There’s nothing we can do about the number of genes – even though we expect it to rise as DNA surveys are done in Asia, Africa and South America. Second, the categories have some overlap and one can, with a poor roll of the dice, suffer from more than one. Third, it seems like the syndromes could be clarified or clustered and the tally (perhaps) reduced. A fourth problem is that individual genes can have mutation, deletions, translocations and repeats that cause dramatically different effects. It is not uncommon to see a repeat, a mutation and a deletion of the same gene be defined as three syndromes. A fifth problem is that there are many long metabolic pathways where multiple genes interact. It is currently not usually possible to get a map of where a gene has influence.
I have been forwarded some papers in pre-publication status. The autism gene count is now at 187. I expect it to climb again when the big papers from China show up later this year.
As astute readers have already guessed, the real headache comes when we try to say how close two people are genetically. The distance function for San Carlos to Concord is pretty well understood at this time. There are actually two – as the crow flies and by road. How similar the DNA of two people is in terms of how they might be able to learn tai chi chuan or anything else – that’s a lot tougher.
adding a syndrome
linking genes to a syndrome – had I known a syndrome could have genes on multiple chromosomes I might have moved the chromosome down to the gene
TWO PROBLEMS: (1) there are lots of genes that are linked to autism (2) so far, at least one on every chromosome. Not the results I was hoping for.