Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How would you do as an alien geneticist?

Scientific American has a puzzle that tests your ability figure out the genetics on an alien planet:
On a certain planet, it takes a village to beget a child. Well, not an entire village in fact, but instead of a father offering sperm and a mother providing an egg, five parents must get together to produced a fertilized egg. The egg will produce 1,000 children, 200 of each of the five sexes. Your job is to figure out which sexes are genetically important in determining an offspring’s (non sex-related) traits.
The puzzle answers don't appear to require any knowledge beyond a basic understanding of Mendelian genetics. Give it a try!

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