Saturday, March 12, 2016

Tay Sachs and it's heterozygous advantage, or lack thereof.

Hello everyone!

Earlier in the quarter, we discussed frequency dependent selection, and the advantages of being heterozygous for certain genes. For instance, being heterozygous for sickle cell anemia is beneficial for those who live where malaria is present. Tay Sach's was also mentioned as being beneficial for carriers, but not specified to what and why, so I looked it up. According to random people on the internet, being a Tay Sachs carrier gives slight resistance to tuberculosis, however, when I looked for papers regarding this, I found one that said there was no heterozygous advantage to being a Tay Sachs carrier. Instead, the higher frequency in the Ashkenazi Jewish population is attributed to the founder effect and genetic drift.

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