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

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How is eye color in humans inherited?

In high school we studied the inheritance of eye color, as it was explained to us in the most simple way: blue eye color is a recessive, monogenic, autosomal trait. Now I know that it is a bit more ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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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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 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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260 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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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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101 views

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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145 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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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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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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160 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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622 views

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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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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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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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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Why do we assume that the first humans were dark-skinned?

According to the article Dark skin and blue eyes: How Europeans once looked: It is widely accepted that Man's oldest common forefather was dark skinned, and that people became more pale as they ...
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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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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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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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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, ...
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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 ...
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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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phylogenetic analysis of gene enrichment?

Are there any tools to do phylogenetic analysis of gene enrichment? This is, I have a list of genes from an experiment performed in several species, with a z-score that can be described as ...
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385 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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201 views

What is the relative power of GWAS studies in different species?

I would like to know of any publication studying the relative power of GWAS studies in different species. For example, I've seen reports that say genotyping and GWAS in dog breeds is much more ...
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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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Are all chromosomes equally susceptible to mutation?

The humans have been around for a few million years, other organisms longer yet. Changes that occur in the genome and propagate (may) eventually throw a new species ... or atleast branch off the old ...
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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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192 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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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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Bicoid regulation of hunchback

I'm learning about development via the example of Drosophila embryogenesis. I understand that bicoid regulates hunchback, among other genes. My question whether the regulation is direct or indirect? ...
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Hill-Roberston effects and effective population size

From this article, first page, middle of the second column: Even if harmful alleles do not become fixed, they can still reduce the efficacy of selection on neighbouring loci through a process ...
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Effect of single-gene overexpression in the cell's response

Which are the factors that modify the overall gene differential expression by introducing a vector for single-gene overexpression? If you overexpress a gene for a protein involved in signal ...
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Correlation between genome size and mutation rate?

Martin Nowak in his book "Evolutionary Dynamics" talks about a given correlation between genome size and mutation rate. What correlation does exactly exist between these two concepts? Is it a ...
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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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Can genetically modified genes jump to bacteria in the eater's intestine?

The Guardian ran an article a while back talking about GM gene's jumping to bacteria in an eater's intestine. Has other research confirmed this phenomenon?