If the wizarding gene is dominant, as J.K. Rowling says in her famous series of Harry Potter books, then how can a wizard be born to muggle parents (non-magical people)? And how can there be squibs (non-magical people born into wizarding lines)?
It seems these baffling genetic questions have finally been answered, thanks to Andrea Klenotiz, a biology student at the University of Delaware.
In a six-page paper, which she sent to Rowling, Klenotiz outlines how the wizarding gene works and even explains why some witches and wizards are more powerful than others.
“Magical ability could be explained by a single autosomal dominant gene if it is caused by an expansion of trinucleotide repeats with non-Mendelian ratios of inheritance,” Klenotiz explains.
What does this mean?
In school we learn the fundamentals of genetics by studying Gregory Mendel’s pea plant experiments and completing basic Punnett squares. Basically, we’re taught that whenever one copy of a gene linked to a dominant trait is present, then the offspring will exhibit that dominant trait, regardless of the other gene.
However, Non-Mendelian genes don’t follow this rule, which is the basis of Klenotiz’s argument. She says that the wizarding gene could be explained if it’s caused by a trinucleotide repeat, which is the repetition of three nucleotides — the building blocks of DNA — multiple times.
These repeats can be found in normal genes, but sometimes many more copies of this repeated code can appear in genes than is standard, causing a mutation. This kind of mutation is responsible for genetic diseases like Huntington’s Disease. Depending upon how many of these repeats occur in the genes, a person could exhibit no symptoms, could have a mild form of the disease or could have a severe form of it.
In her paper, Klenotiz argues that eggs with high levels of these repeats are more likely to be fertilized, a phenomenon known as transmission ratio distortion. She also suggests that the egg or sperm with high levels of repeats is less likely to be created or to survive in the wizarding womb.
This argument answers several questions about wizarding genetics:
How can a wizard be born to muggle parents?
Genetic mutations can randomly appear, meaning anyone could be born with the wizarding gene. However, there’s a better chance of magical offspring occurring if the parents are on the high side of the normal range for mutations.
How can a squib be born to wizard parents?
Although parents with these mutated magical genes would be likely to pass the gene on to their children, there’s still a possibility that any given offspring might not inherit the trinucleotide repeat.
How can varying degrees of magical ability be explained?
The more repeats a wizard inherits, the stronger the magical power he or she will have. If both wizarding parents are powerful wizards, it’s likely their offspring will also be powerful.
You can read Klenotiz’s full paper on wizarding genetics here.
Far and away one of the nerdiest things I’ve ever read. Love it.
This makes me unreasonably happy.
That time that Catwoman angrily stomped on Captain Kirk’s foot
wait a minute… is that Gimli in the background??
It certainly is, with Mary Poppins
Ah, the nerd is strong with this post
Do you know your Helvetica from your Arial? If you do, you need to A) get out more and B) buy Type Trumps. Based on the classic game of one-upmanship, this über stylish deck of cards is aimed at all you font nerds, design hipsters and typeface freaks because it celebrates the joy of text.
As you’ve probably guessed, the idea is to compare the (irrationally ranked) attributes of various famous fonts. You know, things like legibility, cost of ownership and even special powers — which, in the case of Futura, is the fact that Stanley Kubrick was a fan.
Each card is written and styled in the relevant typeface so it
doubles up as a handy reference next time you’re designing your next masterpiece/wasting time typing party invites on Word
Many people believe geekdom is defined by a love of a thing, but I think — and my experience of geekdom bears on this thinking — that the true sign of a geek is a delight in sharing a thing. It’s the major difference between a geek and a hipster, you know: When a hipster sees someone else grooving on the thing they love, their reaction is to say “Oh, crap, now the wrong people like the thing I love.” When a geek sees someone else grooving on the thing they love, their reaction is to say “ZOMG YOU LOVE WHAT I LOVE COME WITH ME AND LET US LOVE IT TOGETHER.
