Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Communities of Mutants Form as DNA Testing Grows

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the okay-yeah-that's-kinda-strange dept.

Social Networks 161

GeneRegulator writes "The NY Times is running a story on communities that are forming around kids with rare genetic mutations. New technology that can scan chromosomes for small errors is being applied first to children with autism and other 'unexplained developmental delays.' It turns out that many of them have small deletions or duplications of DNA. Meanwhile, hundreds of little groups are forming around the banner of their children's shared mutations. As new research shows that many of us have small deletions and duplications of DNA that separate us from our parents, and that many of these "copy number variants" contribute to skills and senses, the families described in the story may presage the formation of all sorts of 'communities of the genetically rare' in the general population, not just amongst the developmentally delayed."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Finally! (5, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#21850510)

Finally I'll be able to find others with an abnormally small penis!

Prior to this I had been hanging around sports car dealerships.

Re:Finally! (1)

Alapapa (723716) | more than 6 years ago | (#21850616)

you & the other Hummer drivers may, in fact, be suffering from SPS [webmd.com]

Re:Finally! (5, Funny)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 6 years ago | (#21850708)

Finally I'll be able to find others with an abnormally small penis!

Prior to this I had been hanging around sports car dealerships.


Well, that explains why you haven't been able to find others of your kind. Your information is sadly out of date. The micropenis crowd is found in the SUV section these days. If you want to meet some folks who will make you feel like Ron Jeremy by comparison, try a Hummer dealership.

Me, I'll be outside working on my Toyota Corolla.

Re:Finally! (1, Funny)

smidget2k4 (847334) | more than 6 years ago | (#21850752)

And I'll be driving two H2s at once. One is remote controlled.

Re:Finally! (0)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21850768)

Just a wild guess, but do you have an implant in your "ISP"? That's kind of a remote control too...

Re:Finally! (3, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#21850794)

A Toyota Corolla? You must be hung like King Kong. Next you'll tell me that you don't even have a speed boat or a gold chain.

Re:Finally! (1)

downix (84795) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851344)

And here I am driving a Moped....

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21851494)

I used to drive a bike. That is, until the spokes caught my member...

Re:Finally! (0, Troll)

MarsDefenseMinister (738128) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852578)

I fly a 200 knot capable airplane worth a half million dollars. I bought it myself, paid cash. The way I see it, hot dogs of any kind are for poor people.

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21852728)

Sexy. What kind of plane?

Re:Finally! (1)

Monsterdog (985765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851592)

I'm going to be running around in my Messerschmidt Bubble Car.

Re:Finally! (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851130)

I've never really understood this sort of thing, it's really a lame joke at best.

If you had completely "ordinary" interests and had no interest in anything that's different, does that mean you have a really big unit? It just seems like this sort of joke is part of a semi-conscious attempt to homogenize people by mocking others that happen to like or own unusual things.

Re:Finally! (2, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852564)

Jesus Christ, man. I make a joke at my own expense! Don't get so bent out of shape just because you're into collecting phallic symbols! If you were Bart Simpson, I'd have you write "It was just a silly joke." on the blackboard.

Besides, there's liking unusual things, and then there's spending hundreds of thousands of dollars extra to get 1 extra knot out of a boat... and then you weigh it down with a full kitchen and bedroom. Or getting a really, really fast race-caliber sports car... and then ordering power windows. I have a full appreciation for people who are into racing and like to go fast - but most people are just showing off.

Please help out (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21850516)

Drunkard Town [myminicity.com] is excited to bring you an exciting update on our Vole Colony Relocation Program*!

No longer do you need to be concerned about disturbing the habitat of aggressive carniverous voles while stumbling about our sprawling, well appointed, super fun vacation super-coplex, because recent montitoring suggests that the program's effectiveness is better than ever! Skeletonizations of visitors to our picturesque Nature Walks is down to 9.7%, the lowest mark since about 5 days ago. We are also offering, free** with each hotel room purchase, a paper cone to assist in yur shouting a warning to your fellow tourists in the unlikely event of a vole sighting.

Rest assured that Drunkard Town [myminicity.com] is working hard for your safety and to ensure a death free*** visit for each an every Drunkard Town [myminicity.com] patron who visits Drunkard Town [myminicity.com] . We you and your tourist dollars too much to have it any other way.

* actual vole colonies incinerated
** $9.75 shipping and handling fee applied to your bill
*** drug and alcohol related deaths excepted from statistics

Re:Please help out (3, Insightful)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21850534)

Can we just IP-ban anyone who posts a myminicity link?

Re:Please help out (4, Interesting)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 6 years ago | (#21850598)

Myminicity links should get ip-banned.

Stealth myminicity links should have their ip published so nerds with free time and anger issues could track the poster down and punch them in the balls.

