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Extinction Countdown

A New Tool for Conservation Genetics: Seal Placentas

saimaa seal

It’s a sad fact that as members of a species become rarer they tend to suffer from inbreeding. This lack of genetic diversity can lead to birth defects and other problems, making a species even more endangered as time progresses. Conservationists regularly test the genetic makeup of many endangered species in order to understand the [...]

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Charles Darwin’s family tree tangled with inbreeding, early death

charles darwin inbreeding wedgwood child death

Charles Darwin‘s studies of heredity, adaptation and evolution included many experiments into the effects of crossbreeding and inbreeding in both plants and animals. Such consanguineous pairing often resulted in weaker, more sickly descendants. Ironically, his own lineage and marriage could have been experiments as well. At the age of 29, he proposed to his first [...]

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