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

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Sewall Wright for dunces

[This is one more post in my growing "X for dummies/idiots/morons/etc." series.] I've been enjoying Provine's The origins of theoretical population genetics for the last couple of days, but I must ...
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Transcription factor binding site located in intron

I have noticed that some TF binding sites are located in the introns of the genes. I am puzzled about whether the TF only binds to DNA in the initiation stage of transcription and will detach during ...
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Randomized experimental design in genetic experimentation.

I am struggling to find out if randomization is used in traditional genetic breeding experimentation with model organisms, especially in lab contexts? And why this should be so? This is part of a ...
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What are the allowed evolution operators (on protein encoding sequences)?

What are the evolution operators, meaning allowed actions on the DNA sequence that encodes a protein. I assume all evolution of genes is a result of duplication errors. So an answer could look ...
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Prenatal Marketing

This is for a short story idea. Is it possible to modify the DNA of a child to make their metabolism more susceptible (physical response, addiction, etc) to a certain type of chemical i.e. a chemical ...
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Evolution after the development of sexual reproduction

My understanding of evolution is that genetic mutation occurs in individual members of a species, and they become a new species. Isn't a definition of species a group of genetically similar organisms ...
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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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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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Can sexual reproduction create new genetic information?

Is there a small chance that in sexual reproduction a new allele forms in the off-spring that was not present in either of the parents, or are the alleles in the offspring always from at least one of ...
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Hardy-Weinberg applied to three alleles and stimation of allele frequencies

I have this equation: Corresponds to HW in equilibria with three alleles: $(p+q+r)^2=1$ Expanding the square results: $p^2+2pq+r^2+2pr+q^2+2qr = 1$ I need to separate homozygous and ...
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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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Mapping a mutation to known SNP, 3' UTR, miR

I've parsed out a very large TCGA cancer ssm (single mutation file) file to give me the essential information. The ssm is in the following format: ...
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How did the activities of protocells become inheritable?

I have learned that first a protocell came to exist and its characteristics came to be passed on by genetic material. So how come genes for all the activities come to incorporate into genetic ...
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372 views

TCGA data, and bioinformatics design questions for SNP/ mirna analysis

It's my first time posting to this forum but was looking for some help on the data aspects of this project. My tools of choice would be in python/R . Goal: I'm looking to create a disease specific ...
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936 views

Primer design for Gibson assembly

I'm trying to design a primer for Gibson assembly. My gene of interest is on a plasmid, and I want to copy that gene, and put it into a different plasmid. I am unsure how to design my primers for ...
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932 views

Knockdown of long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) - how is it done?

I don't work at the wet lab and don't know all the details about the knockdown techniques. My question is: How lncRNA knockdown is done? For example - you have lncRNA that is functional in the ...
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355 views

What is solid-phase bridge amplification?

During Illumina sequencing there is a step called bridge amplification by which DNA is amplified by isothermal enzymes. What is this stage, and how does it work?
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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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DNA replication Okazaki fragments

I understand multiple origin bubbles; DNA polymerase only synthesizes DNA from 5' to 3' and all that. But what I don't understand is why it has to be in fragments. Yes, DNA is anti parallel, and so ...
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301 views

What is an epistasis group?

I have been trying to wrap my head around the concept of epistasis for a couple of days now, and I think I understand it, at least at a basic level, but I still don't understand some of the ways that ...
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Which X-Y chromosomes have the developmental genes for mammals?

I know that for a given mammal, half the chromosomes come from father and half from mother. This is typically denoted as x-y. I've recently read about "toolkit" genes that control how a cell develops ...
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Are there more descriptive ways of naming genes and gene interactions?

I couldn't help but notice just how non-descriptive the gene names that modern genetics is using. Currently I'm reading "The new science of Evo Devo" by Sean B. Carroll and here are some examples of ...
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Detecting Introns and Exons

I know that when RNA is transcribed from the original strand of DNA it contains introns and exons, and that the introns are spliced out of the strand to provide genetic diversity. However, what I ...
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84 views

Low complexity region and relaxed selection

I'm reading a text (Wagner, 2007) on identifying positive selection. In paper, the author says that low complexity regions are known to be associated with relaxed selection. I'm trying to understand ...
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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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What is the mechanism of regulation of PER /CRY genes?

