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Inherit

Ben Jones, Patti Soderberg, and John R. Jungck (Beloit College)
Screen Shots | System Requirements

Inherit is a pedigree drawing and analysis tool that can be used in educational, clinical, and research settings. The current version of Inherit enables you to explore questions regarding the role of inheritance in human traits and syndromes. It allows you to enter a variety of kinds of data for the members of a pedigree, and to change the display to reflect the presence or absence of combinations of medical symptoms, background information, your own diagnoses, or any type of data you care to enter.

In the figure below a simple pedigree is almost completed. Icons for a female (Anne) and a male have been created and a mating line has been drawn between them. The appearance of an icon can be edited by selecting it and clicking on the appropriate tool from the right side of the palette. The first set of tools control whether the individual is (from left to right) alive, deceased, or miscarried (aborted). The middle set of three tools controls the gender: male, female, or unknown gender. The set of four tools to the right control the phenotype: trait fully expressed, partially expressed, not expressed, or of unknown expression. When a tool has been selected from the palette, it will appear surrounded by a black box.

The icon for a male offspring is being connected to the pedigree. Offspring relationships are created by first selecting the offspring tool and then by drawing from the offspring to the parent or to the parental mating line.

To enter the information about the individual, such as would be obtained in an interview, double-click on the individual. For example double-click on the individual named “Anne.” The window shown in the figure below will appear. The names of the mother and father are shown, if they have been specified. If the individual has any offspring, they are listed in the box on the bottom left. Here “Unnamed-3” is listed as an offspring. The buttons labeled “Background,” “Medical History,” and “Lab Tests” provide access to additional windows where data can be entered.

At this stage of development, Inherit is not a simulation program. It does not check to see whether the relationships you create are likely or even possible, and it does not assign the genotypes or phenotypes of offspring based on those of the parents. It is a tool for helping you explore data which have been entered into it. This version of Inherit can be used to enter complex sets of clinical data, create pedigrees, and display the pedigrees in multiple ways to search for patterns and make inferences regarding the role of genetics and environmental factors in the observed phenotypes.

Screen Shots

The Interview window for Anne.

 

System Requirements

Macintosh or Power Macintosh

  • System 6.07 or later; System 7.1 or later for Power Macintosh.
  • At least 500K of available RAM, more for complex simulations or models.


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