If the wizarding gene is dominant, as J.K. Rowling says in her famous series of Harry Potter books, then how can a wizard be born to muggle parents (non-magical people)? And how can there be squibs (non-magical people born into wizarding lines)?
It seems these baffling genetic questions have finally been answered, thanks to Andrea Klenotiz, a biology student at the University of Delaware.
In a six-page paper, which she sent to Rowling, Klenotiz outlines how the wizarding gene works and even explains why some witches and wizards are more powerful than others.
In the study, people with one version of a bitterness taste receptor gene said they found an alcoholic drink to be less bitter-tasting than those with a different version of the gene, according to the findings published today (Sept. 23) in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
"The two genes, that had been previously associated with [alcohol] intake, also associated with differences in the perception of ethanol," said study author Dr. John E. Hayes, of the Sensory Evaluation Center at The Pennsylvania State University in University Park. "The reason this work is significant is because it fills in this gap, because no one had shown in the lab that the alcohol actually tastes differently depending on which [version of the gene] you have."
A strain of rice genetically engineered to protect against diarrhoeal disease could offer a cost-effective way to protect children in developing countries, according a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation yesterday (8 August).