Science: A Touch of Heterosis

When a movie star is billed as having "it" or "oomph," what she probably has is heterosis (hybrid vigor). At least, that is what Geneticist George D. Snell says. In the current Quarterly Review of Biology, Snell assembles evidence to show that superior qualities in humans, including physical attractiveness, are often due to heterosis, resulting from the crossing of two strains.

Dr. Snell describes heterosis in the case of swine (Hampshires crossed with Duroc Jerseys produced superior pigs). Since he cannot repeat the same experiment with people, he sifts a great mass of records...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!