By Philip R Reilly
Twenty-four actual, wide-ranging stories of crime, historical past, human habit, disorder, and ethics, instructed from the private point of view of the writer, an eminent physician-lawyer who makes use of the tales to demonstrate the rules of human genetics. Philip Reilly makes use of those tales to demonstrate the foundations of human genetics and to debate the wider concerns.
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Additional info for Abraham Lincoln’s DNA and Other Adventures in Genetics
Nevertheless, his paintings and sketches are wonderfully vibrant. Given the family history, it is hard to avoid wondering whether there was also a genetic basis for the Toulouse-Lautrec line’s legendary history of alcohol abuse. Fantastic stories of their love of and capacity for drink stretch back through the centuries, but Henri’s drinking seemed to eclipse all the ancestral tales. Did his parents’ union provide a genetic basis for that predisposition? We will never know. The many well-documented stories of his behavior also suggest that Henri’s father suffered from manicdepressive illness.
By all contemporary accounts, George III worked hard at learning to carry the mantle of kingship, but in the winter of 1765 he developed a strange malady that incapacitated him for the better part of three months. It was a second and much more severe attack of the same illness that had first come on after a cold in 1762. The symptoms were complex and baffling. At various times the king suffered from constipation, colic, chest pains, stomach cramps, skin lesions, an alarmingly fast pulse, profuse sweating, rapid and sometimes gibberish speech, swelling of the joints, loss of taste, gross irritability, hallucinations, delusions, and delirium.
He was not sickly, but he was frail. Contemporary photos, family letters, and the memories of those who knew him evoke an image of a tiny child with an unusually large head. At the age of six months he weighed only 10 pounds. TO U LO U S E-LAUTR E C ■ 31 One of his biographers reports that Henri’s mother was worried that his fontanel (the opening at the top of the head of newborns that normally closes during the first year) was still widely open when he was four, a sign suggesting a skeletal abnormality.
Abraham Lincoln’s DNA and Other Adventures in Genetics by Philip R Reilly