Friday Funny- Genetic Chain Train of Thought


1. The ‘instructions’ contained in every cell that has a nucleus are ‘written’ in…


2. Humans have how many total chromosomes?


3. Which of the following creatures has the most chromosomes?

Fruit fly

4. Humans have two chromosomes that determine sex- X and Y. Which of the following karyotypes (chromosome types) would be a normal female?


5. Most nasty genetic disorders are recessive- you need two bad copies of the gene to come down with the disease. Some are dominant- if you have just one of the bad genes, you will get the disease. Which of the following disorders has dominant inheritance?

Tay-Sach’s disease
Cystic fibrosis.
Huntington’s chorea

Venetian Sumac

6. In Venetian Floozies, purple stripe color is autosomally dominant over pink. If you mate a male purple striped Floozy that does not carry the pink gene to a female pink Floozy, what percentage of the offspring would you expect to have purple stripes?

0 percent
100 percent
25 percent
50 percent

7. Who discovered the basics of genetics while pottering around in the garden?

Charles Darwin
Albert Einstein
Gregor Mendel
James Watson

8. Watson and Crick won a Nobel Prize for their discovery of…

The structure of DNA
The protein coding system of RNA
The inheritance pattern of Tay-Sachs disease

9. Some genetic disorders are maintained in a population because, if an individual has only one bad copy of the gene, some survival advantage is maintained. People with just one copy of a particular mutated gene are protected from malaria. If they have two bad copies of the same gene, they have the disease…

Muscular dystrophy
Sickle cell anemia
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

10. When the cell is not busy dividing, the chromosomes ‘unwind and relax’. What are they called when they are in this form?

Endoplasmic reticulum


We have a conglomerate of interesting stories and funny reporting..

Thanks to Chris H. for providing me the first article, a story about Frank and Louie a cat that has a mutated anatomy and referred to as a ‘Janus’ Cat after the Roman god with two faces.

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) – Frank and Louie the cat was born with two faces, two mouths, two noses, three eyes – and lots of doubts about his future.

Now, 12 years after Marty Stevens rescued him from being put to sleep because of his condition, the exotic blue-eyed rag doll cat is not only thriving but has made it into the 2012 Guinness Book of World Records as the longest surviving member of a group known as Janus cats, named for a Roman god with two faces.

Frank and Louie does not seem to be bothered by his condition and has developed a very friendly personality. The breed is known for its soft and silky fur, docile temperament and penchant for relaxing in a person’s arms like a rag doll.

He is “very, very laid back, not afraid of people, very friendly and he’s actually more of a dog than a cat,” Stevens said. “He walks on a leash, he goes right in the car, he loves car rides.”

Wikipedia explains Diprosopus.  I also remember watching a TV show while I was pregnant with my twins about this genetic disorder as well as other strange genetic disorders that can affect fetuses.  I am very surprised it didn’t give me nightmares, but I had all those great ultra-sound pics to look at and know there were distinctly two babies…

Although classically considered conjoined twinning (which it resembles), this anomaly is not normally due to the fusion or incomplete separation of two embryos. It is the result of a protein called sonic hedgehog homolog (SHH). (The unlikely-sounding name of this protein was inspired by the Sonic the Hedgehog videogame character and is part of an idiosyncratic naming tradition in molecular biology research that some have criticized as frivolous.)

The SHH protein and its corresponding gene have been found to play an important role in signaling craniofacial patterning during embryonic development. Among other things, the SHH protein governs the width of facial features. In excess it leads to widening of facial features and to duplication of facial structures. The greater the widening, the more of the structures are duplicated, often in a mirror image form. This has been demonstrated in the laboratory by introducing pellets of the SHH protein into chicken embryos, resulting in chickens with duplicate beaks. Insufficient amounts of that protein lead to opposite conditions such as cyclopia where facial features are insufficiently developed.

Healthy brain development is also dependent on the signaling function of the SHH protein. During embryonic development, the SHH protein directs embryonic cells to organize in specific areas that later become specialized neural tissues, thus controlling the size and shape of brain structures.

