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German scientist Christian Friedrich Nasse determines that hemophilia is a genetic disease carried by women but affecting only men. Nasse writes, “Women of bleeder (hemophiliac) families, although they marry men from normal families, carry the disease over from their own fathers to their children, and yet never suffer from the disease themselves.” Dubbed Nasse’s law, the pattern is a prime example of what would later become known as Mendelian inheritance. If a man with hemophilia has children with a woman who is not a carrier, none of their sons will have hemophlilia, but all of their daughters will be carriers. If a man without hemophilia has children with a woman who is carrying the hemophilia gene, the sons will have a fifty percent chance of being hemophiliacs while the daughters will have a fifty percent chance of being carriers.
A prominent example of Nasse's law is the passing of hemophilia through the royal bloodlines of Europe. Queen Victoria was a notable carrier of hemophilia who passed the disease on to some of her descendents. One of these descendents after generations of royal marriages was Alexei Nikolaevich, the Tsarevich, the heir to the Russian throne during the early twentieth century. His condition prompted the Empress to seek treatment from the mystic Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin, whose disproportionate political influence on the royal family has been argued by historians to be a partial cause of the demise of the House of Romanov and the Russian Empire in 1917.