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

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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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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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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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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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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 makes a gene dominant or recessive

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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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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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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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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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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Are homozygous carriers of the CCR5-Δ32 allele fully immune to all known strains of HIV?

Or is there documented evidence of even one homozygous carrier contracting HIV and staying infected?
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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 apes and humans share 99% of DNA or 99% of genes? What is the difference?

I made an answer on the Scifi.SE that can be read here. It is about how the characters in the story Jurassic Park might have gotten DNA for all the species shown. In my answer, I said this: Apes ...
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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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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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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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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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(How) can a pink grasshopper exist?

I saw this foto on Reddit recently: Is this possible? How can a grasshopper become like this? Is this just natural genetic mutation?
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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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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, ...
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What causes XYY Syndrome?

It's obvious how a misdisjunction can result in klinefelter's syndrome (XXY) but I don't see how this can result in XYY syndrome. Your parents have a collective total of only one Y chromosome so how ...
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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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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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Selection on linked loci in a diploid population

Let’s consider two linked loci $A$ and $B$ that are both bi-allelic. In consequence, we have four different possible haplotypes $A_1B_1$, $A_1B_2$, $A_2B_1$, $A_2B_2$, which frequencies are $X_1$, ...
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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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Linkage and LD: quantitative or qualitative?

My understanding is that the concept "genetic linkage" can be expressed in quantitative form, like: A predisposing gene X was found in close genetic linkage to Y. ...
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Are recessive, deleterious alleles less common on the X chromosome than the autosomes in humans?

As there is a potential for them to be more readily purged in hemizygous males (and in cell lineages in females with the deleterious-allele-bearing chromosome activated), I would expect the frequency ...
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obesity risk and single gene polymorphisms

I read a fairly recent meta-analysis of studies into the association between adult obesity and polymorphisms of the FTO gene (Peng et al., 2011). The paper looked at 59 studies and found that "FTO may ...
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Which functional annotations could be useful?

Analyzing a genome, for a generic gene, which functional annotations (e.g from Gene Ontology) can help understanding its meaning/function or, at least, provide helpful informations? Annotations of ...
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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 do the variants on the PolyT sequence mean?

My son has been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. I am not looking for medical advice regarding his condition, but I am very interested in understanding the genetic causes of his condition. In ...
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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 ...
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On average how many genes / alleles do people share?

I am curious about how much more a child can be alike to one parent than the other. If a child were to inherit all the alleles that are shared between both parents from one parent, but inherit all ...
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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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Is the number of legs in myriapoda determined entirely by the genome?

Myriapoda (comprising, among others, millipedes and centipedes) can have hundreds of legs (Illacme plenipes having up to 750 legs). Interestingly, the number of legs (or leg pairs) appears to differ ...
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How is the exogenous DNA protected from degradation during bacterial transformation?

During transformation, a bacterium can take up DNA from its environment. A small fraction of bacterial species are known to be naturally competent, meaning that they can engage in this sort of ...
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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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How many transcription factors are there?

In molecular biology and genetics, a transcription factor is a protein that binds to specific DNA sequences, thereby controlling the flow (or transcription) of genetic information from DNA to ...
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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 any species be bred selectively/engineered to become as diverse looking as dogs?

I've done some research and it appears that dogs are the most diverse looking single species of mammals. The questions that interest me is - are dogs special in respect to genes/gene activation ...
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Genetic effects on personality

It is said that genes are partly responsible for the choices we make in our life; our genes help to create our environment, and then that environment can influence our personality. So, beside genes, ...
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does order of genes in a chromosome matter?

does the order of genes within a chromosome matter? or is the main thing that the genes are there. so for example, our DNA is very similar to that of apes not only by the genes themselves but also by ...
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what is the difference between “cistron” and “gene”

I'm asking after reading the cognate wikipedia.en article on "cistron". I still am not sure about the difference of the two terms. To me it seems valid to picture a "cistron" as the genome wide set ...
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Are there any DNA base sequences that are fully conserved between the genomes of all humans?

That is, they don't differ throughout the entire population. I understand of course that we can't DNA sequence every human, so by "fully" I mean there's an incredibly small probability of there being ...
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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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Why are males more likely than females to have autism spectrum disorder?

The male to female ratio in autism spectrum disorder is around 4:1. However it seems ASD is not a simple X-linked disorder. Then how is it possible males are more susceptible than females, if the ...
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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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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, ...