[editor’s note 12/18/11: Previously I had a photo of a snake with five heads here, I decided after reading some other blogs there was a good chance it was photo-shoped, so I’ve opted to remove that photo and give you a more medically confirmed example of Diprosopus]

From Carniofacial Duplication (Diprosopus) off of of a 12 month old child:

Surface-rendered three-dimensional reconstruction of a spiral CT data set, frontal view, shows duplication of the nasal skeleton (white arrows), the large distance between the normal outer orbits, and the supernumerary orbit (black arrow).

Which brings me to Chimera, keeping with the theme of genetic disorders named after greek/roman mythologies.

A chimera or chimaera is a single organism (usually an animal) that is composed of two or more different populations of genetically distinct cells that originated from different zygotes involved in sexual reproduction. If the different cells have emerged from the same zygote, the organism is called a mosaic. Chimeras are formed from four parent cells (two fertilized eggs or early embryos fused together). Each population of cells keeps its own character and the resulting organism is a mixture of tissues. Chimeras are typically seen in animals; there are some reports on human chimerism. Plant chimeras are discussed separately.

Chimera mouse with two offspring

This condition is either inherited, or it is acquired through the infusion of allogeneic hematopoietic cells during transplantation or transfusion. In nonidentical twins, chimerism occurs by means of blood-vessel anastomoses. The likelihood of offspring being a chimera is increased if it is created via in vitro fertilization. Chimeras can often breed, but the fertility and type of offspring depends on which cell line gave rise to the ovaries or testes; varying degrees of intersexuality may result if one set of cells is genetically female and another genetically male.

From mythology the Chimera is a monstrous fire-breathing female creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, composed of the parts of multiple animals: upon the body of a lioness with a tail that ended in a snake’s head, the head of a goat arose on her back at the center of her spine. The Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra.

That trips me over to this article I found on

10 Hilarious Medical Transcription Fails

  • Transcription Error: The patient was breathing heavily with no signs of respiration
  • Transcription Error: The baby was delivered, the cord clamped and cut and handed to the pediatrician, who breathed and cried immediately
  • Transcription Error: Exam of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized
  • Transcription Error: Bleeding started in the rectal area and continued all the way to Los Angeles
  • Transcription Error: She is numb from her toes down
  • Transcription Error: Social history reveals this 1-year-old patient does not smoke or drink and is presently unemployed
  • Transcription Error: Patient called and left word that he had expired last week
  • Transcription Error: On the second day the knee was better, and on the third day it disappeared completely
  • Transcription Error: Discharge status: Alive but without permission
  • Transcription Error: The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed


Which reminds me, I don’t know if these are ‘true’ but they’re funny to think people would actually write these ‘reasons’ that their car accident happened.

