control genes
Exceptionally rare 'pale tiger' photographed in the wild
Animal spotted by photographer in jungles of southern India may be the fairest known tiger living outside captivity.
By Michael Safi

What’s important to note here is that this is not a white tiger in the wild. The article emphasizes that “pale tigers, distinct from white tigers, are thought to have a genetic mutation that results in what biologists call colour morphism.’” That’s kind of an academic way of saying that ‘this is another color tigers can be’ but what it emphasizes is that this color is caused by some type of random mutation in the genes that control the coat, leading to a lighter (but still orange-based) pelt - rather than the animal having two copies of the specific mutation that creates the actually white tigers we’re familiar with. 

What Is The Shape Of Your Monster? – Get Out and Thought-out Horror

Get out.

No, I’m dead serious. If you haven’t already seen Jordan Peele’s Get Out yet, I need you to do me a massive favor. I need you to bookmark this page, close this page, and absolutely do not read this page— or any other essay or article on Get Out— until you’ve finished watching it.

I’m not just saying this because this essay will contain major spoilers for a movie that is best enjoyed going in knowing as little as possible— I mean, yes, it will— but most of all I just want as many people to see this movie as possible. It is by far the most socially relevant American movie to come out this year, at time of writing, if not one of the most socially relevant pieces of American art of the past decade.

It’s also just a very good movie.


Keep reading

th3mstrmind-deactivated20170607  asked:

Hey there. I was at the pet store today and saw a beautifully colored albino cornsnake; fall colors of reds+orange and a little yellow, with some white. It made me wonder, why are they called albino's if they come in such vibrant colors?

GOOD QUESTION! So basically, albinism is a condition that knocks out a pigment called melanin. This is the primary pigment in many animals, including mammals and birds. It colors skin, hair, scales, feathers, and eyes. There’s different types of melanin that produce colors on a spectrum ranging from deep black to sandy blonde. But while melanin is the primary pigment in mammals, it’s not the only pigment in reptiles! Reptiles actually have two types of pigment-producing cells. The first, melanocytes, produce melanin. In an albino animal, those are basically turned off and the skin is white or pinkish from the blood circulating beneath it. But reptiles also have what’s called chromatophores. Chromatophores produce many other pigments. Two of these are xanthophores (yellow) and erythrophores (a range of red to purplish, depending on the species). Some reptiles have iridiophores (which produce iridescent colors) and there’s two other common pigments known as guanophores and leucophores (two different versions of white). Each of these pigments is affected by different mutations! So for example, my Kenyan sand boa is anerythristic, which means that the genes that control red pigment (the erythrophores) have been turned off- giving me a black and white snake instead of a black and orange snake like a normal KSB. My ball pythons are both axanthic, which means that the genes that control yellow pigment (xanthophores) have been turned off. These snakes don’t produce these pigments, and so that changes their color!

So that snake you saw was an albino in that they don’t produce melanin! But their other pigments are unaffected by the mutation, so they can still exhibit gorgeous shades of red, yellow, and orange! 

Handedness arises from genes in the spinal cords of embryos

Our nervous systems have left-right differences that are important for correct functioning. Handedness is probably the best-known asymmetry arising from the development of the nervous system. This is observed very early on: embryos of eight weeks already tend to move their right arms more often than their left arms. At this ‘age’ signals are not sent from the brain to the arms yet, but only from the spinal cord. A few weeks later, left-right differences also become visible in the shape and size of the premature brain.

A team of scientists from the Netherlands, the UK and China searched for genes that contribute to left-right differences in the nervous system, in the period between four and eight weeks after fertilisation. The genetic analysis showed that the left and right sides of the spinal cord develop at different paces.

The left side of the spinal cord matures slightly faster than the right side. Sets of key genes that control growth and maturity were found to reach a more advanced profile of activity on the left side than the right. In the hindbrain, an area which is the predecessor for some adult parts of the brain, this was the other way around.

“This seems logical, since many nerve fibers cross over from one side to the other at the boundary between the hindbrain and spinal cord,” says Carolien de Kovel, lead author of the study and researcher at the Max Plank Institute for Psycholinguistics (MPI). “How exactly this left-right genetic difference in the spinal cord leads to right-handedness is, however, not yet clear.”

