Alterations

Fantomette88

Senior Member
French
Bonjour,

dans la phrase suivante: "These increased birth weights were attributed to alterations of the normal process of genetic imprinting, the selective methylation and silencing of specific maternal or paternal genes, referred to as epigenetic as opposed to genetic effects."

à quoi se rapporte le "the selective methylation and silencing..."? Est-ce "attributed to alterations of 1) the normal process... and 2) the selective methylation and silencing" ou " normal process of genetic imprinting = the selective methylation and silencing...?"

Merci :)
 
Last edited:
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Logically, it should mean the latter, because English rarely omits the "and" between the final two in a list of items (or the only two, if the list is so short). So, if this had meant "attributed to alterations of 1) the normal process... and 2) the selective methylation and silencing", the word "and" should by rights have been present in the original.


    HOWEVER...

    1. American usage doesn't always follow that rule, particularly journalistic usage. E.g. Runaway car hits man, boy which in Britain would be man and boy.
    2. We know that these authors of yours aren't good at expressing themselves.

    Personally, I would rather have seen it written:

    "These increased birth weights were attributed to alterations of the normal process of genetic imprinting: the selective methylation and silencing of specific maternal or paternal genes, referred to as epigenetic (as opposed to genetic) effects." [Note the colon.]

    OR:

    "These increased birth weights were attributed to alterations of the normal process of genetic imprinting (the selective methylation and silencing of specific maternal or paternal genes, referred to as epigenetic - as opposed to genetic - effects)."
     
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