Things People Said: Car Accident Reports

  • “A pedestrian hit me and went under my car.”
  •  “The other car collided with mine without giving warning of its intention.”
  • “I had been learning to drive with power steering. I turned the wheel to what I thought was enough and found myself in a different direction going the opposite way.”
  • “Coming home, I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don’t have.”
  •  “I thought my window was down; but found it was up when I put my hand through it.”
  •  “No one was to blame for the accident, but it never would have happened if the other driver had been alert.”
  •  “The pedestrian had no idea which direction to go, so I ran over him.”
  •  “I saw the slow-moving, sad-faced old gentleman as he bounced off the hood of my car.”
  •  “I had been driving for 40 years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident.”
  •  “I was taking my canary to the hospital. It got loose in the car and flew out the window. The next thing I saw was his rear end, and there was a crash.”
  •  “I was backing my car out of the driveway in the usual manner when it was struck by the other car in the same place where it had been struck several times before.”
  •  “The indirect cause of this accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth.”
  •  “The accident happened when the right door of a car came around the corner without giving a signal.”
  •  “I was thrown from my car as it left the road. I was later found in a ditch by some stray cows.”
  •  “I had been shopping for plants all day and was on my way home. As I reached an intersection, a hedge sprung up, obscuring my vision.”
  •  “I was on the way to the doctor with rear end trouble when my universal joint gave way causing me to have an accident.”
  • “I was sure the old fellow would never make it to the other side of the road when I struck him.”
  •  “I told the police that I was not injured, but on removing my hat, I found that I had a fractured skull.”
  • “My wench slipped, losing my balance, and I hurt my back.”
  •  “I was unable to stop in time, and my car crashed into the other vehicle. The driver and passengers then left immediately for a vacation with injuries.”
  •  “To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front, I struck the pedestrian.”
  •  “The accident occurred when I was attempting to bring my car out of a skid by steering it into the other vehicle.”
  •  “When I could not avoid a collision, I stepped on the gas and crashed into the other car.”
  • “I collided with a stationary truck coming the other way.”
  •  “In my attempt to kill a fly, I drove into a telephone pole.”
  •  “My car was legally parked as it backed into the other vehicle.”
  •  “As I approached the intersection, a stop sign suddenly appeared in a place where no stop sign had ever appeared before. I was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident.”
  •  “The telephone pole was approaching fast. I was attempting to swerve out of its path when it struck my front end.”
  •  “A truck backed though my windshield and into my wife’s face.”
  •  “I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law, and headed over the embankment.”
  •  “The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him.”
  •  “An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my vehicle, and vanished.”


What’s up Chuck? News of the Weird



The medical establishment generally regards placentas (afterbirth) as biohazardous waste, but to New York City placenta chef Jennifer Mayer, they are a nutrient-laden meat that can alleviate postpartum depression and aid in breast milk production (among other so-far-unverified benefits). Mayer typically sets up in clients’ own kitchens, she told New York magazine for an August story. Some placentas are “really intense, with grief or sadness or uncertainty.” Others might be “joyful,” “big and round.” Mayer’s method: Drain the blood, blot dry, cook for a half-hour (leaving something resembling brisket), chop into slivers, dehydrate overnight (rendering it jerky-like). For a popular touch, Mayer then grinds it in a blender and pours the powder into several dozen (one-a-day) capsules. [New York, 8-29-2011]

Give me a Guinness

(1) World Record for Length of Tonsils: Justin Werner, 21, of Topeka, Kan., was certified in July by the Guinness Book, with tonsils measuring 2.1 inches and 1.9 inches, respectively. The old “champion” was Justin Dodge of Milwaukee. (2) Global Competition in Dominos: The breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia will be the site, in October, of the world domino championship. (Twenty-five countries belong to the International Domino Federation.) [Wichita Eagle-AP, 7-18-2011] [New York Times, 9-9-2011]

It’s a kind of logic

Madrid’s Getafe soccer club, struggling for customers, startled Spain this summer by commissioning a porn movie, with zombies, hoping to attract more fans. As if that were not quixotic enough, it then tied the movie to a campaign to solicit sperm-bank donations. Explained the film’s producer, Angel Torres, “We have to move a mass of fans to seed the world with Getafe supporters.” A promo for the film follows a Getafe fan, armed with a copy of the movie for his viewing pleasure, as he disappears into a clinic’s private cubicle to fulfill his donation. [Daily Mail (London), 8-19-2011]

Well, there’s your problem

In August, 400-pound Eric Kenley, 48, won a new trial for his two New York City robbery convictions after appeals court judges realized that the police lineup that identified him was unfair, in that he was apparently much fatter than the other men in his lineup. The police had attempted to compensate by using larger-than-average men and by presenting them all seated, to minimize the weight difference. [New York Post, 8-25-2011]

Canadian Government’s heart may be in the right place, but what about their mind?

