The scientific study of inheritance as it occurs specifically in human beings.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

21
votes
5answers
5k views

Do humans have enough biological differences to be grouped into races or subspecies?

After my online research on the subject, I learnt that, biologically speaking, many scientists believe that there is no such thing as a race. Homo sapiens as a species is only 200,000 years old, which ...
14
votes
2answers
5k views

How many people are required to maintain genetic diversity?

Imagine humans were to colonize a distant planet and it was a single one-way trip. How many people would they need to bring? Obviously 2 is the minimum, but that would result in a lot of inbreeding. ...
13
votes
2answers
256 views

What is the contribution of viruses to the evolution of mankind?

I'm interested in horizontal gene transfer in bacteria, viruses, and organisms such as Bdelloid Rotifers. I've just read in Carl Zimmer's 'A Planet of Viruses' the following passage: As a host ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

The Uniqueness of DNA Paradox

How can everyone have unique iris and fingerprints? After a certain amount of human beings have lived on earth, wouldn't it be possible to exhaust all possible combinations? The same principle ...
12
votes
4answers
440 views

Questions to ask to a panel of people that will be sequenced

Some genes have been shown to be associated with left-handedness. Working with some clinicians, I've recommend them to ask their patients (whose genome will be sequenced) if they are "right or ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

How is eye color in humans inherited?

In high school we studied the inheritance of eye color, as it was explained to us in the most simple way: blue eye color is a recessive, monogenic, autosomal trait. Now I know that it is a bit more ...
11
votes
3answers
368 views

Number of beneficial mutations cataloged?

I can see from Wikipedia that there are possibly thousands of harmful mutations that have been cataloged and linked to disease. There are also unnumbered neutral mutations. But, does anyone know how ...
10
votes
2answers
5k views

Why do we assume that the first humans were dark-skinned?

According to the article Dark skin and blue eyes: How Europeans once looked: It is widely accepted that Man's oldest common forefather was dark skinned, and that people became more pale as they ...
10
votes
2answers
204 views

Is the function of adjacent genes correlated?

Do genes that occupy a similar locus on the genome have correlated function, specifically in human beings? It is my understanding that adjacent genes are inherited together, and so location plays a ...
9
votes
1answer
120 views

Is there any evidence that humans have faced extinction before?

Have we as a species faced extinction in the past? Resulting in a 'population bottleneck'? If so, what genetic evidence is there of this occurring?
9
votes
2answers
157 views

Is there any difference in terms of personal healthcare between complete DNA sequencing and SNPs genotyping?

There are several companies (most notably 23andMe) providing SNP genotyping for individuals claiming that there is no sense for individual in obtaining full genome sequence since only small part of it ...
9
votes
1answer
762 views

Could humans and chimpanzees hybridize?

In some cases two species can hybridize. For example, Tigers and lions can hybridize to produce "Ligers". Would it also be possible for humans and chimpanzees (or any other species) to hybridize ? ...
9
votes
1answer
139 views

Why do so many people have group O blood?

Please forgive me in case my question wouldn't make much sense. I was reading about ABO blood groups on Wikipedia, where I learnt that O is a recessive allele, and that it seems the A allele predates ...
9
votes
1answer
722 views

Did the eugenics program in Nazi Germany have a measurable effect? [closed]

Did the killing or sterilisation of people considered as living a "life unworthy of life" in Nazi Germany have any measurable effect on the "average health" of Germany? Is there any statistical ...
8
votes
1answer
190 views

Why aren't green eyes more prevalent?

Why aren't green eyes more prevalent, given that the green allele is dominant over the blue one? My understanding is that human eye colour is determined by two genes: 1) HERC2, with alleles Bx, BB ...
8
votes
3answers
297 views

What kind of event would cause the current Mitochondrial Eve to be replaced by a new one?

