Genetics is the branch of biology that deals with the transmission and variation of inherited characteristics.

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Papers linking telomeres and aging [closed]

I'm currently writing a piece of work about telomeres and aging, and wondered if you could share some good papers you've either read or know of.
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What is the inbreeding coefficient for the female offspring of a sib-mating in a haplodiploid system?

The inbreeding coefficient of a sibling mating for a diploid organism is 0.25 (each allele has a 25% of being identical by descent in the offspring). In haplodiploid organisms, males result from ...
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1answer
65 views

Historical recovery from mass extinction events

Is there a way to generally characterize how species "regrew" after the various mass extinction events happening periodically from 450 Ma to 65 Ma. Would the surviving species just start back where ...
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2answers
113 views

Can a new Y-chromosome be created?

The major gene of the Y-chromosome is SRY. Would it be possible to get the X-chromosome and add SRY to create a "fuller" Y-chromosome? What advantage does the skinny Y-chromosome give an individual ...
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171 views

Have any genetically altered organisms actually become abundant in a natural environment?

Most of the things that come up in Google and Google Scholar for this question have a mostly/completely speculative tone, or at best use models instead of measurements. This report describes some ...
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1answer
199 views

Why Can't A Male Mule Have Offspring?

I've read that female mules can sometimes have offspring, but that male mules are incapable of doing so. Why is that the case? Is their sperm not capable of entering the egg or is their a genetic ...
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2answers
791 views

Chromosome 2 fusion?

I read this article by Jeffrey Tomkins and Jerry Bergman claiming to debunk chromosome 2 fusion. Is there anything wrong with these conclusions? " 1.The reputed fusion site is located in a ...
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2answers
2k views

How many people are required to maintain genetic diversity?

Imagine humans were to colonize a distant planet and it was a single one-way trip. How many people would they need to bring? Obviously 2 is the minimum, but that would result in a lot of inbreeding. ...
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1answer
151 views

How does a tiger have stripes?

A vague question, but let me try to explain. My friend explained to me that in females, some cells use one X chromosome, while all others use the other X chromosome. This can result in some ...
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2answers
247 views

Hershey and Chase experiment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QJ4CjFsflA This is a link to Hershey and Chase experiment. According to this experiment, we conclude that DNA is the genetic material. But how do we conclude that DNA ...
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666 views

How to map the Gene name to its Gene Symbol?

I am learning in Gene data lately so I apologize for the silly questions in advance. I read a paper for a cancer on human which found some important genes. For example, the paper listed one of genes ...
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269 views

What kind of event would cause the current Mitochondrial Eve to be replaced by a new one?

Apparently all living humans are matrilineal descendants of a single woman who lived 200.000 years ago. She is called Mitochondrial Eve. But at the time she lived there was a different matrilineal ...
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2answers
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What is the function of the RNA primer in DNA replication?

During DNA replication, RNA primase puts an RNA primer in the lagging strand. What is the function of this RNA primer? Why can't the enzymes put DNA fragments directly?
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4answers
2k views

Does the DNA sequence of a butterfly match that of the caterpillar it used to be?

Just had this thought occur to me. If one were to take a DNA sample(or is it RNA?) of a caterpillar before it became a chrysalis, and attempt to match the sample against one taken after the chrysalis ...
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2answers
2k views

Gene & Protein nomenclature: N-Myc, c-Myc, et. al

Can someone explain (or point me to an explanation of) exactly what is meant by all the different symbols I see used for writing genes and proteins? I think I know that for genes, we use an italic ...
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3answers
3k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using beta-galactosidase compared to luciferase as a reporter gene?

In the University labs, we have used Beta-galactosidase as a reporter gene to quantify the expression initiated by the stress-response promoter in yeast. This was done by exposing one of the two ...
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1answer
222 views

Would two species of yeast with similar genome sizes have the same number of genes or chromosomes?

