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

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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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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 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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Are non-coding RNAs introns?

I am slightly confused as to what part of the genome codes for non-coding RNAs. Is it the introns? This would make sense to me as to why they are not transcribed as the introns are not transcribed. Or ...
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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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The genetic and physiological origins of laughter?

This Wikipedia article defines laughter in many terms, such as... "a visual expression of happiness, or an inward feeling of joy" and "a part of human behavior regulated by the brain, ...
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How is genetic speciation defined?

What determines speciation at a molecular level? At what point does a scientist determine two lineages are different enough to be considered separate species? Does it have a margin of error?
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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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82 views

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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161 views

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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124 views

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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342 views

What is the minimum population size that Hardy-Weinberg calculations can be applied to?

I'm trying to find out if a particular allele is in Hardy-Weinberg disequilibrium, but the data is poor. What's the minimum population number that you can use to get any sort of respectable ...
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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 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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166 views

A good textbook on GMO

I am interested in learning about GMO. The topic is so wrapped in controversy, that it's hard to find a good book that introduces the basic concepts involved. I went through various university ...
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156 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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92 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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105 views

How many, and how severe, are known single gene polymorphisms for obesity?

A fairly recent meta-analysis of studies examining the association between adult obesity and polymorphisms of the FTO gene (Peng et al., 2011). The paper looked at 59 studies and concluded that, "FTO ...
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293 views

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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104 views

How often does bacterial transformation happen?

I have been reading: M. Dröge, A. Pühler, W. Selbitschka, "Horizontal gene transfer among bacteria in terrestrial and aquatic habitats as assessed by microcosm and field studies", Biol. Fertil. ...
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100 views

How exactly can dsRNA be introduced to a cell?

Is it just by viruses or are there other means by which it gets into cells, such as plasmid uptake?
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94 views

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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71 views

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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How does plant grafting work?

Plant grafting is a process whereby a piece of one plant is inserted into another and results in a change of the original plant. For example, grafting a piece of a lemon tree into a bitter orange tree ...
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52 views

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 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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736 views

Fisher's Geometric Model for Dummies

Fisher's geometric model is still today one of the most important and fundamental model in evolutionary biology but it seems to me that most student in evolutionary biology don't really understand it ...
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477 views

How do I read a sequence logo?

I'm looking at a paper that uses several sequence logos to illustrate the consensus sequence of certain sites. Here is the most important of the sequence logos I'm interested in: The explanations ...
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73 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 ...
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63 views

Why does the proportion of transposable elements vary so much across species?

Intuitively, transposable elements (TEs) are harmful as they may cause genome instability. However, some people argue that TEs are also sources of variations, especially regulatory sequences[1]. If ...
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229 views

What determines the number of chromosomes an organism carries?

This is an extension of this question about What limits chromosomal length?. I am wondering what could be the specific reasons behind the number of chromosomes an organism carries. In other words, ...
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113 views

Genotype to phenotype map and the G-matrix

Suppose I have a genotype-phenotype map defined by the matrix $\mathbf{Z}$:         The scalars $G,P$ represent the number of genotypes and traits, respectively. ...
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B cell receptor editing

If a B cell contains two mu chains and two lambda chains and is self reactive can it go back and rearrange its kappa light chains? I'm not sure if it can only try to rearrange its lambda light chains ...
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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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178 views

Why is an allele dominant or recessive? [duplicate]

Alleles refer to duplicate genes, where one allele can be dominant over the other. What makes an allele dominant or recessive, given that both code for a single protein?.
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118 views

How was the cama's life expectancy computed?

A cama is a hybrid between a male dromedary camel and a female llama. The first cama was born on January 14, 1998, yet on the Wikipedia page it is said that a cama's life span is 30–40 years. How was ...
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724 views

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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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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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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191 views

Why does size decrease across the sequence of human chromosomes?

The following graph shows a decrease in the amount of base pairs per chromosome across the sequential set of human chromosomes: Is this because chromosomes were originally numbered by their size on ...
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Do the eggs for larger litters come from the same meiosis events, or different ones?

There are some species of animals that give birth to more than one pup at a time. In these species, are the fertilized eggs all from one or a limited group of meiosis processes, or are they from ...
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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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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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Can molecular genetics make a boolean variable from a continuous variable?

In the same kind of idea than this question. Gene expression are regulated through complex interactions. The concentration of enhancers and repressors is an important aspect that dictate the level 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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Smallest unit on which selection can act

Traditionally, the individual was considered to be the smallest unit on which Natural Selection (NS) acts. Today, we usually consider the gene as being the unit of NS. Of course, we should also ...
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Why is a heritability coefficient not an index of “how genetic” something is?

On his blog, Eric Turkheimer writes: [T]aken as a number, a unit of analysis, heritability coefficients are funny things to aggregate on such a massive level. What exactly are we supposed to ...