Re:Please help out (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21850642)

YEAH! 'Cause that's totally what most nerds do! Don't you remember in school? The roaming packs of nerds picking fights with all the bigger, stronger kids?

Re:Please help out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21850834)

You forgot that these nerds have access to the internet hate machine.

Re:Please help out (4, Funny)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852214)

No, no, no.

They have telekinetic mutant powers.

Hah, call me off-topic now!

Re:Please help out (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21850652)

Just do what I do with links on slashdot.
Pretend you are playing a game and in your head just before you click a link, think "It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue."

It works wonders and the next time you play the game you are more cautious about clicking links.
At the absolute very least the grandparent did not hide any of his links in redirection services.

Re:Please help out (0)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851354)

I see them everywhere but never click on them. What exactly is myminicity?

Just consider... (1)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852200)

whose fault it may be?

Re:Please help out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21850968)

Why? Some of them are even quite fun, especially since you can now upload images for billboards. Check it out: http://pussy666.myminicity.com/ [myminicity.com]
 

Re:Please help out (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21850998)

parent is lying, like all minicity spammers.

Re:Please help out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21851248)

what's myminicity? I've been seeing the links pop up by anonymous trolls, but never clicked on them. SFW?

Re:Please help out (2, Informative)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851422)

Yeah, it's safe. It's basically like a web-based simcity, and overall looks like a cool fun game concept. But apparently they have some kind of "affiliate program" or whatever that pays you by the page hit, so everyone is spamming them all over the intertubes, pissing everyone off, and myminicity isn't doing a thing about it (hell they created the problem in the first place). Supposedly it's against their TOS, but hey rule #1 about spammers. So now I pretty much wait for them to go out of business, and welcome any suggestions on how to hurry that along.

Re:Please help out (1)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851532)

Someone mentioned clickbotting the minicity links to get those cities shut down for fraud.

Handedness (4, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21850520)

I've often heard left-handedness attributed to development conditions in the womb, but is it suspected to be one of these random DNA mutations, or to some higher-level effect on the brain?

Re:Handedness (3, Informative)

thewiz (24994) | more than 6 years ago | (#21850860)

Actually, a random mutation would be more like myself and my wife. We both have "disabilities" that, as far as the doctors can tell, are from random mutations. My wife has achondroplasia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwarfism [wikipedia.org] and no one else in her family (ancestors included) had dwarfism. The congenital heart defect I was born with is normally caused by the mother having scarlet fever when pregnant and my mother never contracted the disease.

Re:Handedness (2, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851724)

I think that it really depends what the mutation is whether or not this is a good idea. When it comes to dwarfism, that makes some degree of sense in that the community can be scaled appropriately for people of that size.

But in general I think that this is a really, really bad idea. Segregation by religion really worked out well for pre WWII Jews in Europe. Sure that's probably about the worst that it can be, but it is still a good reason to consider whether this kind of thing is a good idea. I personally have very little confidence that as a species we've come far enough for it to work. I mean if you substitute German, Italian, or Japanese for Muslim, you have largely the same stuff happening again as 90 years ago, sub in Irish or Chinese and you've got a repetition of 100 years or so ago.

Support groups, and medical facilities on the other hand where appropriate would without a doubt be of benefit to everyone who has a rare condition. As well as being less wasteful of medical care for everybody else.

I'm sure that for those people that do have a rare condition that it would be nice to know other people with it, but it is a risky thing to concentrate a group of people that are different than the populace at large, if for no other reason than it makes it far easier to establish an us them mentality. Even a minor condition like being able to wiggle ones ears makes a surprising impact on ones world view.

social pressure (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#21850932)

I've often heard left-handedness attributed to development conditions in the womb, but is it suspected to be one of these random DNA mutations, or to some higher-level effect on the brain?
I think that the genetic origin of handedness is greatly exaggerated.

I used to hate being asked if I was right or left handed as a child. I'm not. I use both hands, you weird adults.
Of course, I was taught to use only the right hand to write, so I'm right handed, but I often get "oh, you're left handed?" comments from people who see me use my left hand for mundane tasks (grabbing a folder on a desk at work, or holding a fork).

Re:social pressure (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851052)

I think that the genetic origin of handedness is greatly exaggerated.

After I started to develop RSI in my right hand I switched my mouse to the left which helped a lot. Since then I have found that I can do most things with my left and that I don't really have a strong right handed bias.

But I have noticed that my brother's three year old son is very strongly right handed. Much more so than my son or myself. I just don't know if this is caused by genetics or learned behaviour.