I've read multiple descriptions of biological/circadian clocks and they all mention PER, CRY and CLOCK genes. While I kinda get how they are connected, what interests me is how these actually regulate ...
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127 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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Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium: To compute probability of finding two siblings (random mating)

I've been working a little with M. G. Bulmer's Principles of Statistics (Dover, 1979) and cannot see how to properly compute half of one question. This should be a basic probability computation, but I ...
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442 views

Role of Fbx15 in ES cells and its use in assaying for iPS cells (Yamanaka paper and others)?

I am trying to understand the assay for iPS cells in the Takahashi & Yamanaka 2006 paper. They inserted a beta-geo cassette, which contains the neomycin resistance gene, into the Fbx15 gene. The ...
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118 views

Results of a complete DNA sequencing - are they 100% reusable?

Is that correct that a complete DNA sequencing (the whole genome) need only to be done once (per person)? After that is done, it the complete genome can be stored and once the new genes (and they ...
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171 views

Two brown-haired people have two children, P and Q. P has blond hair. Q has brown hair. What is the probability that Q is heterozygous?

Two brown-haired people have two children, P and Q. P has blond hair. We therefore believe that each parent is heterozygous and that blond hair is a recessive trait. Q has brown hair. What is the ...
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How are new people created from the DNA of an aged person. i.e. Why are we young?

The question "why do we age" has been asked numerous times. But why are we young? The cells of the adult human being are an age (time>0), but how can old cells create new cells that are younger than ...
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226 views

What factors govern the variable age of onset in Huntington's Disease?

"Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative genetic disorder that affects muscle coordination and leads to cognitive decline and psychiatric problems." As we all know, this genetic disease ...
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What are polytene bands, and why are they there?

Drosophila polytene chromosomes have been particularly useful in genetic research, as it made cytogenetic gene mapping possible with very little effort. This was primarily accomplished due to polytene ...
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209 views

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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Confusion related to the use of PCA to determine the background network

I was reading this paper related to use of gene expressions for predicting the drug response. I have this confusion, the paper has used PCA on the covariance matrix formed by the genes to get what is ...
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373 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 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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269 views

Definition of Dye- Reduction Test?

Can some one give a simple explanation or definition on what a dye-reduction test is.
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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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141 views

How might gene clusters like the lac operon evolve?

The obvious answer for a gene cluster is gene duplication and mutation of one or both genes. But the genes in the lac operon seem not be so functionally/structurally similar (as compared to the Hox ...
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How are geneticists able to isolate gene functions?

As an example, this Scientific American article describes a known area in the dog genome that metabolizes carbohydrates. How is it that researchers are able to determine specific functions such as ...
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Can mammals from different species reproduce?

I'm curious on how genetically different can two animals be in order to reproduce. Could they belong to different species? One example is the mule which is the offspring of a donkey and a horse, in ...
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What's the difference between a free chromosome fragment and an extrachromosomal array?

This is reference to a review on C. elegans mosaic analysis by Yochem and Herman, in which the authors make a distinction between free chromosome fragments and extrachromosomal arrays. For the ...
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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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163 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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Recombination-based vs. Sequence-based genetic mapping

Now that sequencing is becoming increasingly cheap, what is the value of recombination-based genetic mapping against the sequence-based genetic mapping? I think that in the past recombination-based ...
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How many nucleotide pairs code one gene?

As I know three nucleotide pairs (triplus) code one gene. But I have found next information in the "Molecular biology of the cell" by Bruce Alberts: Mycoplasma genitalium: it has only about 480 ...
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Have novel interactions or pathways been predicted by GRN or PPI data and later confirmed by experiment?

I've been learning about the gene regulatory network (GRN) and protein-protein interaction network (PPI) recently. I've found a huge amount of extremely interesting papers about how biological network ...
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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 ...