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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

6
votes
2answers
412 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?
6
votes
1answer
58 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
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? ...
6
votes
2answers
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
180 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
139 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?
5
votes
3answers
128 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
701 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, ...
5
votes
2answers
123 views

Book recommendation on population/evolutionary genetics?

I have recently been involved in collaborations that require me to model the population genetics of eukaryotic populations. I fear I may either be "re-inventing the wheel" or making conceptual ...
5
votes
1answer
78 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.
5
votes
2answers
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
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.
5
votes
2answers
73 views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
248 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
406 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
132 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
502 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
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+ ...
5
votes
1answer
551 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
219 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
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?
5
votes
1answer
148 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
348 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
109 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
77 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
369 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
174 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
212 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
967 views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
276 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
207 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
507 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

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?
4
votes
1answer
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
108 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?
4
votes
2answers
651 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
97 views

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, ...
4
votes
1answer
170 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
59 views

Drosophila reference genome

Does anyone know the details about which line they are using to sequence as the Drosophila melanogaster reference genome?
4
votes
3answers
139 views

Fisher's Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection

Ronald Fisher discovered what he, with humility, called the Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection. This theorem says (in its modern terminology): The rate of increase in the mean fitness of any ...