Re:social pressure (1)

fluxrad (125130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851192)

In my experience, most righties are strongly right handed like your nephew. You'll notice a much greater level of ambidextrous behavior in left handed people - generally this is because they were given free reign to figure out which hand they preferred for every-day tasks. Usually, the test is this: ask someone who's right handed to write a sentence with their left. Now do the opposite with a lefty. You'll find that the lefty can generally write far more legibly with their right hand than said righty with their left. The same is true for most tasks, keeping in mind that this is more of a generalization than a hard and fast rule.

There are also lots of interesting circumstances around there in the older set (usually folks above 50) who were usually forced to use their right hands for tasks even if they were left handed. That really screwed people up.

It's hard to say whether or not handedness is environmental or genetic - I lean towards environmental - but even if it is, I don't think we're talking about the way a child is raised ("No, timmy. Use your right hand!") but rather psychological factors that probably play a part. Hell, maybe some kids just pick and some kids don't.

Re:social pressure (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851312)

So far as the brain is concerned, handedness is pretty structural, I think. I mean, you are talking about the dominant hemisphere after all. That's not something you just switch back and forth.

Left-handedness runs in my family, has for generations. I am, my father was, my grandfather was (on both sides) although I'm the only lefty in my generation. It's not something you pick: it's intrinsic. As you correctly point out, attempts to "convert" left-handed people into righties not only do not work, but cause a host of social and psychological problems that last a lifetime. Fortunately I was born to a left-handed parent who point-blank refused any of that nonsense. Compared to some people I know whose parents felt that left-handedness carried too great a social stigma (for them, not their kids) and tried to force their children to be right-handers, I'm a hell of a lot better off.

I'll admit though, I had one English instructor in high school that insisted that we use fountain pens. He couldn't have cared less what had we used, but if you've ever tried to write with a fountain pen with your left hand you'll know what I mean.

Re:social pressure (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851958)

why would there be social stigma with being left handed? it's been several 100 years since we gave up wiping our assholes with our left hand, so it's not a hygene factor.

i grew up with a few lefties as friends and they never received any flack for it, if anything it made them feel a bit special.

was the 50's in america THAT fucked up?

Re:social pressure (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852164)

Yes, although it was worse a few decades before. But I'm not just talking about America. Anti-left-hand bias is not uncommon in some parts of the world, I mean, just because we got over it doesn't mean that other peoples have. My girlfriend, for example, is a left-handed North African, and during her early childhood there was an ongoing battle between her parents as to whether she should be allowed to use her left hand to write. Her mother felt that there was something "wrong" with left-handedness, and did her best to discourage it whenever her father wasn't around. She still has some problems from that treatment to this day.

Re:Handedness (1)

dwalsh (87765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852596)

Well then you don't know anything about left-handedness. If it was a DNA related thing, left-handed parents would be more likely to give birth to left-handed kids.

I for one... (-1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21850542)

OW! OW! Stop it! OW! OW! OW! I mean it! OW! OW!

X-Men (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21850550)

Finally X-Men are real. There, I said the first X-Men comment!!!

Re:X-Men (1)

The Evil Couch (621105) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851828)

Finally X-Men are real. There, I said the first X-Men comment!!!
You got the post in awfully fast. As fast as Quicksilver, you might say.

That's all well and good ... (4, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21850606)

the families described in the story may presage the formation of all sorts of 'communities of the genetically rare' in the general population

They may not fare so well in the Great Collapse of 2017 (mark my words ... I pick a different year every time so I will be right.) In any post-Apocalyptic environment, everyone knows that those who are "different" are invariably put to death, unless they have some supra-normal power(s) that they can use to defend themselves and rule over the remaining survivors.

Re:That's all well and good ... (5, Funny)

rant64 (1148751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21850846)

Mutation is behind the entire concept of evolution. Sometimes, genetic mutation will drive you bald or limp. Then you die. Sometimes, genetic mutation will cause a newborn to be blessed with +1 CHA or +1 INT. Those are the specimen that thrive.

Re:That's all well and good ... (4, Interesting)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851198)

Haha funny. Hmm, slashdot should have some sort of mini-moderation whereby you can mod people up by 0.01 if you don't have a modpoint, to increase the precision of moderation.

Re:That's all well and good ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21851412)

But all you +1 Str guys can eat my will save.

Re:That's all well and good ... (3, Insightful)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851188)

I know you're joking but most will just die because their protected environment went away.
How many will die if insulin were just not available? A friend needs ranitidine to survive, without it he'd be dead within a short period of time. Turn off the civilization switch and you'll lose a huge percentage. It really doesn't take much to turn it off either. :(

Re:That's all well and good ... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851270)

No kidding ... the great weakness of civilization (at least at our current stage of development) is its essential fragility. It would be hard to wipe out the human race entirely (short of nuclear winter or some engineered pathogen) but civilization can be destroyed very easily. And given that we've consumed most of the readily-available mineral resources, if there is a major worldwide collapse odds are we won't be climbing back.

