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Darwinian DetectivesRevealing the Natural History of Genes and Genomes$
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Norman A. Johnson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195306750

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306750.001.0001

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Balancing Selection and Disease

Balancing Selection and Disease

(p.71) 5 Balancing Selection and Disease
Darwinian Detectives

Norman A. Johnson

Oxford University Press

Some forms of selection, called “balancing selection” can maintain variation. Human beta-hemoglobin is an example of a gene under balancing selection. Individuals having two copies of the sickle variant often die at an early age due to sickle cell anemia, but individuals with one copy of the sickle variant and one copy of normal hemoglobin do not get the anemia and have an increased resistance to malaria. This chapter discusses uses of tests applied to DNA sequence data to detect the action of balancing selection. Many of the examples of balancing selection involve disease, such as cystic fibrosis and AIDS.

Keywords:   AIDS, balancing selection, cystic fibrosis, DNA sequence, hemoglobin, malaria, sickle cell anemia

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