Clyde Francks, head of the MPI research group ‘Brain and behavioral asymmetries’ and Research Fellow at the Donders Institute at the Radboud University, explains, “We think that these very early left-right differences in the spinal cord may act to trigger some of the later asymmetries of the brain, such as the eventual dominance of the left hemisphere for language functions in most adults’.

Asymmetry and schizophrenia
"Around 85% of humans are right-handed; it seems the standard in human development,” De Kovel adds, “but genetic and environmental factors may provide alternative paths of development, such as left-handedness or two-handedness. Interestingly, disturbances in such asymmetries seem to be more common in people with psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia.”

Hence, De Kovel and her colleagues also compared the results of their study with genetic factors that influence the risk of schizophrenia. It was found that genes which exhibit the largest left-right differences in the embryos also tended to be involved in the risk of schizophrenia. “The findings do not prove directly that these genes cause schizophrenia by their actions in the spinal cord, because the same genes are also active in the grown-up brain. However this does provide us with clues on which we can base further research,” De Kovel explains.


Cruel fusion: What a young man’s death means for childhood cancer

As in most cases of Ewing’s sarcoma, Max Ritvo’s tumour cells contained two genes that had accidentally joined together into one. The fusion protein it produces, called EWS–FLI1, is a chimaera run amok, altering the expression of thousands of genes.

Fusion proteins are a common theme in childhood cancers, from brain tumours to leukaemias. And Max’s struggle with this one highlights the difficulty of tackling them in young patients. The diseases they cause tend to be aggressive, and the intensive chemotherapy treatments used to fight them can be brutal. It is hard to study paediatric cancers in general, both because they are uncommon and because of the ethical concerns involved in experimenting on children. But perhaps most maddeningly, the fusion proteins themselves, the most obvious point of attack for new therapies, have proved to be slippery targets. “There aren’t too many cancers that just say, ‘Here is my Achilles heel,’” says Damon Reed, a paediatric oncologist at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. “These are doing that.”

Scientists are hopeful, however. In recent years, they have revealed that many fusion proteins, such as EWS–FLI1, interact with some of the cellular machinery that controls gene expression. These epigenetic controls have become a bustling area of research in adult cancers. Therapies that target them are already in clinical trials in adults. And bolstered by advances, a new initiative aims to fund a systematic study of fusion proteins in paediatric cancers.

Max Ritvo, pictured in 2014. Ashley Woo


Exploring the science of travel

  • Traveling expands our understanding of the world. It feeds the hungry soul — and according to science, also our brains.
  • Navigating something new and complex stimulates new brain cell development, a process called neuroplasticity, making our minds healthier and more resilient.
  • But researchers have suggested that genetics may also explain why some of us seem hardwired to roam.
  • They theorize that DRD4-7R, a variant of the gene that controls levels of dopamine in the brain, may have motivated our early ancestors to migrate and thus evolve due to the correlation between elevated dopamine and a propensity for taking risks.
  • For those of us lucky enough to have this “wanderlust gene,” the greater amount of dopamine washing through our brains may be the reason we would book a spontaneous trip to New Zealand on Expedia or feel compelled to cliff dive into the Adriatic Sea. Read more

In collaboration with Expedia


Pairing: Bucky x Mutant Reader

Summery: You have been the Avengers intel person for a year now and one day after a long tiring 12 hours of work you accidentally get off on the wrong floor and accidentally hear something..

Warnings: Moans, Swearing (2 F words), mention of cat ear kink, mention of masturbation

Word count: 1,075

[So this is my first story I’ve written on here and also my first Y/N story format I’ve ever done. Grammar is my weak spot and I’m working on it but I really wanted to post this story so oh well. I hope you like it!]

You sigh as you tiredly stumble down the hall to your room not realizing you got off on the wrong floor. You just got back from a 12 hour day of repairing your bakery. It’s crazy that’s it’s been a year since you joined the Avengers as their intel girl.