not everyone is going to be as obsessed or invested in a movie, tv series, book or game as you are. they aren’t going to know all the lore and easter eggs, they aren’t going to bother connecting all the dots, they aren’t going to watch all the behind-the-scenes interviews, but they’re still enjoying it in their own way. which is great. there is nothing wrong with that. (and if you think so, you might need to reevaluate your priorities.)
so maybe them pointing out something you noticed a year ago makes you sigh and roll your eyes, but
if you bypass the eyeroll and go straight to targeting these people and bullying them? fucking wow, congratulations on being an internet bully.
the hypocrisy on here is astounding some days.
advocating against bullies, telling folks they’re great or wonderful or beautiful, or even asking others to send kind words to their hurting friend one second
and then pissing on a stranger for an extremely trivial reason the next?
This reminds me of a XKCD comic I love.
(“Saying ‘what kind of an idiot doesn’t know about the Yellowstone supervolcano’ is so much more boring than telling someone about the Yellowstone supervolcano for the first time.” )
I personally LOVE when there are new people in fandom and you get to point them to the really cool shit. I mean, Half the fun when I am Cosplaying Caroline from Portal 2 is explaining to people that you actually have to SEARCH her image out.
Than maybe this is just because I come from an older generation (but not by much) of fans. That when the Internet first started getting big it was amazing to find out new tidbits of info about something you had been a fan of for years. It opened all new views into something you loved.
Maybe it’s just because people are more cynical now but I despise this new elitism and segregation towards new fans.
I have to agree. I mean, I don’t know that I would classify it as BULLYING (except in very extreme cases) because I tend to think of bullying as repeated harrassment, and most people don’t troll people and tell them they’re worthless over not knowing something? But it can certainly make you FEEL worthless.
Like, I see this all the time on the homestuck upd8 tag. Staggeredly, people will come to the same realization about something, and then someone will go “holy shit, you guys, ____!” in a sarcastic way, or roll their eyes that someone just figured something out.
And like, okay, yeah, some people haven’t gotten there yet. Sometimes it’s 4 am when you read the newest comic or you play your game, maybe you’re not the superfan who reads every interview and thus you have no context, you might have just now found out there’s a corresponding comic to your CD, or it might be that this is a verbal puzzle and you’re really better at spatial, or whatnot.
But geez, where is the excitement? When did it stop being fun to just DISCOVER that someone else liked something and be able to talk about it for hours? (Answer: when we started being able to just track them in tags.)
I think though, the problem REALLY is that geeks will always — like all people, but sometimes, I think, a little worse — try to establish a hierarchy relating back to normality. You’re into fandom, but at least you aren’t the weird kid with the social boundary issues. Okay, you have social boundary issues but you’re a BNF and people like you. Okay, maybe you’re not a BNF but holy shit are you more knowledgable about everything than anyone on the planet and JUST LET THEM MAKE YOU PROVE IT.
Seriously, I am geek. I know how we roll. We like to think we know everything. We don’t.
A lotta people cheerfully geek identify by a hogwarts house,
i got sorted into slytherin in pottermore, but eh, i actually get real cross if i think about the harry potter sorting system and how it stops people being friends
but if i had to pick a geek identifier? Other then my hstuck one of Maid of Blood?
Indigo Tribe. Lantern corps represent, motherfuckers.
Any of you consider yourself a lantern? Let’s have a corps sound off!
Genuinely have no goddamn clue. Red or orange, realistically. Suspect red. Ugh, I don’t know. Other people, any ideas?
On the other hand I am so Slytherin it’s pretty sad really.
nah, i don’t see you as red or orange, marycakes. I actually think white, which is the Life power, the all of the emotions one, like the black power is the absence of emotion and death
OTHER INDIGOS WHERE ARE YOU. COME ON TEAM COMPASSION/REMORSE >:D
ERINNA I KNOW AS MUCH ABOUT THESE LANTERN THINGIES AS I KNOW ABOUT HARRY POTTER (read: absolutely nothing) BUT YOU SHOULD FEEL FREE TO TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK I WOULD BE
(actually that goes for harry potter house thingie too, I AM CULTURALLY ILLITERATE IT SEEMS.)
