I thought they were jennies:
Rather more frequently than is good for my ego, I find my vast fund of ignorance to be greater than I had thought.  For instance I thought that a cross between a stallion and a female donkey was a mule and a cross between a mare and a male donkey was a jenny.  It turns out that a jenny is a female donkey.  The result of the cross reciprocal to the one that produces a mule is a hinny.  Anyway, it’s as sterile as a mule.

But ho, there is new information.  (LMZ Of Hinnies and Mules SCIENCE vol. 350 no. 6140 June 28, 2013 page 1500 reviewing Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 110, 10.1973/pnas.1308998110 (2013)) What they have found is a number of genes associated with the development of the placenta (the little pancake shaped or maybe mud pie shaped organ that lets the fetus’s circulation exchange key materials with the mother’s circulation) in horses and donkeys and in the hinny and mule those genes are silenced because there is a different methylation pattern between horses and donkeys, at least so I read it. 

So there you have it, folks.  I have long said that the infertility of outbreeding is due to an epigenetic process, such as methylation patterns, and probably due to more than one process.  And now an epigenetic process has been implicated in infertility in mammals.  What can I say?  Can we all go home now?  Doesn’t that prove it?

At least they have found the treasure and are clawing at it.  Maybe they’ll get it up and out to where we can share.

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