You opened your bakery up 5 years ago as a safe place for mutants. But you never expected your bakery to become a place that everyone came too.. assassins, mob guys, mercenaries, hitters, bad guys, good guys, cops, you name it they come here. She didn’t mind all these different kinds of people coming to her place as long as they were happy and it was a safe environment. Everyone just leaves who they are at the door and just relax and enjoy baked goods and company. You didn’t care what someone’s back ground was outside your walls, everyone deserves a place where everyone puts differences aside, there’s not many places like yours.
You opened your bakery after years of being kicked out or denied service just because of your mutation. You were shunned for something you couldn’t control being. You were born a mutant, just like others are born with blonde hair or black hair, it wasn’t something you just chose. It was like you refusing to serve blond haired people because blondes make you feel uncomfortable or threatened. It’s not something they can control, it’s in their genes. You were sick of it, so you spent months scraping by, you moved into a apartment with the cheapest rent you could find and couponed the shit out of grocery’s. Finally you had enough to get the doors opened and food in the ovens, it took 3 rough months before you became a safe and popular spot that everyone just knew. Due to this you gathered a lot of intel daily on people and one day you over heard a certain billionaire and blonde super soldier arguing because of bad intel on someone they were looking for. You recognized their name right away and shyly tapped the tall super soldiers shoulder. He blinked in surprise when he looked down at you, you didn’t even bat an eye at his shocked expression, you were quite used to it by now, it’s not everyday you see a girl with cat ears and a tail. You had shyly told him that his intel he got was the decoy intel that is placed out there and told him true intel before continuing your way to the bakery. You jumped in surprise when a new voice asked you how you knew this intel, you quickly turned around and noticed there was a third gentleman hidden in the shadows next to the blonde super soldier. You shyly shrugged “With these sensitive ears you tend to hear things” you say gently flicking you right cat ear before turning and unlocking the bakery door.

You smiled remembering the first time you met Steve, Tony, and Bucky. Tony had come around your apartment that night offering you a intel job. It took months before they convinced you, you could choose what intel you shared and they respected your bakery and what it stood for. You also remember Tony forcing you to move into the Tower with the rest of the team because he refused to have a Avenger living in a dump like that. Although you knew tony was secretly worried about your wellbeing even if he refused to show it.
Yawning you quickly shook off memory’s of the past as you continued walking. It took you til you entered the training room to realize your on the wrong floor. “Really Y/N” you grumble to yourself, before stopping when your sensitive ears picked up on someone calling your name. You look around before seeing the light in the locker room on. Going over to the slightly ajar door you walk in and notice clothes on a bench and the sound of water. As your about to leave who ever’s showering to their showering you stopped dead in your tracks. “Y/N..Fuck” you heard Bucky moan in the shower. You stare wide eyed at the wall in shock. You would of never thought Bucky felt anything towards you, especially since it took 6 months for him not to tense up when ever you touched him. Bucky was always nice and sweet to you but very quiet and slightly withdrawn like he was with others but he never denied you cuddles. Yes it took him 6 months to finally get used to your affectionate personality but you were always patient and understanding with him. Sometimes when you were excited you’d forget to make sure it was okie before you hugged him or gave him a kiss on the forehead but you’d always apologize and he’d say it was fine. Surprisingly no one disliked your affection so you always got to cuddle, hug, and give kisses to the others, depending on the person would determine what affectionate kiss you could give, wether it be cheek, forehead, nose, chin, or mouth. With Bucky you always gave him forehead kisses to show him you care for him and you respect him boundaries. But as the last 6 months went on you could see Bucky getting more comfortable and involved with the team. He also became more playful and flirty like, as Steve would put it, the old Bucky. Your taken out of your thoughts of your friendship with Bucky when you hear him again. “Fuck Doll, such a good kitten for me” he moaned. Your knees almost gave out hearing him say that. You swallowed hard feeling your feline side try to come out. You decided to do something besides stand here like a creep and listen to your, CRUSH, pleasure himself. But you don’t have the confidence or balls to strip and join him. For all you know he could have a cat ear kink and thinking of you while getting off is better than some chick wearing cheap plastic ears, you can’t risk taking this the wrong way. So what do you do? The one thing you know how to do. You walk over to the wall next to his shower stall and lean against it just outside the curtain. “Y/N” Bucky moans. “You rang?” You casually sing out as a surprised super soldier jumps in shock and terror at your voice.

