Re: Good Mutations.

Glenn Morton (
Fri, 28 Nov 1997 21:03:45 -0600

At 09:48 PM 11/28/97 -0500, George Murphy wrote:
>Glenn Morton wrote:

>> I don't have a reference on this, but there is a mutation in an Italian
>> family which allows them to avoid the harmful effects of cholesterol. They
>> can eat all the bad stuff and never have heart attacks. This is a good
> We can't say that any mutation is "good" in an absolute sense,
>for it depends on whether the result has a net benefir in a particular
>environment. Again sickle cell is a classic example: The mutation is
>on balance good for a population in heavily malarial areas, & on balance
>bad for a population in an area where malaria isn't so much of a

Of course, I must agree with you here. The fact that this family is
unlikely to die of a heart attack means that they are more likely to die of
cancer and that is bad.


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