Re:That's all well and good ... (1)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851586)

Civilization might return by making use of different resources. Also, even if civilization is destroyed, the accumulated knowledge it has built up would likely be more difficult to destroy (and thus civilization could possibly return more quickly). For example, the Aztecs did pretty well prior to their conquest by the Europeans considering that their technology was technically stone-age.

Re:That's all well and good ... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851738)

True, but more and more of that knowledge is becoming enshrined in storage systems readable only to a technology at least equivalent to our own (and maybe not even then, as encryption becomes more and more prevalent.) I used to think that, well, even if a new Dark Age comes to pass, at least we'll have all the information in the thousands of libraries around the world to help us out of it. The problem is, less and less is being published in paper form every year, more and more is being distributed electronically. Worse, due to ridiculous IP laws much of our commercially-funded research and technology is being kept proprietary indefinitely.

Information is fragile, and as the very idea of a "book" becomes passé, we may find that everything we've worked so hard to learn these past two hundred years will be inaccessible. It's happened before. As societies collapse (or are sacked) much tends to be destroyed and lost forever. The only good news is that in the Internet Age information is being spread far and wide, so there's less dependence upon centralized stores (remember the great Library at Alexandria, and what ultimately happened to it.)

Re:That's all well and good ... (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851558)

I know you're joking but most will just die because their protected environment went away.
How many will die if insulin were just not available? A friend needs ranitidine to survive, without it he'd be dead within a short period of time. Turn off the civilization switch and you'll lose a huge percentage.

Of course, if the protected environment of current civilization were to be taken away, most of the perfectly healthy people would also perish. Not only are there many times more of us than hunter-gatherer lifestyle can support, but I for one have no idea how to live off the land.

Re:That's all well and good ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21852348)

Well at least you got the year right.

2 + 0 + 1 + 7 = 10
10 base 2 = 2 base 10

2nd coming rawr.

Rare != good (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21850636)

Parents are forming communities around their disabled children, and there is no scientific evidence linking the causes of disabilities cited in the article to anything beneficial to life in human society.

I won't help these parents foster an aura of chicness around useless and/or harmful mutations. It's selfish and fundamentally wrong, and the next step - as forwarded by these selfsame groups - is "designer disabled" babies.

I don't support creating children with blindness or autism any more than I support creating children with cancer or polio. Political correctness is fine to an extent when used diplomatically in politics, but the idea of "differently-abled" conditions being attractive is abhorrent.

It's a direct consequence of allowing abortion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21850808)

Look, in this modern world a woman has a right to kill a fetus. So it has no rights before it is an infant.

People can make a hue and cry about deaf couples breaking their babies' hearing intentionally [timesonline.co.uk] until the cows come home, but in the end, messing with a zygote to give it three eyes or a saucer-shaped head is not worse than not allowing it to live at all.

Anyone that stands on the principle behind the right to kill fetuses in the womb cannot oppose designer-deaf kids or any other similar organic kludges.

Re:It's a direct consequence of allowing abortion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21850872)

Look, in this modern world a woman has a right to kill a fetus. So it has no rights before it is an infant.

People can make a hue and cry about deaf couples breaking their babies' hearing intentionally until the cows come home, but in the end, messing with a zygote to give it three eyes or a saucer-shaped head is not worse than not allowing it to live at all.

Anyone that stands on the principle behind the right to kill fetuses in the womb cannot oppose designer-deaf kids or any other similar organic kludges.


We are starting a cat ranch in Lacon with 100,000 cats. Each cat will average 12 kittens a year. The cat skins will sell for 30 cents each. 100 men can skin 5,000 cats a day. We figure a daily net profit of over $10,000.

Now what shall we feed the cats? We will start a rat farm next door with 1,000,000 rats. The rats breed 12 times faster than the cats. So we will have 4 rats to feed each day to each cat.

Now what shall we feed the rats? We will feed the rats the carcasses of the cats after they have been skinned. Now Get This : we feed the rats to the cats and the cats to the rats and get the cat skins for nothing!

Re:It's a direct consequence of allowing abortion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21850994)

Anyone that stands on the principle behind the right to kill fetuses in the womb cannot oppose designer-deaf kids or any other similar organic kludges.

Bullshit. A dead fetus is dead. It cannot suffer anymore, it is no more alive than a hamburger. A live, crippled infant could suffer for years and years.

Acutally, though, I support the rights of parents, and ONLY the parents, to decide the genetic makeup of their offspring.

Re:It's a direct consequence of allowing abortion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21851956)

Bullshit. A dead fetus is dead. It cannot suffer anymore, it is no more alive than a hamburger. A live, crippled infant could suffer for years and years.


