Saturday, September 6, 2008

46 chromosomes and I don't know @#$%!

Ah genetics! I was reminded today how strangely wonderful the whole concept is. Not long ago I was teaching Thing 1 all about Gregor Mendel and his pea plants and how people are exactly like peas, or something like that. Today, as we were enjoying a rainy day in, and working on a school project together as a family I was thinking about how I can see both Stacy and me in our children.

We have adorable children, which doesn't follow classic Mendelian inheritance since they each got at least 90% of that from their mother.

Our kids are smart and clever. I will take a little credit there, but maybe only the math and science parts.

Thing 1 and Thing 2 have a lot of energy and can talk a lot. Although each of their parents expresses the talkative gene a little differently, that trait is a definite 50-50 split.

People say we all look alike. They're probably right.

* * * * * * * * * *

Now I've got some things to teach all of the geneticists out there. I have a list of discoveries as well as a "wish list" of sorts.

Stacy has a version of the "don't know when to stop" gene (DKWTS). As an adult it's expressed more as the persistence gene. Apparently the DKWTS gene is dominant because the Things are fully expressing it today!

Thing 2 has a gene known as the "I'm so darn cute" gene (ISDC). This enables him to do any amount of mischief and then get away with it because his parents can't keep from laughing. His mother also has a version of this gene.

Thing 1 has a slightly different version of the ISDC gene. Her mischief is usually a little less bold.

Thing 1 has inherited her mother's ability to eat slowly. This leads me to believe that eating speed is somehow related to a combination of X chromosomes. You genetic researchers find out for me, will you?

(Funny Aside: Stacy invented a game at dinner to calm things down a bit. These things almost never work, but somehow this one did. In this game you have to eat slowly without talking. The last one to finish gets to talk first. If you talk before you're done, no dessert for you. So, Thing 2 thinks the first one done wins, so he shoved it in so fast Hoover would be proud. At least he finished. I figured Stacy would win given her X chromosome linked eating speed, but I actually outlasted her. Thing 1 seemed determined to win, but also determined to mime constantly throughout the entire meal, as if this somehow was calmer than actually speaking. Then she noticed that I had one bite left and started to smile and point.I then held my bite aloft without eating. Thing 1 started shaking her head. A game of chicken ensued. Naturally I then divided my already minuscule bite into many more. Plus I started chewing a lot. Then Thing 1 reclined in her seat and slowly played with her pasta. I then pretended to serve myself a little more broccoli. Thing 1 rolled her eyes. I have the "super stinker" gene, which my children both have inherited. Stacy has it, too. [DING!] That's the Buddhist bell bringing me back to the story I'm telling in this moment. Anyway, as Thing 1 and I prepare for a standoff, Stacy breaks the silence declaring, "It's like watching a Pixar short!" At this point we all laugh, I finish my bite, Thing 1 wins, and I start counting the minutes until tuck-in time.)

Back to genetics . . .

I'd like to know the pattern of inheritance and mutation for the following genes:

1. I think anything related to underwear is funny gene (I suspect it's on the Y chromosome, but there must be a minor expression somewhere else since both our children think underwear is funny.)

2. Every once in a while I need to be roughed up gene. (Likely another Y chromosome item.)

3. When I see my brother being roughed up, I think it would be fun, too gene.

4. Mischief is more fun when we both try to annoy Daddy gene.

5. When I see a scrap of paper I must cut it into a million littler scraps of paper gene.

6. Daddy can clean it up gene.

7. I'm much more comfortable just wearing underwear gene.

8. No matter how crazy I am during the day, I look angelic while I'm sleeping, and Mommy and Daddy won't be able to wait until I wake up gene.

Thanks all of you genetics nuts. I'm looking forward to your earth-shattering research.

[Update: I actually called this post "22 chromosomes and I don't know @#$%!" before I caught myself and changed it to 23. Then I realized, that should be 23 pairs, or 46 total, so now you know how little @#$% I really know.]


emily said...

i don't follow.

terahreu said...

We have the 'I forgot to put my underwear on' gene and the 'Eating boogers' gene. Both of which have nothing to do with me, and I am sure Axel would claim the same. How does that compute?

Dr. Mark said...

I'm sure it has something to do with natural selection or some other Darwinian concept.

Damn you, Darwin!

Jill O said...

We have many of the same genes around here, especially the "When I see a scrap of paper I must cut it into a million littler scraps of paper gene." Maybe there is a maturity factor in genes where immatures genes tend to harbor the same characteristics?

April (Thorup) Oaks said...

Ha ha. Fun post.

Lena said...

I'd like to know more about the "in one ear and out the other gene."

picturesandwordsilikethem said...

thank you for the kind words. it's been an adjustment. i wish i knew japanese but i'm trying to teach myself which is a slow process. haha. i've been slacking on the picture taking and blogwork but there will definitely be more later as i get settled in and become familiar with places so i can take better pictures. it's good hearing from you and i hope all is well. :)

Dr. Mark said...

These are all great suggestions. I'd also like to know the origins of "Gotta push the elevator buttons first Syndrome."

Boquinha said...

This is so funny. I love all the different genes everyone is coming up with. How about the "I claim to hear you but when asked to repeat it back approximately one second later, I can't remember" gene?

(Kim--that's your name, right?--thank you for posting! It really is fun to see your pictures and thoughts on Japan! Terrie told me about your blog. Japan is a fascinating place and the sushi looks great!)

J Fo said...

I'll be sure to keep my eyes open for any of the genes that come from the Foley side. Emmy is starting to manifest the, "I'm pretending that I can't hear you because I don't like what your saying gene." I think that's from Greg but he would probably beg to differ.