NSFW Headcanon Game


A/N: Honestly sex with Obito can probably be summarized by IDFC by Blackbear. I’m also gonna level with you: I’ve written “mmmmmmm” in response to gifs, but I legitimately just did it out loud when I saw this gif. Forgive me Father, but I’m Bout To Sin™.

Favorite Position

Well, it all depends on the persona that he’s putting out. Who exactly does his lover know him as? If they’ve only ever been allowed to know Tobi, then the mask stays on. In that case, he’ll give all of himself to you once he’s inside you- and trust me, he’ll now what positions will do it for you. Imagine the shoulder holder, the hot spot, or the pole position. He will increase your stimulation, and often in this persona he will find it in himself to relinquish control (despite his Uchiha genes rearing their ugly head and itching to dominate).

If his S/O is special enough to know about his true personality, or was smart enough to figure it out on their own, then the mask is definitely not a necessity in the bedroom. In the case where a lover knows and he can have his face and mouth free, and he doesn’t have to control his voice, it’s like sleeping with an entirely different person. He loves to move you and change positions, but he will always favor having you faced towards him, where he can kiss you and look into your eyes. When you first start sleeping together he is bound to hide his face against you neck, or lower himself to give your chest some attention. This is because he has a fear that you’ll be repulsed by the scarring on his face, or that his eyes will scare you. He’ll probably put you in a dominant position to begin with, in case you decide that you don’t want what he’s offering you, but if you’re persistent than he tends to end up turning the table before the end. A few examples of what he’d favor include the cat, the cowgirl, and the face off positions.


Most would be surprised to know that he is the most intimate of all of the Uchihas. Especially after the events of his past, he actually is pretty good at disconnecting his emotions from the sex for fear of getting too attached, but the physical sensations and closeness still spur the parts of him that he tries to keep hidden away. His true intimacy lies in his kiss. No matter how he is taking you, even if it’s hard and rough, he will almost always be ready to kiss you, and you can read it all over his face. And when he kisses you, it’s an entire experience all on its own. You can hardly remember how it begins before you are clinging to him and fighting to follow his lead, because he kisses with such a mindless, natural passion. He’ll always leave you breathless, but you’ll have the same effect on him.


Marking, necking, restraint, offering. Another reason he’s the most intimate of the Uchihas is because his sexual appetite doesn’t include any dominating kinks, or many kinks in general. He’ll love a partner for their attitude, outlook, and overall soul moreso than anything they could offer him, so there isn’t much that turns him on outside of wanting to be close and physical with someone that he cares for.   On the other hand, he will happily explore any kinks that you reveal a desire for. He just doesn’t have many of his own.


He sits directly at average at six inches when erect. He has an average girth as well. He’s circumcised, as most ninja are. He has dark hair down there which he keeps immaculate, along with a perfectly trimmed treasure trail. He doesn’t have any overly prominent veins. He has a very slight curve to the left, but not many people really notice- that’s just a fact that Obito figured out for himself when he was younger out of curiosity. As far as genitals go, Obito’s are oddly nice looking, and a few lover’s have mentioned this in his past.

