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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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124 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 ...
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Drosophila reference genome

Does anyone know the details about which line they are using to sequence as the Drosophila melanogaster reference genome?
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Collective name for the X- and Z-chromosomes

Chromosomes are grouped as sex chromosomes or autosomes, with the X, Y, Z and W all falling in to the former category. The Z and X are present both in the homogametic and heterogametic sexes, and the ...
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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 ...
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Causes of monozygotic twins

Twins could be monzygotic i.e. identical twins and dizygotic i.e. non-identical twins.Well, monozygotic twins occur when a single egg is fertilized to form a zygote which later divide into separate ...
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How does the colinearity of the HOX genes determine the body plan of an organism?

I was recently reading about colinearity in the HOX genes that give an organism its high-level body plan (where the order of the HOX genes on the chromosome follow the head-to-tail order of body ...
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133 views

Inheritance of Huntington's disease

People with Huntington's disease have HTT genes with more than 37 copies of CAG repeat. The risk of extra copies being generated is higher during sperm formation than during ovum formation. Why is it ...
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Transcriptionally-mediated DNA damage

I'm researching the genetics of brain cancer, and finding a huge number of mutations in voltage-gated channels. It stands to reason that some of this DNA damage is due to the DNA being transcribed ...
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47 views

Influence of temperature on transcription, protein binding and decay rates

I am the kind of biologist who doesn't know much about molecular genetics and about the dynamic of biochemical reactions. Question My question concerns the influence of temperature on the dynamic of ...
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54 views

Epistasis Involving Multiple Loci

The following problem is from Schaum's Outlines on Genetics, 5th edition, by Elrod and Stansfield. I'm having some trouble solving it. It is found under a section entitled "Interactions with Three ...
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114 views

Sexual Differentiation in Monoecious plants with unisexual flowers

In monoecious plants having unisexual flowers (eg Zea Mays, Ricinus Communis etc), there must be some mechanism as to produce two sexually distinct flowers from the same genotype. Since both the type ...
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136 views

How does a tiger have stripes?

A vague question, but let me try to explain. My friend explained to me that in females, some cells use one X chromosome, while all others use the other X chromosome. This can result in some ...
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How does sex differentiation work in Paracerceis sculpta, the sexually tetramorphic isopod?

Paracerceis sculpta is a marine isopod species known for its unusual reproductive strategy: female: medium-sized; lives in harems run by an α male α male: large; keeps a harem of females β male: ...
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What is a focal copy number variation?

Often, genetics studies, especially genome wide ones, talk about "focal copy number variations" in genes or regions of the chromosome. I know what a copy number variation is. What does "focal" mean, ...
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Does conjugation support gene selection?

I have already posted this on chat but haven't got any response. A recent question on group selection stimulated me to ask this here. QUESTIONS: Why should bacteria conjugate? If we consider that a ...
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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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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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135 views

How do the variable portions of antibody genes look in cells which don't produce antibodies?

There are several families of antibodies found in mammals. They may have two or more antibody domains which contain heavy and light chains. The variable regions of the light and heavy chains genes ...
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Non-monotonic knock-out effects in prokaryotes

Typically, when performing gene-knockout, the experimenters select one gene to remove/replace-with-junk and then see if the prokaryote can still undergo fission. If it continues to reproduce then the ...
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Online toolkit that provides functional similarity scores (in the form of a matrix) between two functional gene sets in the context of gene ontology

Where can I find an online toolkit that provides functional similarity scores (in the form of a matrix) between two functional gene sets in the context of gene ontology? I have tried the following: ...
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Co-transformation of plasmids from the same incompatibility group

Can two plasmids with the same origin of replication (for example pBR322 ori) and thus from the same incompatibility group be successfully co-transformed in E. coli? What are the mechanisms that would ...
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X-inactivation in ovaries

Background In all eutherian (mammals excluding the marsupials), the female (who is $XX$ for the pair of sexual chromosomes) inactivates one of her $X$. This is called dosage compensation. This ...
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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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87 views

What triggers DNA to produce proteins?

What is the trigger for DNA to produce proteins or RNA? I have found enough material to study the inner workings of the cell and DNA; but, I can't find an explanation of the mechanics the cell uses ...
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Is there any source for raw data of SNP genotype frequency?

On sites like SNPedia, some pages contain the frequency of the SNP in question in different populations, based on published research. I'm trying to write a script that takes 23andme data and compares ...
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In a vertebrate chimera, are particular organs homogenous genetically?

I have read that a chimera is an organism with two or more sets of DNA, with every cell having one of the sets. Is it possible and common for the two or more sets to be present in the cells of a ...
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324 views

T7 promoter leakiness

Can a gene be expressed under the T7 promoter in an E. coli strain (e.g. DH5 alpha), which does not have the T7 polymerase gene encoded in its genome? In other words, is T7 promoter leaky? To be ...
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Genetic expression in interspecific hybrids

Referring to interspecific hybrids, I have the following two questions:- Quoting from wikipedia:- The offspring of an interspecific cross are very often sterile; thus, hybrid sterility ...
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What is the frequency of double-hets between parent and child?

Say both parent and child are genotyped for all SNPs. In this setup we are only looking at variant positions between one parent and child - so neither parent nor child are homozygous reference (no ...
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effect of background selection on promoter regions compared to distant enhancers?

Has anyone looked at the effect of background selection on the levels of conservation of promoter regions compared to distant enhancers? Do promoter regions have a higher conservation due to ...
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Determine which gene is in the middle complementation [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Crossing mutant strains on minimal media problem I'm studying this problem for my genetics final: My Attempt: The answer for part B is met2 and the answer for part C ...
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Can the third sex be categorized as Male or Female?

Hijra are people who have a penis (not sure if sexually active) but look much like a female (perhaps for some feminine biological property). Wikipedia says they are "physiological males who have ...
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Evolutionarily speaking, why do humans have 46 chromosomes

In humans, each cell normally contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, for a total of 46. Monkeys, chimpanzees, and Apes have 24 pairs (twenty-four pairs), for a total of 48. What caused humans to have 46? ...
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How can fruit flies and mice share the same gene that says to build an eye if they evolved separately?

I saw a documentary where they inserted the gene of a mouse that basically is the starting "build an eye" command into a fruit fly, and a fruit fly eye grew. My question is, if eyes of different types ...
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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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Difference between mice and rats

What is the actual biological difference between mice and rats? Are they actually the same thing with two different names depending on appearance (are they all mice for instance and we call the larger ...
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Is there variation of AT/CG ratio along species?

Chargaff's rules say that the number of Adenine of the number of Thymine in a genome are equal (nA=nT) and similarly nC=nG. This makes obvious sense knowing that C binds to G and A to T. But what ...
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What hair color will result in someone inheriting both blond and ginger genes?

Both the genes for blond hair and ginger hair are recessive, so they need both parents to give the same gene for it to take affect. What happens when a person has 1 copy of a recessive gene and ...
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Macroevolution vs. microevolution

Where is the line usually drawn between macroevolution and microevolution? I thought that, although similar processes govern both, the line was at the species level, with macroevolution being changes ...
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Theoretically, what technique would one use to modify a virus so that it only affected a subset of the population?

I'm writing a novel and i would like to know some of the equipment and techniques involved with modifying a virus. Is it feasible for a virus to be engineered to only affect certain people? It ...
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How Much Longer For The Gene For Blue Eyes?

In the year 1900 roughly 50% of the people in the United States were homozygous for the gene for blue eyes. By 1950 the number had dropped down to 30%. Just now, (2013) barely 12% of the people living ...
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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.