Your view is hopelessly archaic. Having a crippling disability is now a protected form of uniqueness deserving of having communities formed around it.

Characterizing the traits of rare individuals as "suffering" is bigotry.

Re:It's a direct consequence of allowing abortion. (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851102)

but in the end, messing with a zygote to give it three eyes or a saucer-shaped head is not worse than not allowing it to live at all.

You must have a very negative view of the afterlife. Everyone dies, it is just a question of when and how much it hurts.

Genetic disease/deformity is one of the best reasons for maintaining legal abortions. In the interests of giving every zygote the highest possible quality of life it is sometime necessary to end that life in the first trimester. It is akin to shooting someone in the head when they are in the midst of burning to death. Deaf parents requesting deaf children is lowering the possible quality of life of the zygote.

Re:It's a direct consequence of allowing abortion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21851380)

Because it's a zygote, not a person? ... Because only genetics determines your quality of life? ... Because genetic variation is a bad thing? ... Because you're scared of difference? ... Because they're too expensive to keep alive?

fuck off

Re:It's a direct consequence of allowing abortion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21852030)

Go make yourself different since you're so keen on it. Pluck out your eyes and chop an arm off for starters. Go on, your quality of life isn't determined by eye- or hand-possession. It's a perfectly reasonable challenge according to you, so go do it right fucking now.

Chop your fucking arm off now. Do it, or stand forever as a hypocrite.

Re:It's a direct consequence of allowing abortion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21852192)

Actually, I've got no depth perception. Makes life a little different. I guess I should have been killed because I won't have the best life possible, and won't be able to see shapes in the clouds and crossing the street is a bit more intimidating then most. I suppose I shouldn't have been allowed to participate in your perfect world.

Re:It's a direct consequence of allowing abortion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21852794)

Nobody is arguing that babies born with natural genetic defects should not be allowed to be born, you flat-visioned lummox, and it isn't a logical conclusion that follows from any argument that has been made, you monocular steer.

Re:It's a direct consequence of allowing abortion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21852532)

Chop your fucking arm off now. Do it, or stand forever as a hypocrite.
I see how it is. You didn't want to be a hypocrite, so, in lieu of cutting off an appendage, you got that massive lobotomy. Good job. Idiot, these people aren't damaging themselves intentionally, they're just trying to get by and live the best life they can, and they don't need jackasses like you antagonizing them. Jeez, judging by your posts, I'd say you're just jealous of the physically disabled.

Re:It's a direct consequence of allowing abortion. (1)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852284)

You must have a very negative view of the afterlife. Everyone dies, it is just a question of when and how much it hurts.
So you propose just throwing the baby over the wall and hoping there's a magic land of joy on the other side? Besides, your argument justifies any kind of murder.

Re:Rare != good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21850814)

The nail that sticks up gets the hammer. "Communities" revolving around developmental disabilities will not extend to normals because there is no reason for it. The fact that the technology exists means less than nothing until the human genome is fully cracked. There is no reason for identifying rare genetic traits that produce no identifiable effect. You may as well expect "communities" of people with similar whorls in their fingerprints to gather together. Tautological, but unless it means something it's meaningless!

There is a chance you will see communities forming around genetic rarities with net positive effects, but when we can identify those it will be no use segregating the natural-born possessors since everyone will want the effects.

Re:Rare != good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21851314)

Yeah, I totally agree. Those who are in some way disabled are subhuman, and shouldn't be allowed to form support groups. They deserve to suffer alone, especially since they're so proud of the medical problems, handicaps, ect., and wouldn't get rid of them if given the chance. /sarcasm

Re:Rare != good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21851916)

So you're in favor of intentionally crippling babies in the womb or designing them with disabilities in order to nurture and add participants to the community of the disabled?

Re:Rare != good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21852420)

Idiot. They don't like/want the disability, they're basically just support groups. They're not crippling unborn babies to further the disabled community, just helping each other cope with whatever particular ailment they've got. How many of them do you think would wish disability upon their children? Not many, I bet.

Save the cheerleader... (2, Funny)

slummy (887268) | more than 6 years ago | (#21850694)

save the world

Re:Save the cheerleader... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21850736)

do you see this heroes crap?, what a shame....

This isn't anything new (4, Interesting)

DebateG (1001165) | more than 6 years ago | (#21850702)

Support groups for families and children with rare diseases have been around for decades. Whether someone in your family has Rett sydnrome [rettsyndrome.org] , Glanzmann's thrombasthenia [glanzmanns.com] , or Schwachman Diamond Syndrome [shwachman-diamond.org] , you can find other people who are in a similar situation. There interesting thing here is that doctors are identifying new chromosomal abnormalities and sub-classifying people whose diseases were previously under an umbrella of ambiguous terms such as "autism." This is a good thing, because these diseases are most certainly heterogeneous at the molecular level and probably manifest themselves in subtlety different ways that aren't obvious when there are only four or five cases ever described. Unfortunately, the treatments for them rarely takes into account the underlying genetic cause, and advocacy and support groups such as these can better inform doctors and researchers about these rare diseases.

