Monday, March 07, 2005

I've got to write

a paper in the next few weeks about this guy, who I'm interested in because of the following: "Maupertuis' Systeme de la nature (1751) contained theoretical speculations on the nature of biparental heredity based on his careful study of the occurrences of polydactyly, or extra fingers, in several generations of a Berlin family. He demonstrated that polydactyly could be transmitted by either the male or female parent, and he presciently explained the trait as the result of a mutation in the 'hereditary particles' possessed by them. He also calculated the mathematical probability of the trait's future occurrence in new members of the family. In this research Maupertuis produced the first scientifically accurate record of the transmission of a dominant hereditary trait in humans."

It's for this conference--I'm excited, I've never been to Vegas...

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