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

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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 ...
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Is it possible for a brown eyed parent to have blue eyed child?

Here's the story: A young man has stunning blue eyes. On his mother's side are lots of instances of blue eyes, but on his father's side is no history of blue eyes. When he was born with these bright ...
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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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Does our DNA change during our lives?

As far as I know, DNA is the construction protocol of all organisms on Earth. Does it change when influenced by time and environment (physical laws)? As parents with schizophrenia are more likely to ...
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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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Is it possible to genetically modify a plant at home?

Would I be able to genetically modify a plant at home? What equipment will be necessary? I think it might be a fun change from the 'norm' of regular hybridisation, to try some inter-family gene ...
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650 views

How many gigabytes of DNA are there on earth?

The human genome is about 770 MB, the C. elegans genome is about 100 MB, the yeast S. cerevisiae is about 12 MB. Different other genomes have been sequenced: how many GB of genomic DNA we have now? ...
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217 views

How are new people created from the DNA of an aged person. i.e. Why are we young?

The question "why do we age" has been asked numerous times. But why are we young? The cells of the adult human being are an age (time>0), but how can old cells create new cells that are younger than ...
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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?
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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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Do men have a higher genetic variance than women?

I've heard that with the distribution of our genetic code women have less variation on the bell curve than men. Is there any basis for this? It was my understanding that women have more genetic ...
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What makes a gene dominant or recessive [duplicate]

We all carry two copies of each gene (outside of male sex chromosomes). If the two differ from each other often one is dominant and one recessive. How does this mechanism work on a molecular level? ...
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473 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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121 views

Circadian Clock During a Flight

I am interested to know how does our Circadian Clock respond (and its resultant changes if any) when we are traveling across Time Zones? UPDATE 24th April I am reopening this question as the ...
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571 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 ...
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97 views

Which patterns do I have to avoid when modifying the 3'-UTR?

I want to change a pre-miRNA sequence (in my case the pre-miRNA is encoding in a 3'UTR of a gene) and then put it in a lentivirus to see if it is still processed. After modification (permutation of ...
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131 views

Why does polyploidy give an evolutionary advantage?

I would like to know what advantages polyploidy holds. I have come across a few examples during my research of polyploidy, for example human adults' hearts contain 27% diploid, 71% tetraploid and 2% ...
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754 views

Did the eugenics program in Nazi Germany have a measurable effect? [closed]

Did the killing or sterilisation of people considered as living a "life unworthy of life" in Nazi Germany have any measurable effect on the "average health" of Germany? Is there any statistical ...
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What's the aim of genetically modifying of foods/organisms?

On news, articles etc. experts talking about Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms often mentions about their disadvantages like, their potential to harm human health allergies may become more ...
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Why pick just a single bacterial transformed colony

So after bacteria have been transformed to perhaps grow up a plasmid of interest, why pick only a single bacterial colony from a selective plate for further expansion? I understand that this is to ...
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Theoretically, is domestication of (virtually) any animal possible?

Looking at ones that manage well alongside us human animals, such as dogs and cats, we see that this is possible for evolved, distant animals to have heritable, preferable traits around people. ...
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Why doesn't recombination occur in male Drosophila?

"Males do not show meiotic recombination, facilitating genetic studies." For a while I have known that this phenomenon occurs, this quote comes from the Wikipedia page on Drosophila melanogaster, ...
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408 views

Is sexual reproduction outside the same biological family possible? Has it ever occured successfully?

Are there any examples of two species taxonomically classified in different biological families that have successfully hybridized and produced viable offspring? If not, is there an example of where ...
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138 views

What is the effective relatedness of inbreeding?

If a human inbreeds with a relative, how distant does the relative have to be before the homozygosity in the child is no higher than if the mate were randomly chosen from the global population?
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How is it possible for only one in five children to have brown eyes when their parents both have brown eyes?

I have observed that parents having brown eyes had three female offspring with blue eyes, one son with green eyes, while only the youngest daughter had brown eyes. How can they produce so many ...
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368 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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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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Are there dog breeds that are so far apart genetically that they can't produce viable offspring?