Apparently all living humans are matrilineal descendants of a single woman who lived 200.000 years ago. She is called Mitochondrial Eve. But at the time she lived there was a different matrilineal ...
8
votes
1answer
315 views

How do the pharmacodynamics of the NSAIDs differ and are there “resistant” COX phenotypes?

I know that the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen) affect the enzymes cyclooxygenase (types I and II). Is there any difference in the degree to which these ...
7
votes
2answers
546 views

Father with mutated mtDNA- why isn't his offspring at risk?

Mothers transmit their mitochondria (and therefore mtDNA) to their offspring and fathers don't. Lets assume that father had a mutation of the gene that encodes mtDNA, would then be his offspring at ...
7
votes
2answers
239 views

Why do we have more male infant born?

For every 104 male babies,we have 100 female babies and there is a Statistics which is more reliable (we have 997 female infant born per 1000 male infant born). what's the reason? why do we have male ...
6
votes
3answers
316 views

Are there genes in humans from the common ancestor of all organisms?

How long ago can human genes be traced? Are there any genes that go back unchanged to the beginning of life on Earth? And if so, how many?
6
votes
3answers
225 views

Genetic effects on personality

It is said that genes are partly responsible for the choices we make in our life; our genes help to create our environment, and then that environment can influence our personality. So, beside genes, ...
6
votes
1answer
550 views

Why did humans lose their fur?

The little amount of body hair humans have don't seem to be of much use for keeping warm. Our Simian cousins on the other hand sport thick furs. At which point during the species evolution and why ...
6
votes
3answers
185 views

Why are males more likely than females to have autism spectrum disorder?

The male to female ratio in autism spectrum disorder is around 4:1. However it seems ASD is not a simple X-linked disorder. Then how is it possible males are more susceptible than females, if the ...
6
votes
1answer
9k views

Will a bone marrow transplant change one's blood type?

Will a bone marrow transplant change one's blood type? Or is the donor blood type matched with the person before transplant?
6
votes
2answers
594 views

How are the gene sequences of individual sperm and egg cells “randomized”?

What I mean by "randomized" is, in the place where an egg cell or sperm cell is made, what is the mechanism by which each one is not made identically? Though I am a layman, I'm pretty sure that if the ...
6
votes
2answers
102 views

GWAS: why is replication in another cohort so crucial?

Almost all the landmark GWAS (Genome-Wide Association Studies) reviews agree that, for a GWAS finding to be valid, it needs to be replicated in an independent cohort. What exactly is the rationale ...
5
votes
1answer
274 views

Why are certain aneuploidies more common?

Certain aneuploidies such as trisomy-21 (Downs syndrome), trisomy-18 (Edward syndrome), Turner syndrome (XO) etc are more common than others. I had a vague thought that it is related to chromosome ...
5
votes
1answer
100 views

Understanding recombination scoring in family pedigrees

I am having some problems understanding recombination, and I am not sure what element I am missing here. This figure is an example from my text book. The pedigree belongs to a family with an autosomal ...
5
votes
1answer
43 views

Can we produce synthetic red blood cells lacking antigens?

I had an idea come to me during Biology class and I immediately asked my teacher, but she couldn't really answer the question, so I'll ask it here. What are the limiting factors in the production of ...
5
votes
1answer
204 views

What is a Mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam

I've read this question: What kind of event would cause the current Mitochondrial Eve to be replaced by a new one? And the values in Wikipedia about Mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam and I am ...
5
votes
1answer
373 views

Why is there no cure for Dandruff?

It looks like a simple problem, affecting almost half of the population at the post-pubertal age and of any gender and ethnicity [wikipedia]. What is so complex about finding a cure? Also, if you know ...
5
votes
1answer
45 views

How do I know which alleles the parents have?

I have the following assignment where I am to look at the "tree" (not sure the english word) and assign whether or not they can be autosomal dominant or recessive as well whether they can be X-linked ...
5
votes
1answer
45 views

Implications of what the discovery of Naia means

Recently a discovery was made of a ~12,000 year old girl in Hoyo Negro in Mexico. This has been covered by many different news agencies. I'm confused however by many of the reports. Does it ...
4
votes
3answers
313 views

Why has grey hair evolved?

