Wednesday, March 28, 2007

So THAT'S Why I Can't Get a Date!

For years, I've struggled to find the answer for my continued status as a "single and searching" male of the human species. I used to think it might have been my bad breath. But I brush pretty regularly, and I chew on Altoids like some folks eat peanuts. (Hell, I even floss.)

Years ago, I used to write poems - even at the local bar. But that didn't get me anywhere, either. I've also suspected that perhaps my sparkling personality might be to blame. But honestly, there's just no real chance of that.

Now, at last, I have learned the reason for my predicament:

Apparently, I'm not Brad Pitt.

"A new study explains why we aren't all born with Brad Pitt’s perfectly chiseled features or Angelina Jolie’s pouty lips." says an article from

As the article explains, the general theory is that females tend to seek out the healthiest, most fit males with which to mate. With this being the case, over a long period of time, one would expect that these superior males would come to dominate, and that all the ugly guys would eventually die away.

But clearly, this does not happen. And now a group of scientists have narrowed down the reason why. The answer lies in our DNA's repair system - the so-called "DNA repair kit."

A cell’s DNA repair kit is not really a kit but a set of molecular processes that routinely repair the damage done to the cell’s DNA that result in genetic mutations, under normal conditions. Mutations can be harmful and cause tissue to degenerate, malfunction or develop cancers. Other mutations are beneficial, such as those in the part of the genome responsible for disease defense that make an individual more resistant to attacks from bacteria and viruses. Some mutations affect the repair processes themselves and make them less efficient which results in more mutations as the damage goes unrepaired.

"You can raise or lower your own mutation rate," [study team leader Marion] Petrie said.


A higher mutation rate creates more diversity in a population. Using a computer model, Petrie found that the greater genetic diversity created by mutations that affect DNA repair outweighed the decrease in diversity arising from sexual selection.

So, apparently, I've been brushing my teeth all these years for nothing!

[Read the entire article here.]

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Missing Persons in New England

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