Inheritance of randomness

Med Hypotheses. 1996 Jul;47(1):23-6. doi: 10.1016/s0306-9877(96)90037-7.


The mouse mutant iv is characterized by "a random determination of a developmental process' in that 50 rather than 100% of the homozygotes have situs inversus. The same explanation is given to the inheritance of situs inversus in the human immotile-cilia syndrome. There are probably two alleles of the responsible gene, one for control of the proper asymmetry and one without control and hence resulting in equal numbers of situs solitus and situs inversus in the homozygote. Left-handedness may be similarly inherited; furthermore, because of its high prevalence (around 10-12%) it has been assumed that there is an advantage of carrying both alleles ("balanced polymorphism'). With these two assumptions, a prevalence of left-handedness of 12.5% is expected, a 50% chance of left-handedness in matings between two left-handed persons, and equal numbers of discordant and left-handed concordant monozygotic twins. These values are close to those actually found. As the values for (female) homosexuality are similar to those of left-handedness a similar inheritance is proposed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / genetics*
  • Homosexuality, Female / genetics
  • Homosexuality, Male / genetics
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice / abnormalities*
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Models, Genetic
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Twins, Monozygotic / genetics