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

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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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103 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 ...
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459 views

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'. Are some plants easier to modify than others?
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134 views

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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136 views

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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208 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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61 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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59 views

How well supported is the hypothesis that aging is mainly caused by the number of mutations in tissues?

I heard the hypothesis, that the (main) reason of aging is the increasing number of mutations in body tissues. The higher the number of mutations is, the older tissue is. Is this true? And how well ...
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102 views

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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159 views

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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2k views

How does Artificial Selection work?

As far as I know for evolution to work mutations are necessary. Mutations are the raw material on which natural selection works. But mutations are always completely random and human beings have no ...
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181 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 ...
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140 views

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?
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130 views

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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705 views

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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79 views

What do the signs +/+ +/- mean in this image?

I don't understand what this graph is supposed to explain, especially what the signs +/+ or -/- mean. I just know it characterises some rats.
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132 views

How is gene expression estimated?

I'm reading this fantastic article on estimating body time: Molecular-timetable methods for detection of body time and rhythm disorders from single-time-point genome-wide expression profiles and one ...
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99 views

What are the different ways an exon gets spliced?

Exons are produced by more than one mechanism, e.g. splicing out introns after transcription, if I remember correctly. Please list all mechanisms.
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249 views

Can extinct animals be cloned?

Scientists have found mammoth blood, and are planning to clone a mammoth. How does one go from having its blood to a full blown living mammoth? Is it possible? Why does it matter if the blood is ...
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409 views

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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133 views

How does a new species survive without suffering inbreeding?

Just what the title states. The thought came from reading When has an organism evolved enough to be called a new species? I'm probably wrong but I understand new species happen sporadically rather ...
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503 views

Genetic carrier Pedigree of Recessive Traits

A human male and female couple with normal colored ears discover that, in both of their families, their fathers (who have normal ears) each had siblings with red ears. Red ears is a rare autosomal ...
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1k views

What is the distinction between F' plasmid and R plasmid?

Is there a difference between an F' plasmid that has taken up a chromosomal gene that conveys antibiotic resistance, and an R plasmid? Is a bacterium containing an R plasmid and yet lacking an F+ ...
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554 views

What generates variation in a species?

What is the biological mechanism behind the variation within sexually reproducing species? Obviously, the children are combinations, to differing degrees, of their parents. But how does the variation ...
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221 views

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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3k views

What's the difference between shotgun sequencing and clone based sequencing?

What are the main differences between shotgun sequencing and clone based sequencing?
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149 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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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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41 views

Is there are practical lower limit to gene length in E. coli?

Question is rather self-explanatory. Putting aside other post-transcriptional factors like rate of degradation of transcript, what is the smallest gene ever reported to have successfully been ...
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351 views

What is the biological mechanism underlying caffeine intolerance? (CYP1A2 or other?)

As far as I can tell, caffeine metabolism occurs primarily via the CYP1A2 enzyme. I am curious as to whether mutations in the CYP1A2 gene are associated with caffeine intolerance. Some site that is ...
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111 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 ...
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78 views

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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52 views

What method would you use to genotype SNPs in low quality samples?

What method would you use to genotype SNPs in low quality samples? I ideally want to genotype hundreds of SNPs in hundreds of scat samples (very low amount of target DNA, potentially degraded and ...
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175 views

Are there eukaryotes without introns?

This question on the function of introns in eukaryotic genes made me think: I know that more basal organisms have smaller introns and fewer alternatively spliced exons compared to mammals. But are ...
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213 views

What is the inbreeding coefficient for the female offspring of a sib-mating in a haplodiploid system?

The inbreeding coefficient of a sibling mating for a diploid organism is 0.25 (each allele has a 25% of being identical by descent in the offspring). In haplodiploid organisms, males result from ...
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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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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 ...
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101 views

How to create a collection of anonymous sequences for teaching and testing? [closed]

I am looking for a large collection (>1000) of sequence files (eg. FASTA) from any real organism or a tool to create such a collection. The sequence files would be used for teaching and for testing ...
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278 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 ...
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208 views

Hershey and Chase experiment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QJ4CjFsflA This is a link to Hershey and Chase experiment. According to this experiment, we conclude that DNA is the genetic material. But how do we conclude that DNA ...
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81 views

How do proteins and genes participate in learning?

I am a computer scientist that studies biology and bioinformatics. In the last weeks, I have been trying to study new research directions, and I would like to deepen my knowledge on the role and ...
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538 views

Are Asians more genetically homogenous than other races?

I've heard that Asians (I'm not entirely sure which subgroup was being referred to) tend to be more genetically homogenous than other races, with people of African lineage being on the other end of ...
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Why do ladybugs have a different number of points on their backs

Everytime I see a ladybug I ask myself this question. Why does every ladybug have a different amount of points on its back? Is it because of its age? Or because of its genes? Is it inheritable?
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320 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 ...
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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 ...
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109 views

What exactly is meant by the expression “differentially expressed”?

As far as I've seen, this expression is almost always used in relation to gene expression profiling. Unfortunately, I have no background in this area. Can someone please explain this in layman terms?
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656 views

Chromosome 2 fusion?

I read this article by Jeffrey Tomkins and Jerry Bergman claiming to debunk chromosome 2 fusion. Is there anything wrong with these conclusions? " 1.The reputed fusion site is located in a ...
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A photosynthesizing mouse?

N. Shubin's Your Inner Fish makes the point several times that there is a lot of functional similarity between some seemingly remote gene cousins. If that needed reinforcing we have the spider-goat, ...
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171 views

Why does the slope of parent-offspring regression equals the heritability in the narrow sense?

Background ---- Notations and assumptions ---- let $W_{ij}$ be the fitness associated to the genotype $AiAj$. $x$ is the frequency of the allele $A1$ in the population. The frequency of the allele ...
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122 views

How do mutations come to be shared by all cells?

It's my understanding that various hazards can damage the DNA in our cells, causing mutations. But whenever I picture this, I see the damage being done to one of our tissues (for example, our lungs ...