A vast majority of humans get at least some grey hair as they age. As far as I know this applies to both genders and all races. Presumably this means that at least some grey haired humans have ...
4
votes
2answers
312 views

The gender of offspring of Twins?

Given identical twin males, Michael and Douglas, Douglas and his wife have four children, all of whom are girls. Michael and his wife have only one child, a boy, and are expecting another. What are ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What is biological dark matter?

I recently stumbled upon the Biological Dark Matter wiki page. Its pretty light on details, but it appears to be genetic material found in humans that doesn't fall into currently classifications. ...
4
votes
2answers
589 views

What effect does the Barr body have, in relation to female Turner syndrome?

Why do persons with Turner syndrome have developmental abnormalities, when normal XX-females do not, even though they only have 1 active X chromosome? From what I know, one X-chromosome is ...
4
votes
1answer
385 views

Can humans shorten their sleeping patterns?

Can sleeping patterns be trained, or are they genetic? I read that a human needs to sleep at least 4 hours. Can sleeping time be reduced without having a negative impact?
4
votes
1answer
86 views

A colony of humans are sent to an alien world, at what point would the descendants evolve to be genetically incompatible with Earth humans? [closed]

I recently heard about the evolution of the London Underground mosquitoes, and how they have changed genetically enough that they almost can no longer reproduce with above ground mosquitos. Since this ...
4
votes
1answer
329 views

Why are irises unique?

I heard that irises are different and unique for every person. According this link, probability of two irises having identical pattern is 1 in 10 to the 78th power. That's how iris scanners identify ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why doesn't the human skin grow back exactly how it was before being damaged?

Very simple: Why (and how) is regenerated skin different from original ? As we know we lose skin cells that becomes the dust in out homes and it always grows back to full thickness right ? So when I ...
4
votes
1answer
347 views

Would a spinal injury decrease human height?

A woman I know has been losing height at a rate of few cm a year following a severe spinal injury. How is this possible? What kind of injury could cause such progressive loss of height? Could this be ...
4
votes
1answer
165 views

Is there some genetic variance underlying music appreciation?

Is there any research done on the genetic variance for Music appreciation? If not, why is there no genetic variance for this trait?
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Why are men stronger than women?

What are the evolutionary explanations for why women are weaker than men (on average), and is this difference adaptive? See figure one here. I suppose that something puts pressure on men to be ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Is ovum + ovum fertilization possible for human?

In humans is it possible to fertilize a ovum with another ovum from the same female subject? I already found some works in which the ovum is fertilized by a somatic cell (see e.g. this ), but I am ...
4
votes
1answer
80 views

Proving time travel

Consider this answer to an interesting question. It's not possible to prove completely that someone is the descendant of someone else, there's always a nonzero probability that the results are a ...
4
votes
1answer
128 views

Redheads and pain receptors

I remember reading this in a biology textbook, and decided to do a little digging. Redheads have a lower sensitivity to some pain and a higher sensitivity to other compared to people of other colored ...
4
votes
1answer
170 views

Why isn't Rh disease present in other mammals?

I have read about Rhesus D Hemolytic Disease of the Newborn, sometimes called "Rh disease". It's rare, but it can happen when an Rh+ baby is conceived by an Rh- mother. This raises many questions. I ...
4
votes
0answers
47 views

Horizontal gene transfer from humans

It is known that some viruses embed themselves in the human genome. Is there a mechanism by which human genes can be transferred to other animals or plants by means of viruses shuttling them from ...
3
votes
2answers
190 views

Is better healthcare a bane to the long-term survival of the human race?

The theory of natural selection has it that individuals with better genes tend to survive and reproduce, passing their genes to their offspring. This gradual process results in a population more ...