Similar organisms generally have similar genome sizes. Given this, would two species of yeast have the same number of genes and chromosomes? Edit: Fixed with thanks to @daniel-standage
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1answer
365 views

How are epigenetic marks transmitted during cell division?

As far as I know, this is one of the biggest questions in the epigenetic field: how are the epigenetic marks like histone modifications propagated through cell division? A lot is already known about ...
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1answer
93 views

Have there been any experiments that duplicate chromosome copies from 23*2 to 23*3 or 23*4?

Deinococcus radiodurans is an amazing bacterium with a fantastic survival rate. It can survive to high doses of radiation, in a complete vacuum and in hydrochloric acid. How does this bacterium ...
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2answers
687 views

Difference between mice and rats

What is the actual biological difference between mice and rats? Are they actually the same thing with two different names depending on appearance (are they all mice for instance and we call the larger ...
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1answer
146 views

What is the difference between xDNA and yDNA?

Wikipedia states that: xDNA contains expanded bases, in which a benzene ring has been added, which may pair with canon bases, resulting in four possible base-pairs (8 bases:xA-T,xT-A,xC-G,xG-C, 16 ...
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2answers
51 views

What do breeders call the effect when a breed resists modification?

It is impossible to breed a blue rose or a cat with a bulldog shape. This is because breeding is limited by gene variations in the population. What do breeders call this effect? UPDATE I guess ...
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2answers
105 views

How are Genetic Circuits Modelled?

I've read a recent Nature Methods paper by Moon T.S. et al, in which a synthetic genetic circuit consisting of layered logic gates was created. For example, the paper, a circuit is modelled in Figure ...
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1answer
561 views

What determines the colors and patterns of a clam shell?

Earlier this week I was looking at some bivalve shells that had ornate patterns which ranged in color from a light orange-pink to a deep orange-red. Here is an image I found online that seems to be of ...
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1answer
327 views

Genetic engineering for insulin production

In order to put human DNA inside a bacteria in order to have it create Insulin, from what type of cell would you need to take the gene for insulin? I thought it should be from any somatic cell, since ...
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1answer
83 views

Do antisense transcripts have different names than their sense strand transcripts?

I want to find which genes in the human genome can potentially be complementary to a transcript that could act as antisense transcript inhibtion? Are cis-NATs (naturally occuring anti-sense ...
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1answer
24 views

Mutation in axillary buds of trees overcoming self-incompatability?

I seem to recall from either reading or lecture that there have been instances of trees that are self-incompatible accumulating enough mutations in an axillary bud that the resulting branch was able ...
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1answer
248 views

Why is offspring of identical twins not identical?

When identical twins marry identical twins, the children of the couples will be full genetic siblings but why are they not genetically identical?
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1answer
49 views

methods for targetted deletion of genomic regions?

I would like to know what are currently used methods for targeted deletion of genomic regions in mammalian organisms or cell lines. I have heard of Zinc-Finger nucleases as a recent genetic ...
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2answers
72 views

How are there multiple varieties of the potato?

The potato appears to propagate by growing an 'eye'/'bud' which eventually grows into a new plant. So there would probably be single representative of the potato species in the world with all others ...
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1answer
80 views

How can GMO contaminate biologic plants?

Let consider two use cases : I am the only farmer within a 200km radius. I first grow GMO plants. A few cycles later I decide to grow bio plants, so I uproot all of the GMO plants and plant fresh ...
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1answer
298 views

Does DNA contain information beyond protein synthesis?

It's well known that genetic information is stored in DNA. As far as I know, DNA only has information at the protein level. What about higher levels, such as organelles, cells, tissue, organs? Is ...
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1answer
137 views

How does sex differentiation work in Paracerceis sculpta, the sexually tetramorphic isopod?

Paracerceis sculpta is a marine isopod species known for its unusual reproductive strategy: female: medium-sized; lives in harems run by an α male α male: large; keeps a harem of females β male: ...
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1answer
1k views

What determines testosterone exposure in womb, baby's genetics or mom's body?

