Scientists find exception to Mendel's law

French scientists say they've found mice with a mutant gene can defy the laws of genetic inheritance -- passing on traits even if the gene is absent.

The scientists suggest RNA, a chemical cousin of DNA, passes on the characteristic to later generations, the BBC reported Thursday, but say more study is needed to confirm their conclusions.

The research involves a gene called Kit, which comes in two varieties: "normal" and "mutant." The mice inherit two Kit genes -- one from each parent -- and a mutant version gives them a spotty tail.

According to Mendel's laws of genetic inheritance, the combination of normal and mutant Kit genes should alone determine whether the mouse has a spotted or unspotted tail.

But scientists at the French Institute of Health and Medical Research in Paris and at the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis found mice born with two normal versions of Kit also displayed variations caused by a mutant gene.

The study is detailed in the journal Nature.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International


Explore further

Leading-edge technology unmasks protein linked to Parkinson's disease

Citation: Scientists find exception to Mendel's law (2006, May 25) retrieved 28 February 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2006-05-scientists-exception-mendel-law.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments