Friday, May 17, 2013

Health and Science Perception:Interspecies Breeding

In todays era, Twilight, Vampire Diaries, True Blood have swept the nation, leaving many girls dreaming about their future marriage partners to be just like that vampire or werewolf that they have either seen in the movies or read about them in the novel. What really intrigues me is that whether this genetic mismatching even possible, and if so whether it will lead to happiness or not. Scientifically, species are divided into groups and then subgroups according to their physical characteristics, which is known as Taxonomic Classification. For example a wolf maybe characterized as an animal due to its obvious physical characteristic, and so it will belong to Kingdom Animalia. Hence, species can be said to be divided into Kingdom, and then further divided into phylum, then classes,order, family, genus and then finally species. For example the Gray Wolf is named according to its genus and species name, that is Canis lupus. Notice that the genus name is written first and is capitalized, italicized, and maybe abbreviated while the specie name is written in lower case. Today the modern science has divided species according to their genetic makeup, called as phylogenetic.

 For example, humans are genetically similar to apes. Phylogenetics can also help scientists unveil as to which organism is evolved from which. Let us now look into the depths of inter species breeding. First let's start off with reproduction at the cellular level. A multicellular organism is derived from a single gamete fusing with another to form a genetic mixture called a zygote. A zygote keeps on dividing into millions of cells which are all genetically identical. This process only occurs when both the parents of the offspring are of the same species. If however, parents are of different species the resulting offspring is termed as either a hybrid or a chimera. A well known example of a hybrid is the mule, whose parents are donkey and horse. These hybrids are either produced naturally or with human interference. Hybrids are genetically identical to their parents containing a mixture of genes from both the parents. The example of a chimera is that of a geep, which is derived from a sheep embryo and a goat. The difference between a hybrid and a chimera is that chimera are not a genetic mixture of their parents. Half of their parts look like a sheep, while the other like a goat! So the new definition that scientists now have of the species is that a specie will be a part of a particular group of specie if it can reproduce with the other in the group. So mule, a hybrid, is not part of any specie since it cannot reproduce. Since the horse has 64 chromosomes and a donkey 62, so problem occurs in meiosis. They are also termed as being in reproductive isolation. So all those females can now stop fantisizing about vampires and werewolves, and now you know why!;)

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