|MadSci Network: Genetics|
Hi there, Well, that's an interesting one. It would probably depend upon whether the cells which would respond to the alterations were alive or dead. E.g. if the hair follicles were dead rather than dormant then a gene coding for a mane growth couldn't make much difference. It could only cause hair to regrow if the hair follicles could be re-activated or if the source of new hair follicles could be activated/grown. As for sexual maturity, if your hormones were altered then, even as an adult, quite dramatic changes in the body can occur over time. Look at transgender individuals who have hormone therapy - they can grow/lose facial hair, grow breasts etc. People who have abnormal growth hormone can find that their height increased or the length of the fingers and toes. I'm not sure how eye colour would work as if you had light eyes but suddenly started making a dark pigment then perhaps they would change (not sure). If you had dark eyes then wanted to go light the pigment in the eyes would have to naturally break down before the pale colour would be visible. The answer to all this is probable that it is easier to add things than take them away so you wouldn't be able to ungrow your height but if a process of loss is reversible e.g. hair loss then perhaps new genes would help. All these developmental processes are very finely balanced though. What if you put in a hair growth gene and the gene for controlling it had been switched off? You could get hair everywhere!
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Genetics.