Spoilers....just.... so much spoilers

So I just got done watching guardians of the galaxy vol 2, and I really liked it. The humor, the bitchin’ music, the baby groot. And I really liked the improbable, slightly absurd space dad plot, which basically boiled down to ‘fuck you, I’m a space god!’
Anyway, at the end of the movie, (and here are the SPOILERS, so just keep scrollin of you want a surprise and haven’t seen it yet) Peter also goes all 'fuck you, space dad! I’m a space god too!’ (Space demigod? Can I call this Peter Quill and the Celestials of the Universe?) Then punches him repeatedly and blows up a planet.
Because he blows up the dad-planet, his bitchin’ space god powers don’t work now. Or do they??? Probably not, but I’ve already switched into conspiracy mode, so let’s grab our tinfoil hats and overthink this shit!
So Peter and his bros blow up the god-power source. That’s pretty much the whole point of the final battle. But I don’t think it means Star Lord lost his space powers, and if he did, only for a lil bit.
Why? Well, mostly because marvel didn’t really go super in depth about god genetics or where light power comes from, but aLSO BECAUSE OF DOCTOR STRANGE. now, this is going to sound crazy, and it probably is, but hear me out. Doctor strange is all about alternate dimensions and sorcery and all that, and a HUGE plot point in it is that some crazy wizard idiots can draw power from the 'dark dimension’ where another crazy space god lives , Dormmamu. (No idea how to spell his name.) Dormmamu has a lot in common with full-of-himself, Ego, in that:
1.both immortal
2.both physical embodiments of energy, or space, or something
3.both assholes that want to make universe better by destroying it. (More like pulling a borg and assimilating, but same dif.)
Now, Ego mentions that he had to do the sideways tango a LOT of times with a LOT of different species(dressed up as the lead singer of a garage band from the seventies, because apparently nothing turns a ball of sentient slime on more than a greasy human looking dude) in order to have a kid that was a space god like him. The problem was most of his kids didn’t have the reality warping gene, so he killed them and tried again.
BUT HUMANS. Humans were different. The reason Quill got the Space Power is because, in a way, humans ALREADY HAVE IT. Humans, through knowledge, focus, and practice, can create other dimensions, and draw power from less then credible sources like a med student takes out loans, and make magic portals with just a little help from other magic stuff. Now I’m not sure if all humans in the MCU can do this, or just certain people. That’s not the point. The point is that some people CAN do it, and maybe Peter’s mom was one of them. Not trained, but maybe had the potential to.
So the reason Peter was different wasn’t because he had the right gene. He was different from everyone else in disappointment cave because he had the right COMBO of genes. All of Ego’s kids could, in theory, warp reality, but they COULDN’T CONNECT THEMSELVES TO A POWER SOURCE, like a remote control that had a messed up battery pack. Peter could, and could do it quite easily because he was half god AND half human, the species of 'play with this and see what happens’.
Now, I’m not sure about god genetics, like I said earlier, but it’s implied in both movies that the asshole space gods aren’t just connected to a power source, they ARE that power source. (Hence why Peter could control power easily, he was partly made of, or a part of, Ego’s power source.) So, and this is just speculation, but WHAT IF Peter is also, in his own way, a power source? (All of the other god kids were too, but they had absolutely no control over it, since no control genes. What’s a limb good for if it isn’t connected to the nervous system?)
Not an all powerful power source, but maybe a little one, dampened down by mortal genes. This would be AWESOME, though really unlikely, because I want peter to still do cool stuff. Not OP, movie breaking cool stuff, but like plasma ball grenade cool stuff. Scarlet witch with guns and one-liners cool stuff. PLUS, if he’s a little bit power source, he could get tapped into by sorcerers, or evil sorcerers, and MAYBE get controlled by them??? Plot idea??? But because he’s also got tapping powers, potentially HE COULD tap into, say, the dark dimension, and become like a sub-god to dormmamu, or whatever god he’s taking power from. I mean, PROBABLY NOT, but it would be FUCKING AMAZING IF THAT WERE TRUE

Scientists Discover Clues to Altered Brain Wiring in Autism

Autism is an agonizing puzzle, a complex mixture of genetic and environmental factors. One piece of this puzzle that has emerged in recent years is a biochemical cascade called the mTOR pathway that regulates growth in the developing brain. A mutation in one of the genes that controls this pathway, PTEN (also known as phosphatase and tensin homolog), can cause a particular form of autism called macrocephaly/autism syndrome.

Using an animal model of this syndrome, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered that mutations in PTEN affect the assembly of connections between two brain areas important for the processing of social cues: the prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with complex cognitive processes such as moderating social behavior, and the amygdala, which plays a role in emotional processing.

“When PTEN is mutated, we find that neurons that project from the prefrontal cortex to the amygdala are overgrown and make more synapses,” said TSRI Associate Professor Damon Page. “In this case, more synapses are not necessary a good thing because this contributes to abnormal activity in the amygdala and deficits in social behavior.”

The study was published on November 15 by the journal Nature Communications. The study also showed that targeting the activity of the mTOR pathway shortly after birth, a time when neurons are forming connections between these brain areas, can block the emergence of abnormal amygdala activity and social behavioral deficits. Likewise, reducing activity neurons that project between these areas in adulthood can also reverse these symptoms.

