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Glenn Nichols, surrounded by his hospice team. The author is in yellow.

Genetic Linkage

The Curious Genetics of Werewolves

December 27, 2012

Tags: werewolf, hypertrichosis, Ambras syndrome, human genome

The "wolf boy" brothers have Ambras syndrome, an autosomal dominant condition that may have inspired the werewolf legend (Gary Moore photo).
Growing up in the 1960s, I collected monster cards: The 60-foot-man and the 50-foot woman; body doubles gestating in giant seed pods; unseen Martians that sucked people into sand pits and returned them devoid of emotion, with telltale marks on the back of the neck. One card featured a very young Michael Landon in “I Was a Teenage Werewolf.”

Forgive my lapse in political correctness, but I recalled those cards when I saw the word “hypertrichosis” in a recent paper in PLOS Genetics because, unfortunately, the condition is also known historically as “werewolf syndrome.” (more…)

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