I read this article which has the following quote: The ratio between index and ring finger is believed to be linked to exposure to the male hormone testosterone in the womb. And I wonder what ...
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73 views

Microbiome Data

How is it possible to access microbiome data like that found here? I'd like to perform analyses on similar type of data, but cannot find OTU data like that at the Human Biome Project. Thanks for any ...
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1answer
130 views

Phenotypic Variation of cattle - looking for academic sources

Can someone please point me in the direction of a good academic article on the following: What are possible sources of phenotypic variation of different 400 day weights of cattle? Furthermore how ...
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3answers
82 views

Is DNA mutation locally energetically stabilizing the DNA molecule

I am no biologist, but as a physicist, a spontaneous mutation (seen as a chemical transformation) should lower the energy of the system, at least locally. So I wonder if any research has been done ...
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Terminology question: the scope of an allele in an organism

Let us consider a gene FOO with novel type foo. If I were discussing an organism that has inherited foo in every cell during classical zygote formation, then I would ordinarily just say that the ...
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Difference between genetic engineering and synthetic biology

I've recently seen the term synthetic biology being used to describe research involving genetic modification of organisms. What is the difference between synthetic biology and genetic engineering? Is ...
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1answer
134 views

Which part of a female mantises's DNA causes her to be a few times larger than a male mantis?

Which part of a female mantises's DNA causes her to be a few times larger than a male mantis? Do other species have that part of DNA?
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1answer
1k views

What is a focal copy number variation?

Often, genetics studies, especially genome wide ones, talk about "focal copy number variations" in genes or regions of the chromosome. I know what a copy number variation is. What does "focal" mean, ...
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1answer
139 views

Non-monotonic knock-out effects in prokaryotes

Typically, when performing gene-knockout, the experimenters select one gene to remove/replace-with-junk and then see if the prokaryote can still undergo fission. If it continues to reproduce then the ...
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Evolutionarily speaking, why do humans have 46 chromosomes

In humans, each cell normally contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, for a total of 46. Monkeys, chimpanzees, and Apes have 24 pairs (twenty-four pairs), for a total of 48. What caused humans to have 46? ...
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1answer
354 views

What phenotypes can arise from gender-related aneuploidy?

Humans normally have 46 chromosomes (two copies - one from each parent - of each of the 24 chromosomes: [1:22] + [XX or XY]). Aneuploidy is an abnormal number of chromosomes - Down's syndromes is an ...
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1answer
234 views

Have there been attempts to identify Chomsky's “language mutation” in humans?

I'm not versed in either biology or linguistics so please forgive any naiveties I may commit. I've learned that Noam Chomsky thinks that language is a result of a single genetic mutation in humans. ...
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1answer
97 views

In a vertebrate chimera, are particular organs homogenous genetically?

I have read that a chimera is an organism with two or more sets of DNA, with every cell having one of the sets. Is it possible and common for the two or more sets to be present in the cells of a ...
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2answers
318 views

Do twins “run in the family”?

My wife and I recently found out that we are going to have twins and so nearly everyone asks if we have a family history of twins. Now I know that the answer for me is that it doesn't matter—as ...
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0answers
107 views

How does a plant decide when to grow a branch? [duplicate]

As a plant grows, at some point the first branch forms. As it continues, branches grow new branches, and so on, in a seemingly random way. Is it random, or is it driven by the environment (heat or ...
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Can the third sex be categorized as Male or Female?

Hijra are people who have a penis (not sure if sexually active) but look much like a female (perhaps for some feminine biological property). Wikipedia says they are "physiological males who have ...
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1answer
64 views

Can an organism obtaining a part of its genome via horizontal gene transfer be called a “hybrid”?

Wikipedia definition of "hybrid" offers many competing definitions. But most seem to be centered on sexual-reproduction gene transfer. Is there an official (in a textbook or widely accepted peer ...