus the chance that cousins share an allele inherited from a common parent is one-eighth. The chance that their offspring will inherit this allele from both parents, if each parent has one copy of the allele, is one-fourth. Thus, the risk the offspring will inherit two copies of the same allele is 1/8 × 1/4, or 1/32, about 3 percent. If this allele is deleterious, then the homozygous child will...

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This section contains 819 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Inbreeding Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Genetics
Inbreeding from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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