The Genetic Basis of Hemophilia

Consider the other European families affected by the hemophilia gene. If you were a member of one of these families, what would be some implications?

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I guess that really depends on whether you plan on having children with this person or not. From what I have read royalty usually favors many children in order to pass on the royal bloodline. It also has a lot to do with whether the royal bloodline is dependent on having a son. If I were a male and the woman I was going to marry was of Victoria’s bloodline, then I should think twice because more than likely my sons are all going to inherit the disease. If it were the other way around and I was a female wanting to marry a male of Victoria’s descent who had the disease I would need to consider the fate of my daughters.

If hemophilia had been transmitted as a recessive trait, rather than an X-linked one, what would have been the implications for the European Aristocracy?

If the gene had been transmitted as a recessive gene then it would have impacted all of the sons of the daughters of Victoria’s. It would have just skipped a generation. Queen Victoria had more daughters than sons so the implications are daunting. The disease could have spread even faster with that configuration.

Why are there so many more male than female hemophiliacs?

The gene for Haemophilia is transmitted through the female sex chromosome X, which is recessive in the mother, to a male son. Therefore there is a much greater chance that a male will inherit the active Haemophilia gene and that the gene will remain dormant in females.

One last thought: who wrote this article? They were apparently not aware of the English language. It is almost like it was translated or something. Any thoughts…

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Pruitt, N. L., & Underwood, L. S. (2006). Bioinquiry: Making connections in biology (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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