Re:This isn't anything new (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851820)

Here's one for Nager's Syndrome [fnms.net] that I have (rare case too). :(

Holy Fuck. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21850722)

Developmentally delayed? Genetically rare? Are they talking about retards, or mutants?

If anyone thinks these are the "next stage" of human evolution, or indigo children, the answer is no. Nor are down's syndrome people "prototypes" for the next stage.

Vive la difference - we all carry lethal alleles (4, Informative)

dstates (629350) | more than 6 years ago | (#21850842)

Another name for these microdeletions is copy number variation [sanger.ac.uk] , a normal form of variation in the human genome. There is also a fundamental concept in population genetics called genetic load [wikipedia.org] which are recessive lethal alleles present in any population as a result of new mutations and limited selection against rare recessive alleles. Just be glad we are not all the same because then a single bad virus like the 1918 influenza could wipe us all out. Besides life would be so boring.

Re:Vive la difference - we all carry lethal allele (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851172)

There are ideas that sexual reproduction arose as a response to disease. Every individual having a different genetic combination slows down the effectiveness of any given strain. That's a good defense as a virus can mutate a lot quicker than larger organisms can.

Re:Vive la difference - we all carry lethal allele (1)

BotnetZombie (1174935) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851514)

We all carry lethal alleles? Speak for yourself buddy, I have none of those. Btw, no matter where I look on the interwebs, I simply cannot find a community for my kind. Wont someone please think of the zombies?

I've heard of one of those communities. . . (1)

Salgak1 (20136) | more than 6 years ago | (#21850888)

. . . runs out of school for exceptional children on Long Island. Place, as I recall, is called Xavier's Academy. . . .

Re:I've heard of one of those communities. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21851628)

Aren't you glad you didn't go for the obvious joke?

Branching of the species? (3, Interesting)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#21850920)

So if "the genetically rare" for their own communities they will inevitably forge their own traditions and standards. ie: a different standard of beauty "There was no missing the similarities: the flat bridge of their noses, the thin lips, the fold near the corner of their eyes" or different etiquette "If one of his siblings is sitting at his place at the breakfast table, Jackson screams. If a schoolmate gets too close to him, Jackson screams. If someone interrupts him while he is speaking, Jackson screams." So this community is well on it's way to being a separate culture. That's fine, perhaps even wonderful. I'm curious about the long term. This new culture, being originally based around genetic differences, will carry these differences from generation to generation. People want children who carry on their traits and culture, if that includes a standard of beauty that is inline with the facial structure and body size of Primordial Dwarfism, then it would make sense that they would want their children to be Primordial Dwarves. I'm wondering at what point of maintaining a consistent genetic difference would that culture become a parallel species in the way that Homo Erectus and Homo Ergaster lived side by side.

I hope that no one takes offense at my ponderings. I do not mean to suggest that anyone born with a genetic difference is less than human. I am simply wondering if and when those differences will become self sustaining and a primary characteristic within a newly forming culture and if that would require a new scientific classification. Humanity is more than just genetics.

Re:Branching of the species? (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 6 years ago | (#21850934)

As a parent, it sounds like Jackson is just another spoiled little brat, and he's acting that way because he has bad parents, not because of any genetic difference.

Re:Branching of the species? (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851232)

it sounds like Jackson is just another spoiled little brat

Just like my ADD was "just lazy and undisciplined"?
TFA didn't seem to mention the particular condition that Jackson has, but I know autistic kids that have some socially unwelcome reactions to seemingly minor things. I think it has to do with their perceptual differences, what seems important to them seems unimportant to us and vice versa. Where you think it is no big deal for Jackson to sit in a different chair, jackson may see a deep interruption to his daily ritual. Where you think of his screaming as frustrating and embarassing, he thinks that a scream is just a noise and is trivial. That is part of why a community of autistic children would likely form an etiquette that is foreign to us. Your reaction, which would be most anyone's reaction if Jackson where screaming in a foodcourt or church, is why the parents of these children have sought to form group with like families.

Eugenics is cute. (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851292)

These people are fools, but it will be amusing to see how their experiments work out.

Re:Branching of the species? (3, Insightful)

servognome (738846) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852332)

Just like my ADD was "just lazy and undisciplined"?
TFA didn't seem to mention the particular condition that Jackson has, but I know autistic kids that have some socially unwelcome reactions to seemingly minor things. I think it has to do with their perceptual differences, what seems important to them seems unimportant to us and vice versa.
So what if there is a genetic "excuse." Most people have problems, and but are able to overcome them to integrate better into society.