“Given that the functional connectivity between the prefrontal cortex and amygdala is largely conserved between mice and humans,” said TSRI Graduate Student Wen-Chin Huang, the first author of the study, “we anticipate the therapeutic strategies suggested here may be relevant for individuals on the autism spectrum.”

Although caution is warranted in extrapolating findings from animal models to humans, these findings have implications for individualized approaches to treating autism. “Even within individuals exposed to the same risk factor, different strategies may be appropriate to treat the symptoms of autism in early development versus maturity,” said Page.

Another of the thingies I was drawing for Halloween, equally quick.

LaraIzumi as Ladybug and Cat Noir because IC, and for my shippy feels needs♥

I am skinny
I am thin
It actually funny
Because I’m not scared to dig in

I am slim
I have no curve
according to him
I have nothing to serve

I am lean
I am scrawny
I can’t control what’s in my gene 
I’m not known for being brawny

I am slender
I am narrow
They say “she’s a pretender”
but my bones just have less marrow

I am feeble
I am weak
I could take advice from bigger people
and use plastic to “fix” my physique

I am skinny
I am thin
I have no curve
I am slim
I am real
and completely human.

—  girl2 original quote
Today, I fucked up... by not proofreading my cover letter to Harvard

…to fucking Harvard.

So, I found out I fucked up about an hour ago. My mom had to tell me because I’m such a fucking idiot. I was all excited about finishing my application, so I sent it to her. I’m applying for a position in this neurogenetics lab at Harvard Medical School. I spent all weekend and most of today finalizing my CV and cover letter. There were some formatting issues, I think because of the downloaded font I was using, which made the document on my computer look different than the emailed version. Because of this, I didn’t see that my highly profane, stream of consciousness, sorta high ramblings from last week (rough drafts), were still on the page, yet to be deleted..the kind of rough drafts that you never fucking show anybody-especially your extremely Christian mother and Dr. Person from Harvard Medical School.

But, because I’m an idiot and didn’t notice the extra pages at the bottom of my screen, Dr. Person will likely not be choosing me as his next lab technician. I’ll post some of the finer points below here in a second.

TL;DR: sent my dream job’s boss my notes - including “science is all around us,”- and other super insightful shit.

Check out more TIFUs: Internet`s best fuck ups are here.

Updates :)) 

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

I believe in free will in the sense that humans have freedom over matter and nature. People are also totally responsible for their decisions. Somebody said "people have 100% of the freedom that is appropriate for people, and God has 100% of the freedom that is appropriate for God" and "God's free will and humans' free will don't balance each other out like a seesaw or pieces of a pie, they are not even part of the same pie." (2/3)

Well I’m not sure what you mean by freedom over nature and matter. Like their ability to manipulate and use it? But just as one example, humans don’t have full control over nature or matter. We can’t control tornadoes or hurricanes or wildfires. Neither can we control cancers, gene mutations, or other other health related things. I don’t know if that’s what you were talking about. Probably not but this part was a little unclear to me.

I am paraphrasing here but in essence it sounds to me as if you’re saying there are different varieties of freedom both for man and God. That they aren’t parts of the same thing, but kinds that don’t even overlap and that belong to only either man or God. Certainly there are things God is free to do that man is not. That is beyond contestation. My Calvinist friends frequently use the example of a drug addicted man and one who is sober. The drug addicted person is “less free” than the sober man to choose to not do drugs. Both are free in a sense free to accept or refuse drugs but the drug addicted man is less free than the sober man to say no. And so in our sinful nature all men are like the drug addicted man, and only by God’s choice alone can anyone be like the sober man- being truly free. This is a type of “degrees or varieties of freedom” that I often hear about.

This example aside, I really think you have to take into the center what God’s will is. I really believe that God wants all of us to be saved, and yet some are not. Calvinists typically reply that God simply chooses who will and won’t be saved through God’s sovereign choice since no one deserves to be saved. Granted, no one deserves to be saved, but I don’t think God willfully causes anyone to reject Him. Further, I am convinced that God calls to every individual person, really desiring to show them mercy and save them. In this way, if they choose to reject God, the responsibility of their choice lands squarely on that person and not any other person or God. If free will is not a genuine reality, a call to repentance, and warnings against apostasy end up being in the end a misnomer. They couldn’t choose otherwise. God makes them choose one way or the other. Asciribing different levels or varieties of freedom to man and God only muddies further muddy water.

snecko-my-eggo-deactivated20170  asked:

What's wrong with Dalmatians? Like health wise? I've been hearing lots of people they have poor health but no specifics.

