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do babies born between two cousins actually have a higher chance of having actually birth defects? Understanding straightforward genetic principles will help with this question.Following is a transcript that the video.

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What go Queen Victoria, Charles Darwin, and also Albert Einstein have in common? They all married their first cousins. You will do think Darwin of all world would know better. After all, mating through a close relative passes on poor genes that cause deadly genetic mutations, right?

Today marrying your very first cousin is illegal in 24 us states. Yet for many of west history, people had come marry whoever lived nearby, which oftentimes meant marrying within the expanded family.

In fact, in between 1650-1850, the average married couple was fourth cousins. So, they had the exact same great-great-great-grandparents.

Genetically speaking that way they shared 0.20% of their DNA. Not much when you to compare it come third(0.78%), second(3.13%), and also especially an initial cousins(12.5%). And, the much more DNA friend share, the greater thechance her offspring will have a genetic condition — favor cystic fibrosis or sickle-cell anemia.

But here’s the thing: you don’t have to be noble in stimulate to give your son a genetic disease.

Take cystic fibrosis. It’s resulted in by a defect in the CFTR gene. But you need two duplicates of the defective gene come actually gain the disease. So, if girlfriend only have one defective copy, you’re unaffected. Instead, she what’s dubbed a carrier.

Now, if one transport mates through a non-carrier, yes no hazard of the kids getting sick. But when both parents bring a defective copy of CFTR, climate the youngsters have a 25% opportunity of inheriting two copies of the gene and having the disease.

So come see exactly how dangerous it is come marry your very first cousin, we should calculate the chances that two an initial cousins both carry a copy that the same genetic disease.

Since they share a set of grandparents, we’ll begin there. Now it becomes a video game of “what ifs”: What if both grandparents are carriers vs. Simply one? What if among their kids is a transport vs. None in ~ all? and also what if those children marry various other carriers, or not? It deserve to get very complicated, really quickly.

But scientists have crunched the numbers and also it transforms out the hazard that the cousins have a kid who inherits a genetic condition is 4-7%. Because that the general population, it’s 3-4%.

So, no a large deal right? here’s the catch: that’s the odds for one genetic disease. But there are thousands that might be hiding in your family members tree.

Plus, if her kids also marry their an initial cousins and also their youngsters marry their very first cousins the a recipe for disaster. Because instead of introducing new, potentially advantageous genes into the household gene pool, she recycling the old — and possibly attention — ones.

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Take Emperor Ferdinand ns of Austria. His parents were an initial cousins twice over! and when he to be born, he wasn’t particularly healthy. So, as much as marrying your cousin is concerned, you shouldn’t make it a family tradition.