The lantern corps go
green - willpower ( the ‘balancing’ emotion, very varied members)
blue - hope (beautiful sweet badasses. every other lantern is picked by their magic rings, but the blue lanterns handpick each other.)
indigo - compassion/remorse (feeling sorrow for misdeeds, making right with peace and asskickings in equal measures)
star sapphires/pink - love/lust (these are a majority women corps, who started off as t and a, but they could actually be awesome in the right writers hands. and if it wasn’t assumed the entire multiverse was straight :|| )
red - rage (these are some cross angy babies.)
sinestro/yellow - fear (usually bad guys, again could be awesome)
agent orange- greeeeeed
white - life/every feeling
black- death/no feelingses
Ok so for erinkyan I choose green lantern, because dude, you are strong willed and a balancing element in everyone’s life, and for Hogwarts, you are a Hufflepuff. You like to feed and care for people, and foolish people assume that it means you are harmless and then BAM! up against the wall motherfuckers!!!
I APPRECIATE THAT THEY RECOGNISE WHITE=ALL AND BLACK=ABSENCE BECAUSE THAT IS ONE OF MY RIDICULOUS PET PEEVES
I APPRECI8 U LANTERN WRITERS
also i googled and aaawh
After the Red Lantern Corps’ ambush of Sinestro’s prison transport back to Korugar for execution, Hal Jordan and several other Lanterns were infected by the rage and hatred of the Red Lanterns’ pure anger. Saint Bro’Dee Walker then appeared and, using his Blue Power Ring, he purged Hal Jordan and the rest of the Green Lanterns from the poisoning, corrupting and controlling influence of the red rings.
blue lanterns are the healer class AAAWH
blue lanterns you are a present just for me ♥
aw, i don’t know much about the lanterns either because i am not a good geek
but i really like the blue lanterns
i would actually probably be an indigo lantern? i think. someone sort me. idek.
also i am definitely a hufflepuff (probably the most anxious hufflepuff on earth, but i think a bunch of people who all value loyalty and justice and toil probably WOULD sit around criticizing themselves for not being good enough) but i also think that the house system is a bit weird. NO ONE has only friends that are motivated by the same things they are. School spirit or not, you’d sort of have to make friends across house lines.
You guys. I seriously have anxiety that I’ll finally get my wrist tattoos and the artist will have somehow fucked up the kerning FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.
1. I love this graphic
2. My artist definitely fucked up the kerning/font on my wrist tattoo, but I still love it (and get compliments on it). C’est la vie, trusted the wrong guy and was too naive at age 19. That said I have found that demanding what you want, exactly how you want it (and sometimes that’s “draw what you want!”), assertively and not taking shit is the best way to go with a tattoo. MAKE SURE the kerning is right and if it’s not, have them redraw it, and check it on your skin. And if you’re getting a text tattoo make sure your artist has plenty of text in their portfolio - especially if you’d like a custom font.
I’m actually going to transcribe this because anyone with vision problems may be totally out of luck reading the captions whereas bigger text/screen readers can handle this:
Colbert: I have been judged on my love of Lord of the Rings. You remember the 6/6/06, like in June, how everyone was like “End of the world! Devil day!” Well, CNN had written a story on it and they ran a picture of what they purported to be a devil, to talk about the devil day.
But I happened to know that the picture they ran of the devil was actually a painting of a Balrog from the 1977 Brothers Hildebrandt J.R.R. Tolkien calendar. So I called them out on my show. I called BS on them and I explained the difference between a Balrog and a demon.
They’re very different. Ok? Demons are angels, who followed Satan into Hell because he wouldn’t serve God. Balrogs are Maiar, who followed Melkor to Thangorodrim because he wouldn’t serve Eru.
Conan: So wait a minute. You said that this got you into trouble, how did it get you into trouble?
Colbert: Because, Conan, it’s an obvious mistake. The Balrogs did not follow Melkor to Thangorodrim, they followed him to Utumno and then later to his fortress of Angbad that was guarded by the three mountains of Thangorodrim.
Conan: Wow. Incredible!
Colbert: Here’s incredible. I’ve actually bred. I’ve actually mated and had children.