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Survival Of The Fittest?

Sex ratio and natural selection at the human ABO locus.

Hum Hered 1983;33(2):130-6

Millard AV, Berlin EA.

Natural selective effects of ABO maternofetal incompatibility depend on age, sex and gene frequency. This study focuses on differences of fitness according to age and sex. Calculations of genotype frequencies weighted by fitness lead to the hypothesis that forces of natural selection would favor an association of excess males with type O. Studies of polymorphic populations and homogeneous O populations provide empirical support for the hypothesis.

It would make sense that blood group O infants would have a greater chance of surviving the immune consequences of pregnancy, since they lack any blood type antigen which could trigger an immune response from the mother. Geneticists know that recessive genes propagate according to known mathematical principles, the Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium.

The Ask Dr. D'Adamo internet advice column ran from 1996 to 2009, at which time Dr. D'Adamo's teaching and programming responsibilities no longer allowed him to devote time and resources to directly answering visitor questions. However we've recently reorganized this treasure-trove of material and made it again available to his readership. He occasionally posts new entries. These are marked with a NEW tag.

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