Dalmatians have a number of health problems. The two most prolific issues are congenital deafness and a genetic defect which damages the liver’s ability to process uric acid, leading to high levels of uric acid which can cause kidney and bladder stones, kidney and urinary tract disorders, and a few other conditions (like Dalmatian bronzing syndrome).

Deafness is extremely common in Dalmatians, with between 1 in 3 and 1 in 4 Dalmatians being born either unilaterally or bilaterally deaf, the highest rate of deafness in any dog breed. (In reality, the prevalence of deafness in the breed is likely higher but the Dalmatian Club of America recommends that breeders euthanize deaf puppies rather than placing them in pet homes.) Deafness is inextricably linked with the Dalmatian’s unique spotted coat, as the same genes that control pigment in the coat also control pigment in the inner ear, and lack of pigment in the inner ear damages melanocytes which are essential to normal hearing. Dalmatians with patches rather than the typical spots are significantly less likely to be deaf than spotted Dalmatians (10.45% vs 31.49% deaf), and Dalmatians with brown eyes are also less likely to be deaf than Dalmatians with blue eyes (27.66% vs 50.86%); however, patched Dalmatians are a disqualification according to the breed standard so breeding for patches is strongly discouraged by breed clubs even though it would greatly reduce the rate of deafness in the breed. Until the breed standard is modified to favor patched rather than spotted Dalmatians, it’s highly unlikely that the rate of deafness will decrease in the breed.

The other common issue is the breed’s high level of uric acid which leads to numerous complications, most commonly urolithiasis (urinary stones) and dermatitis. Until quite recently, every Dalmatian was homozygous for an autosomal recessive gene which inhibited the ability of the liver to process uric acid. Since every Dalmatian was homozygous for the defective gene, meaning none carried the normal gene, “breeding out” this defect without crossing to another breed was impossible. In the 1970′s, an outcross program was founded upon a single Pointer x Dalmatian cross which re-introduced the normal gene into the breed. The progeny of this outcross were backcrossed with purebred Dalmatians, and now their descendants are both phenotypically and genetically indistinguishable from “pure” Dalmatians other than the presence of the normal gene. In 1981, the AKC decided that LUA were phenotypically similar enough to “pure” Dalmatians to permit registering them as purebred, but the Dalmatian Club of America disagreed with this decision which stopped registration efforts. After being pressured by the AKC to permit registration of LUA Dalmatians despite the DCA’s stubborn insistence that these dogs should not be registered for several decades, in 2011 the DCA finally opened registration for LUA Dalmatians. As a result, it’s now possible to find Dalmatians without a propensity for the diseases associated with high levels of uric acid. While it’s theoretically possible for the entire Dalmatian breed to eventually carry the normal gene, it’s improbable that the defective gene will ever be completely eliminated from the gene pool and other congenital diseases could appear as a result of genetic bottlenecking unless further outcrosses are performed in the future.

Other congenital health problems reported in Dalmatians include (according the the Canine Inherited Disorders Database and Dog Breed Health):

  • Atopy
  • Bloat
  • Cancer (various)
  • Cataracts
  • Ceroid lipofuscinosis
  • Copper toxicosis
  • Dalmatian bronzing syndrome
  • Demodicosis / Demodectic mange
  • Dermoids
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Ectropion
  • Entropion
  • Epilepsy
  • Galactocerebrosidosis
  • Glaucoma
  • Globoid cell leukodystrophy (galactocerebrosidosis)
  • Hepatitis – copper associated chronic hepatitis (autoimmune liver disease)
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Hypertonic myopathies
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Laryngeal paralysis
  • Microphthalmia; ocular dysgenesis
  • Myelopathy
  • Pannus - chronic superficial keratitis
  • Peripheral neuropathies
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Sebaceous adenitis
  • Shoulder osteochondrosis
  • Spina bifida

