Hayama (hayama4) wrote in lion_lamb,
Hayama
hayama4
lion_lamb

Breaking Dawn Biology - spoilers

Genetics? (warning: I ramble about sciency stuff...)

Okay, so I'm a wildlife sciences grad student working on fish genetics... So while I am the furthest thing from an expert I know at least something about this stuff:

Any thoughts on why SMeyer bothered to go over the genetics of the Vampires, Werewolves and Nessie?

My theory is that in her head she's ensuring that Jacob and Nessie can have viable offspring... and yeah, having the same number of chromosomes is a big help...

Without the same number of chromosomes, chromosomes don't match up when the cell divides to make eggs or sperm (Wiki: meiosis) and you get some cells that get too much DNA and some that get not enough DNA. This means hybrids with uneven chromosome pairs are either completely sterile or quite infertile. (Wiki: mule (just the first paragraph)) So with normal humans at 46 chromosomes (23 pairs), vamps at 50 chromosomes (25 pairs), and werewolves/Nessie at 48 chromosomes (24 pairs), this means Jacob and Nessie would not suffer the issue of an odd number of total chromosomes.

I can actually see how maybe Bella + Edward would work, genetically. I would assume Edward's two extra pairs only deal with vampire stuff, so they wouldn't interfere with normal human genes and Edward's other 23 would match Bella's human ones. This would be similar to people being able to be XYY and be pretty normal because the Y has very few genes and they are just like... about sperm and stuff (Wiki: XYY). They don't interfere with vital organs, etc. (lets forget about the fact that I have no idea how genes would cause the attributes and ablities vampires and werewolves have... I liked it better when we assumed this was all supernatural)

However, I'm assuming the one extra chromosome pair Werewolves have is not the same as EITHER of the extra pairs vampires have. And its not just the number of chromosomes, that matter... they have to have similar letters on them. You can't match just any two chromosomes.

So lets say:

human = 23 + 23
werewolf = 23w + 23w
vampire = 23vu + 23vu

Then:
Nessie = 23v + 23u
Jake X Nessie offspring if they're lucky = 23v + 23w OR 23u + 23w
Jake X Nessie offspring if they aren't = 23 + 23w OR 23vu +23w (offspring with uneven chromosomes that may have problems, and will be infertile)

Unless the V and U are so similar they pair with eachother during meiosis, Nessie would be hard pressed to have children.

So I don't know if SMeyer was just trying to be cool with her fancy genetics? Because her vague mentions of chromosomes do not guarantee anything for Nessie and Jake -_-

(PS: sorry if this was sciency... I know that's not everyone's cup of tea... Also, if I screwed up any of my assumptions, let me know. It's not like I sat there with my textbook researching for hours, I did most of this off memory from what I learned last year... I would run this by my prof but he would just raise one bushy eyebrow and be like "what fish are you talking about?" and I'd have to explain that this had nothing to do with fish LOL!)


 
Tags: books: breaking dawn, discussion: book
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