Obviously intense about potential child-trafficking, the government of Quebec, Canada, requires strict proof of a live birth, certified by a doctor or licensed midwife. However, the waiting list to hire either one is long, and Heather Mattingsly went with an unlicensed midwife, whose word the Directeur de l’etat civil declined to accept. Four months after the birth, the agency ordered Mattingsly to submit to a vaginal examination. After “calls from the media” (according to a Montreal Gazette report) persuaded the agency that such an exam was useless, it finally agreed, on Aug. 26, to grant a birth certificate if Mattingsly submitted a doctor-certified copy of her pre-birth ultrasound. [Montreal Gazette, 8-26-2011]

You’re doing it wrong..

Jason Dean, 24, was arrested in Ringgold, Ga., in August and charged with false imprisonment after he waited in the parking lot of a Taco Bell, approached an 18-year-old woman and handcuffed her to himself. After her screams brought others to come help her, Dean explained that he had been trying for several months to get the woman to go out with him but that she had so far refused. [Times Free Press (Chattanooga, Tenn.), 8-11-2011]

What’s in a name?

A New York Times obituary for former lead singer Jani Lane of the heavy metal band Warrant revealed that Mr. Lane’s birth name (he was born a year after Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy) was John Kennedy Oswald. Rebellious musicians (Warrant’s debut album was “Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich”) often adopt provocative stage names to enhance their image, but Mr. Lane must be one of the very few to have abandoned a provocative birth name in favor of a bland one. [New York Times, 8-13-2011]

Ever want to light someone’s crotch on fire?  I do now…

Mennonites, a famously patriarchal, closed-sect religion, often live in colonies such as the one in Bolivia founded by a group from Manitoba, Canada. At press time, eight men from the colony are on trial in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, for rapes of up to 130 women and girls from 2005 to 2009, allegedly instigated by Peter Weiber, 48, the colony’s veterinarian. Weiber supposedly converted a cow anesthetic into an aerosol sedative that he sprayed into the victims’ open bedroom windows at night, after which he and his co-defendants would enter and have their way with the victims. According to an August dispatch in Time magazine, the case is hampered by shamed victims’ reluctance to testify and by the behavior of the defendants, who have been “laughing” at witnesses, “jok(ing) with guards,” or “fall(ing) asleep” during the trial. [Time, 8-17-2011]


Now for something completely different

From Yahoo, Antonia Garay drives a special car.

It took a while for San Diego Chargers nose tackle Antonio Garay(notes) to make an impact in the NFL — when he replaced Jamal Williams at the position in 2010 and put up an impressive 5.5 sacks, those became the first 5.5 sacks of his five-year NFL career. Garay already has one more sack this season, and things are looking bright for the Boston College alum.

But, that’s not why he made the list.  The reason Antonio Garay made the list is because he is 6-foot-4, 320-pound NFL defender driving a tiny convertible smart car … with the Hello Kitty logo on it.


the perfect element

1. DNA: Short for ‘deoxyribonucleic acid.’

2. 46: In pairs- 23 of them.

3. Goldfish! Yep…Goldfish have 96!

4. XX: XY is male. YY doesn’t exist. XXY is a male with the genetic disorder Klinefelter’s syndrome.

5. Huntington’s chorea: Huntington’s is a progressive disorder of the brain that does not appear until late in life- after the victims have already passed the bad gene on to their children. It killed singer Woody Guthrie.

6. 100%: All of the offspring will be purple Floozies that carry the pink gene. If P stands for purple and p for pink, the male would have the genotype PP and the female pp. All their offspring would be Pp.

7. Gregor Mendel: Working with peas, Mendel (who was a monk) discovered the basic laws of inheritance but was ignored by his fellow scientists. His work was later rediscovered.

8. The structure of DNA: They discovered that it was shaped like a spiral- thus the title of Watson’s book ‘The Double Helix’.

9. Sickle cell anemia: It’s thought that the gene changes red blood cell shapes enough that the malaria parasite cannot live in them.

10. Chromatin


One response to “Friday Funny- Genetic Chain Train of Thought

  1. Pingback: Legal Humor | Austin Accident Lawyer

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