Anecdotally, the vet where I work does a lot of work with a large Dalmatian rescue, so I’ve seen quite a few Dalmatians over the past few years. Other than the prolific issues of deafness and urolithiasis, the most common issues I’ve seen firsthand are chronic atopy/dermatitis, dilated cardiomyopathy, glaucoma (requiring enucleation [surgical removal of the eye] in both cases), and laryngeal paralysis which most commonly manifests as megaesophagus (the only cases of megaesophagus I’ve ever seen have all been Dalmatians).

scrumpyfan43  asked:

I heard about your campaign for governor and want to know what I can do to help from out of state, even if it's just to advance your agenda in other states (more eyes)

I was going to make a ‘please collude with (Russian dignitary)’ joke but that might come back to bite me if I ever actually ran for office. i don’t know what’s real and what counts anymore but I’m going to play it safe

please disseminate the message that this is our glorious future

all of the little red patches are places where the drosophila developed ectopic (nonfunctional) eyes - almost structurally identical to its actual eyes, but not connected to the kind of nervous infrastructure needed to process the data that the ectopic eyes collect. so sort of like if you grafted an ear to your knee, it wouldn’t ‘hear’, but it would ‘ear’. it would just be an ear on your knee.

‘eyeless’ (ey) is a master control gene in the morphogenesis of eyes in drosophila - it regulates as many as 2,500 genes related to eye development. turning ‘on’ the expression of ey in a specific tissue prompts the downstream activation of just about all of the complex processes that instruct drosophila’s tissues to turn into eyes. you can read a lot about the physiology and genetics behind this in Halder et al’s 1995 paper, Induction of Ectopic Eyes by Targeted Expression of the Eyeless Gene in Drosophila

GAL4 is a transcription factor that, as part of the UAS-GAL4 system, allows ectopic expression of desired genes in drosophila by crossing a ‘driver’ line, in which GAL4 is expressed in a particular pattern - say, in the fly’s imaginal discs - and a UAS line, in which a genetic payload, such as eyeless, is inserted downstream of the UAS binding site that GAL4, a yeast transcription factor, recognizes. When GAL4 binds with the UAS promotor in the offspring of the two lines, the gene inserted downstream of the UAS binding site is ‘turned on’ in any cell expressing the GAL4 enhancer.

the result is a Friend! At the junctures of his wings and haltere discs, the GAL4 enhancer and the UAS promoter unite to induce ectopic expression of ‘eyeless’, which results in those little red beads where one might expect to see legs and wings.

my platform for governor, at the moment, is that more flies should have more eyes, in as many locations as possible. further research into genetics and the ways that we can manipulate genetics is immeasurably valuable in understanding the ways that humans develop - we (humans) have a homologous gene called Aniridia that similarly governs the way that our eyes are formed and function.

what I’m really advocating for here is lots and lots of science education, for anyone who is willing to listen to me talk for a few minutes, and the opportunity for as many people as are interested to become familiar with genetics and the role of research science in their lives and their interactions with healthcare institutions, with medicine, and with their day to day lives. the more we can understand the world around us, the more information we have with which to make decisions. I would like everyone who wants the opportunity to put eyes on flies, or to look at flies with many eyes, to be able to do so.

also, there is a rapturous joy in creation! and all life is beautiful, especially life with many, many eyes with which to gaze upon their creators with love. I think a love of life and a love of creation accompanies the demystification of the process. we could all use a little more love of life and its preservation.

if you don’t live in florida, consider taking a moment to marvel at a nice insect today, or gaze at a person you care about and tell them how much you love them in support of my mission

More Eyes More Taking Care Of Each Other 2018

Eat for two?

Pregnant women will, famously, have food cravings. This is because their body is building another living organism. However, recent studies in epigenetics show that a mother’s diet while pregnant will actually change the genetic structure of the child’s DNA. You see DNA itself is a fixed thing at birth but it is made up of millions of switches which control gene expression. A gene which is turned off is as if it is not even there. These switches are turned on and off depending on environmental factors. In this way we adapt in a single generation not the hundreds of generations taught in classical Darwinian evolution.

What you eat, your sleep habits, your drinking habits all directly affect the gene expressions of your child. What is more amazing is that it may also affect the gene expressions of your grand children and even great grandchildren.