Obviously, a very large dog would have difficulties mating with a very small dog and vice versa. But putting that problem aside (using, say, insemination), considering the large variation of dog ...
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Why can't we breed watermelons without any remaining seeds in the flesh?

Watermelon is just starting to come in season in the northeastern U.S., and having a seedless watermelon is convenient. The only downside is, the "seedless" almost always still have the immature, ...
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157 views

How can a three-base codon evolve from a two-base codon?

Inspired by this question among others. It's widely suggested that the current 3-base codon system of encoding protein sequences in DNA evolved from an earlier 2-base codon system. This makes sense ...
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261 views

Finding DNA from Amino Acid sequence problem

My attempt: First I took the single letter AA codes and made them amino acids. So, the first one is Trp which is 5'-UGG-3'. From this I got the DNA sequence 3'-CCA-5'. However, the correct ...
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Splice in with CRISPR/Cas

I need to splice a gene into a human cell genome, with highest rate possible. I mean, doesn't really matter where the gene enters, nor does it matter if some cells die as a result of this. CRISPR ...
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238 views

What is the difference between copy number changes with and without allelic imbalance?

I require some clarification on copy number aberrations (structural gain and loss in chromosomes). From what I understand, gain/loss per se can be divided into two types. Consider two alleles, A and ...
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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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Genetic Drift: Models, assumptions and empirical observations

There two main mathematical models to describe the process of genetic drift are Moran model and Wright-Fisher model. My questions concern the assumptions of these models, the existence of other ...
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Do butterflies pass over migration patterns to their offspring?

So, earlier, I read online (http://io9.com/butterflies-remember-a-mountain-that-hasnt-existed-for-509321799) that Monarch butterflies veer east during their southward migration to avoid a mountain ...
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What are the function(s) of Alu elements in the cell?

My 2008 biology book (1) states that some 10% of the human genome consists of relatively short (~300 nucleotides long) Alu elements which do not code for proteins but many of which are transcribed ...
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Father with mutated mtDNA- why isn't his offspring at risk?

Mothers transmit their mitochondria (and therefore mtDNA) to their offspring and fathers don't. Lets assume that father had a mutation of the gene that encodes mtDNA, would then be his offspring at ...
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Does one parent transmit more DNA to the offspring than the other one?

Does one parent transmit more DNA to the offspring than the other one? Or do both parents always transmit the same amount of genetic material to their offspring? In other words, can a baby be ...
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Altering the human genome

I recently had a conversation with a rather unusual gentleman who was, let's say, more than a little partial to conspiracy theories. He has this idea that governments are lowering "nanowires" from ...
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Can genes change as we age?

Let's say you're a 23 year old man who impregnates a woman. Will your genes be the same if you were to impregnate another woman at age 35? Will your genes in those 12 years have ...
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Can sexual reproduction create new genetic information?

Is there a small chance that in sexual reproduction a new allele forms in the off-spring that was not present in either of the parents, or are the alleles in the offspring always from at least one of ...
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What determines if a gene is dominant or recessive?

Going back to my high school days we were taught about dominant and recessive genes. We were taught how to calculate the geneotype and pheneotype of potential offspring using a small table (forgotten ...
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Do DNA repressors exist?

I know about enhancers and the mechanism that lead them to increase the gene expression of their targets but I was wondering if similarly DNA repressors exist. I know about protein repressors but I am ...
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How much does a biological experiment to validate a gene function cost?

I am computer scientist working on machine learning methods applied to predicting missing Gene Ontology annotations. In many papers, I wrote that my computational methods are very useful to suggest ...
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Is it possible to trace of the ancestry of a person by only using his/her genetic information?

Is it possible to trace the descent of a person only using his/her genome sequence?
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Chromosomes are of different size but why do all chromosomes have similar GC percentage?

When I browsed NCBI I saw a pattern: even if the chromosome sizes, number of genes, and number of proteins are different, GC% in chromosomes tend to be similar. The examples are linked below. Yeast, ...
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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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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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Does the word “polymorphism” refer to the gene, the phenotype, or both?

In genetics, does the word "polymorphism" properly refer to genes, to phenotypes, or both? For example, if there are two alleles that lead to differences in the structure of the D2 neuroreceptor, ...