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She begins to work as a private nurse for a young man suffering from blood ...
So when Maria and Larry become acquainted later in the day they already have a common interest.
On the flip side, coupling with a close cousin means it's more likely the mother and fetus will be genetically compatible.
The mother won't have to worry so much about so-called Rh incompatibility, which can be lethal to a fetus.
"These are not the results we expected to find," Stefansson said in a telephone interview.
"I have been brought up in a culture that looks down on consanguinity so I feel somewhat ill at ease with such data in many ways.
This is not what I expected, but it only goes to show how incredibly complicated nature is." The "ick" factor associated with marrying a close relative has a long history.
Citing a Bible verse, Pope Gregory I said in the sixth century that sacred law forbad a man “to uncover the nakedness of his near kin” and that such unions were infertile.
The findings, which come from a recent study of Icelanders, shed light on how relatedness affects reproduction and ultimately the size of families.
The researchers suggest marrying third and fourth cousins is so optimal for reproduction because they sort of have the "best of both worlds." While first-cousin couples could have inbreeding problems, couples who are far-removed from each other could have genetic incompatibilities.
Couples who are third or fourth cousins tend to have more kids and grandkids than other couples.
And though considered somewhat of a cultural taboo, mating between "kissing cousins" makes good biological sense, say scientists.
See full summary » Legal secretary Maria is married to car salesman Tom.