Re: Good Mutations.

Joel Duff (
Fri, 28 Nov 1997 21:25:39 -0600

At 05:48 PM 11/28/97 -0600, GM wrote:
>At 01:43 AM 11/27/97 -0800, David B. Fenske wrote:
>>A question to those more genetically inclined:
>>I got into a discussion the other day about whether there ever are any
>>"good" mutations, the kind that evolution requires in order for changes to
>>occur. The only example I could think of had to do with sickle cell
>>anemia. Are there any examples of mutations that aren't harmful (aside
>>from the mutations to regions of DNA that don't do much)? Any help would
>>be appreciated.
>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

I remember hearing about this about two years ago (20/20 I think) and since
that time saw a note in science about it. I also heard there was some
controversy as to the how the science was conducted (the events by which the
discovery took place). I would be interested if someone could point me to
any research papers that might have resulted from study of these people (ie.
has the gene or particular mutation been identified etc...). BTW, thanks to
those who provided refs for directed mutations, I'll put them on my hitlist
for my next library run.


PS I believe that pink grapefruit are also considered to be a novel
mutation. My tastebuds rank that one a real good mutation.

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Dpt. Plant Biology, SIU

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