Friday, August 12, 2005

Harry potter and the recessive allele

I haven't had time yet to tackle book 6, but I am a devoted HP fan, and I loved this letter to the editor in this week's nature. For those of you who don't follow the links, basically a couple of geneticists argue that wizarding is a recessive gene and they use examples to show how Harry, Hermione, etc. came to have their wizarding powers. They even argue that HP can be used to show examples of mutations (squibs) and incomplete penetrance (Neville's laughable skills). They say "With the use of these examples, the concepts of mendelian genetics can be introduced to children as young as five."

4 comments:

Writer Chica said...

that's pretty clever. Wonder if J.K. Rowling was thinking of that when she was writing?? haha

Anonymous said...

Wow. When I read the new HP, the only question on my mind was, "who?" (am not giving away who WHAT, in case one of you hasn' heard). I was definitely not thinking of genetics, although that might explain Hermione. -L

ScienceWoman said...

I haven't read the new HP yet (that being busy teaching and all) so don't post any spoilers here....but I think I will stop by B&N on the way home and pick up a copy.

gene-ie said...

Heehee - I got your email about this and thought it was quite nuanced and amusing. :) It really would be a great start to improving science education, I think.