Re:Branching of the species? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21851378)

unfortunately no, its unlikely, badly behaved kids are one thing, but I know of 3 siblings that suffer from similar problems. unfortunately the birth mother has the same problems.

Your thinking of a child that has a temper tantrum for 10 minutes or so. These kids can keep it up for 6 hours with no difficulty. and no its not nurture they have adopted from a very young age. The other children in that household are completely normal.

yes 6 hours constant screaming...

behavioural problems can be from nurture, but in this case its nature.

Re:Branching of the species? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851174)

Note: I am not calling you, or anyone else, racist.

I got through to "want their children to be Primordial Dwarves" and thought: How is this -any- different than racism? It's a genetic difference that basically means nothing. The only difference I see is that they are segregating themselves, instead of the majority doing the segregation. In the end, I predict a bunch of 'genetic difference X' minorities that suddenly want special rights simply because they are different.

Newsflash: Everyone is different. Not all of us choose to shout our differences from the rooftops.

Re:Branching of the species? (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851588)

How is this -any- different than racism?

The difference is you presumption of a negative connotation. If a person is proud of who they are, they may well want to pass as much of that along to their children as possible. That isn't racism, it's identity. My whole family has blue eyes. When I look as my nephews, I see their blue eyes and how they are so very similar to their father's and to mine. I wouldn't love them less if they had brown eyes, but I also wouldn't have that similarity/connection with them. I can only assume that you would want to have your offspring to share in your traits as well. My point about "want(ing) their children to be Primordial Dwarves" was that, within a community bound together by the genetic trait of primordial dwarfism, that trait would be a source of pride and would be seen as a positive thing to be passed on. Any negative feelings surrounding that idea are brought by our different culture. To suggest that a person wouldn't want their child to be like them would seem to be a deeper prejudice to me. Deaf parents are requesting deaf children after all. Once you remove the idea that these people are somehow "broken" it makes a lot of sense. As the Darwinian influences of predators and medical difficulties and the need for physical prowess, all subside so to must the Darwinian born ideals of what make a person "complete" subside.

Re:Branching of the species? (1)

crashfrog (126007) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852156)

To suggest that a person wouldn't want their child to be like them would seem to be a deeper prejudice to me. Deaf parents are requesting deaf children after all. Once you remove the idea that these people are somehow "broken" it makes a lot of sense.

But a person who is deaf is broken, objectively. They have a hearing impediment, a disability. And it's monstrous - an absolute barbarity, like the sexual abuse of a child - for a deaf person to deafen their child just so that it'll be "more like them."

If a soldier came back from Iraq missing a leg, there's no way as a culture we would sit still as he took a saw and mutilated his child - amputated a leg - to make his child "more like him." And I don't see a single bit of difference between a man disabled by the loss of a limb and a person disabled by the loss of their hearing. Why on Earth would we allow parents to mutilate their children - regardless of whether its by surgery or by knowingly transmitting genetic, congenital disabilities - just to make children "more like them?"

I mean, for fuck's sake, how far does "more like us" go? Is there nothing a parent should be allowed to inflict on their child to make them "more like them"?

Re:Branching of the species? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21852612)

Why on Earth would we allow parents to mutilate their children - regardless of whether its by surgery or by knowingly transmitting genetic, congenital disabilities

So then people with genetic defects should be sterilized? Or maybe all embryos should have to undergo screening before being allowed to be carried to term? Where is the line between "broken" and below average? Should stupid/ugly/criminal people be allowed to breed?
Yes I'm taking your line of thought to an extreme. But that line of thought does require that some people are labeled "genetically deficient" and once you have that label it's placement becomes a very slippery dangerous thing. I agree that purposefully deaf kids is kinda fucked up, but I also think that allowing welfare mothers to have more than one child is fucked up. Hey, as long as we are drawing a line between worth breeding/not-worth breeding, I'm gonna set the line pretty high.

Re:Branching of the species? (1)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852346)

You don't know if by selecting the blue-eyed prebabies you're also passing on some genetic disease (we can't detect all of them). The point of sexual reproduction is having diversity and trying to keep the nasty genes away from each other.

More than Human (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21851424)

See More than Human by Theodore Sturgeon

"genetically rare" (1)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851216)

genetically rare
Uniqueness is very common. Almost everybody is!

Suprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21851452)

Just another way for people to divide themselves, adding to the list of race, religion etc. Does seem a bit wacky, like tall/short people only hanging around with each other, or picking friends based on hair/eye color.

New (0, Redundant)

skeftomai (1057866) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851684)

I am NOT a creationist; just wondering...

