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

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Gene Circuits; experiments

First, my background - I'm a newcomer to biology. What is a gene circuit, and how might I simulate one in a laboratory? Thank you.
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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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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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Is the SRY gene the sole responsible of biological male sex?

It's very well known that the Y chromosome is what determines maleness, but more specifically this seems to happen thanks to the SRY gene located on it. Some individuals have an XX karyotype, but ...
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Do genes play a role in the athleticism and shape of a person?

I am an Indian with a small thin stature with some deposition of fat around my belly.I was wondering if genes play a role in fat deposition in the body for Indian, Chinese, European or African people. ...
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840 views

What's a non-allelic gene?

Non-allelic or non-alletic I stumbled across the term in my Human Genetics textbook. It didn't explain it there, and a quick google search only showed scientific papers that refer to 'recombinations ...
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201 views

Are Italians genetically separated from other Europeans?

I was reading this Wikipedia article about the genetic history of Italy, and I found it interesting. There are however a few things that puzzle me, because they seem to contradict each other. For ...
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Does Darwin's Theory of Evolution refute Terence McKenna theory “Stoned Ape” theory of human evolution?

I haven't read it but I'm asking for a quick answer. As far as I know, Terence McKenna's theory of evolution in humans main concept is that a hominid has tried in their diet psilocybin mushrooms, and ...
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186 views

What is the difference between SNP and STR?

I thought that these were just different format of the same data. But it seems there isn't a way to convert SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) data to STR (short tandem repeat) data. Am I right? ...
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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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Telomeres in cloning experiments

In whole animal cloning ( eg. Dolly ) the nucleus is taken from a somatic cell. So isn't shortening of telomeres a problem ?
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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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195 views

Recombination frequency, linked genes, and independent assortment

Gene R is genetically linked to gene T with a recombination frequency of 0.3. Gene T and gene X assort independently from each other. Your colleague tells you that gene T and gene X reside on the same ...
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Hardy Weinberg Equilibrium problem

In a small tribal population, the frequencies of two alleles A and a at a particular locus were 0.3 and 0.7, respectively. However, not all the individuals with genotype aa could live up to the ...
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55 views

Can a plant be programmed to produce any arbitrary object?

I'm wondering if a plant can be programmed (by modifying its genes) to grow into any shape that it's programming instructs. I understand that a plants genes are its instructions of how to convert the ...
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79 views

explanation of conjugation experiment in bacteria

In this paper (On the expression of a structural gene) I am confused about what is being plotted in Figure 6. The x-axis contains the fraction of radioactive day and y-axis contains the enzyme ...
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77 views

Why is the 4.4 kb band barely visible in this HindIII digest of lambda DNA?

Why is the 4.4 kb band barely visible? Also, what is the mass (ng) of DNA in band X if lane S contains 250 ng of digested lambda phage DNA?
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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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594 views

Why is the function of lacA (encoding thiogalactoside transacetylase) not clearly understood?

It's almost half a century since the lac operon was discovered but isn't it weird that the precise role of transacetylase isn't clearly understood ? Here a wikipedia article with a link to a journal ...
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156 views

Why were dinosaurs not as smart as we are?

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaur, Dinosaurs were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates for 135 million years. They had a lot of time to evolve. My question is: why were dinosaurs not ...
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47 views

Is the book “Bioinformatics for Geneticists” outdated?

I am going to be working with genetics data in my organization's data warehouse next year and helping our biotechnology department. I work in academic research, but I have very little genomics ...
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60 views

Is the poly(A) tail added while transcription is still underway?

I read in Campbell that ....splicing and poly A tail addition may also occur while transcription is still under way. How can the poly(A) tail be added while transcription is still going on?
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What do genotoxic scoring (Sa) values mean?

The genotoxic scoring is an estimator of genotoxic potency whose values range from 100 to -100. What is the interpretation of those different positive and negative values? (for instance ethanol Sa= ...
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104 views

How was the heritability of IQ tested?

I have read that IQ is highly heritable. How could this be tested? For honest testing, it seems to me that only children who were abandoned should have been tested, to exclude education effect. Was ...
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How does smoking, an environmental factor, cause cancer, fundamentally a genetic disease?

If cancer is fundamentally a genetic disease, how might an environmental factor such as smoking cause cancer?
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144 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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153 views

Eusociality and Natural selection?

Eusociality, particularly focusing on the presence of certain altruistic sterile organisms within the social set-up creates questions as to why would the process of natural selection have favoured the ...
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376 views

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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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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283 views

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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60 views

Historical recovery from mass extinction events

Is there a way to generally characterize how species "regrew" after the various mass extinction events happening periodically from 450 Ma to 65 Ma. Would the surviving species just start back where ...
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547 views

Difference between mutation and DNA damage

What is the strict difference between mutation and DNA damage? As far as I understand it, a mutation is an alteration in the genetic sequence, having "tricked" the repairing machinery and thus ...
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101 views

Microarray data and analysis tools

Microarray has various uses, and to analyse the data a main function classification is used. There are many methods used to classify the data but what are the best and most frequently used methods? ...
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110 views

How does electroporation mediated recombination work?

For yeast and other organisms, DNA can be readily taken up into the cell naturally or through membrane disruption. What does applying a voltage to cells do exactly that allows more recombination to ...
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117 views

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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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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How does the modern theory of evolution solve these apparent problems? [closed]

I hold to the truth of Evolution, but I've encountered several problems with it, that I can't answer, and I can't find an answer for, despite much research. If would be great if anyone can answer ...
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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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Can genes that activate transcription factors also called be called transcription factors?

If the sole known function of a gene is to activate a transcription factor, would that gene also be considered a transcription factor, or is there a word for such genes that are further upstream on ...
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120 views

Why do I have a lot in common with my mother? [closed]

I have not spoken to my mother in 15 years but recently connected with her and her side of the family. I was primarily raised in a different sub-culture after the age of 4. As it turns out I ...
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115 views

Number of genes required to sustain life

Are there estimates of the minimum number of genes required to sustain life? In what I mean by life here, I don't include viruses.
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115 views

Accuracy of a particular genetics test

I am a newbie in biology and I am simply trying to discover the field of genomics. Consider the question - Are genetic tests accurate? I don't believe they are as the genes may not provide the ...
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What to do with a DNA sequencer? [closed]

My school is very fortunate to have a DNA sequencer, and I want to find an opportunity to learn how to use it. I'm currently taking AP Biology this year, and I hope to do an independent study in ...
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Genetically speaking, are dogs exactly similar to humans and chimps both?

Richard Dawkins mentions in his book The Greatest Show on Earth that dogs are exactly similar to both humans and chimps. Supposing that a cell contains the genetic similarity between 2 species, he ...
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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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Negative value on linear gene expression in microarrays

I am starting to use microarrays and maybe this is a dumb question: Using Illumina microarrays, linear gene expression can be negative? Or maybe some artefacts have been introduced? And, in this ...
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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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Genotoxic agent and their metabolic pathway

What are the mechanics (set of biochemical reactions) allowing a given genotoxic agent to modify the mutation rate at a given spot? to induce only a given type of mutation (from Gs to Cs for ...
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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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320 views

Difference between viral and human genetic material

I have heard that there is a difference between viral and human genetic material. What is that difference? If I take my cells and take DNA out of them and insert only a small part of it having a ...