I mentioned this blog post in my post on “Autism Speaks: I Want to Say”, but I think it deserves its own post recommending it.
The Genetics of Emergent Phenotypes, on Wiring the Brain.
The blogger (who is a scientist) looks at genotypes vs. phenotypes as they apply to autistics, people with schizophrenia, and people with epilepsy. He points out that each applies to approximately 1% of the human population, which is a huge number. And there seem to be large variations in the genotypes of people with each of these conditions (i.e. there are a number of different genotypes that can result in autistics, or in people with schizophrenia, or in people with epilepsy).
The post argues (rather convincingly, with a number of links to references) that the wiring of the brain has certain “steady states” (my own words, I’m paraphrasing here – I highly recommend you read the post itself) that it can develop into as a result of a number of different possible mutations / issues with the neurological wiring as it develops. He provides examples and comparisons, and does it well.
It’s a fascinating read, and he manages to get it across without getting too technical, and using images to help people create visual models of what he’s discussing (which is very helpful). I actually recommend his entire blog, but I thought this post deserved special mention.
So, there you go! Now, go forth and read! 😉