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Thread: Genetic Resistance?

  1. #1 Genetic Resistance? 
    Forum Freshman Jubei Yagyu's Avatar
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    My friend stubbornly insists that the effects of mithridatization are genetic. Can acquired resistances to poisons be passed on to our children?

    For example, if Jake's father was a snake wrangler who acquired a resistance to rattlesnake venom, would his son, born 10 years after he acquired his resistance, benefit as well?


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  3. #2  
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    uhh, i would say no.


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  4. #3  
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    i don't think so, see if he got venom poining, he'd ether die (if im not mistaken) or be taken to hospital and ginen anti venom, he wouldn't have the cnace to build up any restiance,

    and considering the fact that if he died, he either couldn't have a son for obvious reasons, and if he surived no resistace would exist to be passed on.

    there are more genitical reasons too... but i don't know them
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  5. #4  
    Forum Masters Degree invert_nexus's Avatar
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    Absolutely not. What your friend is suggesting is classical Lamarckian evolution which is not valid. Acquired traits do not work their way into the genome. This would be like saying that knitting skill would be genetically inheritable.

    Now. There are factors that are genetically inheritable in both of the above scenarios (rattlesnake venom resistance and knitting). Resistance to venom would be dependent upon certain genetic factors that would pre-exist the bite. I can't say what all the factors are, but could state it simply as 'having a hardy constitution.' On a similar note, knitting skill depends upon manual dexterity and other inheritable traits that could be passed on genetically.

    But, the key difference here is that the genetic factors precede the behavioral traits. The resistance to venom comes about because of the underlying genetic material rather than vice versa.

    This is the danger of specialization in any animal. Generalist species are far more adaptable than specialist species. As a species evolves and moves more and more into any certain niche, it focuses the genetic diversity that was available to it in the beginning to a more and more narrow scope. The diverse genetic material which might find use in new and adaptive situations is lost to it over time and thus when a niche is threatened, so too is the specialist species dependent upon that niche.

    The generalist just keeps on chugging.


    GoodGod,

    i don't think so, see if he got venom poining, he'd ether die (if im not mistaken) or be taken to hospital and ginen anti venom, he wouldn't have the cnace to build up any restiance,
    Not true.
    It depends upon the dose. And it depends upon the toxicity of the venom. And it also depends upon the constitution of the victim.

    There's a guy whose name escapes me. He's a famous snake wrangler type guy. He's been bitten hundreds or thousands of times over his lifetime (he's older than 60 I'd say). His hands are all gnarled from the effects of the venom. But, he's become amazingly resistant to the venom because of this. In fact, he said that his blood was used for antivenom at some point or another. (You know they generally use horses for such.)

    Yes. He's been given antivenom himself. But, this doesn't pre-empt his immune response. Rather, it gives it a kick start and a little bit of a history lesson.

    But, it's not an inheritable trait.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman Jubei Yagyu's Avatar
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    That's good enough for me. Thanks guys.
    "All truth passes through three stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
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