Tagged Questions

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

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6
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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 ...
7
votes
1answer
528 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 ...
4
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1answer
325 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 ...
7
votes
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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
0
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1answer
241 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?
2
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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 ...
4
votes
2answers
71 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
294 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
125 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: ...
9
votes
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
71 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 ...
5
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1answer
126 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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
3
votes
0answers
94 views

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 ...
9
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5answers
3k views

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 ...
3
votes
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?
4
votes
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, ...
4
votes
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 ...
3
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3answers
6k views

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? ...
4
votes
1answer
334 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
227 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. ...
4
votes
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
283 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
7
votes
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
162 views

What is the Edward O. Wilson fuss about?

I have just read this article on E. O. Wilson and I don't understand what the difference is between what he is arguing and "standard" natural selection. I read "the extended phenotype" some years ago ...
5
votes
3answers
196 views

Why don't flies avoid the motorway?

Flies have a short lifespan, therefore evolution should technically happen over a shorter period of time (years). Flies die all the time from getting hit by cars on the motorway. Those flies that ...
6
votes
1answer
408 views

What is Mendelian Randomization, and how is it used to infer causality in epidemiology?

Studies of human traits and diseases are inherently confined to observational studies, known as epidemiological studies. This can make it very hard to determine what actually causes a particular ...
10
votes
3answers
342 views

Athletes: nature vs. nurture?

Having watched a lot of olympians the last few weeks, I was struck by how many of them have actually spent their wholes lives/careers training for their one event (be in running a marathon, or ...
4
votes
0answers
65 views

What is the frequency of double-hets between parent and child?

Say both parent and child are genotyped for all SNPs. In this setup we are only looking at variant positions between one parent and child - so neither parent nor child are homozygous reference (no ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Is the theory of evolution being disproved by bats?

For some species the Darwin's theory evolution makes perfect sense. I can easily imagine how, for example, the giraffe has evolved to its current appearance: the natural selection was favoring ...
3
votes
1answer
361 views

Can parents' learned traits be transmitted genetically?

I am wondering whether a behavioral trait (e.g. fear or stress experienced in the lifetime of the parent) can be transmitted genetically to its offspring? I understand that a behavioral tendency for ...
4
votes
1answer
65 views

Drosophila reference genome

Does anyone know the details about which line they are using to sequence as the Drosophila melanogaster reference genome?
3
votes
1answer
82 views

Predictable microchimerism

I read in New Scientist recently that microchimerism occurs between previously born siblings and grandparents, not just the mother. Do we know which parts of the genome are likely to be transferred? ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

What's in a Name: Statistical Genetics

The novice often performs population calculations using what is referred to as Mendelian Genetics. Soon after the publication of Mendel's results; Hardy and Weinberg presented their results after the ...
10
votes
2answers
169 views

Is there an “evolutionary species similarity calculator”?

Is there a website where I can input pairs of species and get an "evolutionary similarity score"? E.g. (numbers are completely made up) Input: Chimp and Human, Output: 97% Input: Cat and Human, ...
9
votes
2answers
442 views

Which bacteria have the highest mutation rate?

From my reading on M. tuberculosis, I know that this organism has a pretty high mutation rate due to uncorrected sloppy replication, which leads to a high rate of development of spontaneous resistance ...
4
votes
0answers
68 views

effect of background selection on promoter regions compared to distant enhancers?

Has anyone looked at the effect of background selection on the levels of conservation of promoter regions compared to distant enhancers? Do promoter regions have a higher conservation due to ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Autosomal Recessive Trait when skipping one generation

I learned recently that given a pedigree it is possible to tell whether a disease is autosomal recessive by observing if the trait skips a generation. If the disease does skip a generation, then the ...
13
votes
0answers
173 views

paralogue genes in genome-wide association studies?

Has anybody tested if paralogous genes are over-represented among the genes identified by genome-wide association studies (GWAS)? For example, if a GWAS study finds 200 genes associated to the ...
1
vote
0answers
165 views

Extreme examples of protein translation/use coupling/decoupling?

What are known extreme examples of protein translation/effect coupling/decoupling? For example, examples of proteins that are immediately used at the time the have been translated and vice versa, ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

What are treatable foetal conditions during pregnancy?

What are different foetal conditions during pregnancy that could be treated with appropriate prenatal genetic testing? I only know that pregnant women are encouraged to take certain supplements to ...
4
votes
1answer
345 views

T7 promoter leakiness

Can a gene be expressed under the T7 promoter in an E. coli strain (e.g. DH5 alpha), which does not have the T7 polymerase gene encoded in its genome? In other words, is T7 promoter leaky? To be ...
0
votes
1answer
444 views

Are there examples of the green beard effect in humans?

Green-beard effects are genes that: Produce an effect that can be detected Produce preference to others with the same effect Are there any examples of this in humans?
10
votes
4answers
6k views

Do we get 1/4 of our genes from each grandparent?

I know that we get half of our genes from each parent, but does it necessarily mean we get 1/4 of our genes from each grandparent? Or is it possible that we might get say 30% from one grandparent, 20% ...
9
votes
1answer
82 views

Relative Property of Alleles

If there are three different alleles to a gene, is it possible that the first is dominant to the second, but recessive to the third?
4
votes
1answer
94 views

Online toolkit that provides functional similarity scores (in the form of a matrix) between two functional gene sets in the context of gene ontology

Where can I find an online toolkit that provides functional similarity scores (in the form of a matrix) between two functional gene sets in the context of gene ontology? I have tried the following: ...