It turns out that many of them have small deletions or duplications of DNA.

I would call these new sequences of DNA, but, what about insertions? Should "new" nucleotides have been found as well?

Re:New (1)

skeftomai (1057866) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851706)

damnit...the title should have read something like "Insertions." I'll probably just post again...

Re:New (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852592)

I would call these new sequences of DNA, but, what about insertions? Should "new" nucleotides have been found as well?

Why limit it to just INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE? How about a nice Cartesian JOIN? So what if the guy has 32 arms. Just try to dribble past him on the court.

     

Deletions, duplications....any insertions? (1)

skeftomai (1057866) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851740)

(I already posted this, but I F-ed up the post title...)

I am NOT a creationist; just wondering...

It turns out that many of them have small deletions or duplications of DNA.

I would call these new sequences of DNA, but, what about insertions? Shouldn't "new" nucleotides occasionally have been found as well?

Homo solus (1, Interesting)

MellowTigger (633958) | more than 6 years ago | (#21851758)

Coincidentally, I have just in the last few weeks put up a webpage explaining my thoughts about autism as the trait list of a potential new species. Homo solus, solitary man.

The human variant that I think is nearly ready for consideration as a new species is still too diverse, but the generalizations that can be made about them are highly suggestive. On average, in gross over-generalization, this group...
  • has a larger skull size than the typical form;
  • achieves its maximum skull size a full decade before the typical human skull does;
  • differs not just in skull size but also in brain organization, showing changes in several brain structures;
  • responds differently (usually over-sensitive) to all manner of physical stimuli: sound, texture, light, odor, taste;
  • adheres to unusual dietary standards, sometimes with profound alteration in diet necessary to accomodate healthy digestion;
  • shows an unusual social instinct, actively avoiding crowds and seeking isolated or sequestered environments;
  • rarely displays command of deceptive behavior, instead the individuals often use a single standard for all social engagements (frequently ignoring protocols of social strata or personal boundary);
  • sometimes displays assortative mating, with parents possessing less-exaggerated qualities producing children of more pronounced qualities;
  • possesses epigentic differences spanning many chromosomes and sites; and
  • possesses genetic differences spanning many chromosomes and sites.
If we were talking about some animal other than humans, wouldn't all of these changes (the behavioral and skeletal and biological all taken together) suggest a new species? So when we talk about humans, why suddenly change standards? I think it's time to stop talking of autism as defect but instead as prospective evolutionary path.
http://home.earthlink.net/~mellowtigger/evolution.html [earthlink.net]

Re:Homo solus (1)

dogugotw (635657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852148)

Evolution requires that breeding populations exist in isolation for a long enough period of time that the groups diverge. A new species exists when individuals from the separated populations either cannot breed (cats and dogs) or, if they breed, produce only sterile offspring (horses and donkeys).

Just because a group is genetically different, does NOT mean they can or will form a new species.

What you suggest requires that individuals with autism breed ONLY with others having autism for, ohhhhh, a few million years.

Sorry but your theory as described is, in fact, a quack concept.

Re:Homo solus (1)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852276)

What you suggest requires that individuals with autism breed ONLY with others having autism for, ohhhhh, a few million years.
Considering that he seemed to be talking about directed breeding, I'd say the timescale would be closer to that for domesticating animals - a few thousand generations, instead of a few hundred thousand. Of course, that would depend on a very particular mindset of the people involved.

Other than that, you're right.

Howard family? (2, Funny)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852058)

So where's the Howard family's web site?

Gattaca movie (1)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852124)

The movie Gattaca deals with the issue of profiling based on DNA. If you haven't seen it I highly recommend it. Does anyone else know of other movies that deal with DNA profiling?

Be careful (1)

monkaru (927718) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852558)

Often, genetic anomalies are used by the simply mean to carry out their worst crimes. For example: blonde hair and blues eyes, which I have because of my Norwegian ancestory - I'm SO white - is a recessive gene similar to the recessive gene that makes seal point Siamese cats look the way they do. For some inexplicable reason a bunch of mostly dark haired and brown eyed people who called themselves NAZI wanted to be like me. WTF? They wanted it so bad they killed millions and did the most horrible things to my family. When Quisling gave up Norway to them the NAZI decided to make their dream of perfect blue eyed blondeness come true. They did it by going around to all of the villages and picked out the most perfectly blonde girls between 12 and 16. The girls were taken to a camp and "bred" with the NAZI elite to create an "Arayan Super Race". When the Allies retook Norway the NAZI decided to hide their crime by "liquidating" the remaining girls. Of the 82 girls taken from my families village none came home including 2 of my aunties. When someone starts talking about "genetic communities" watch like a hawk and never-ever trust them. My family learned that the hard way.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?