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Jan
6
comment Why are the genomes of Humans 99.5% the same?
@AMR I did not say you are wrong, I just wanted to clarify for readers that even if there are 150 million differences, only a very tiny fraction are actually meaningful. I considered proteins because that is what you mentioned, but there are many other types of changes that can be functional (e.g. in regulatory regions). Still, even if you consider all of these, the vast majority of differences will not have any effect.
Jan
6
comment Why are the genomes of Humans 99.5% the same?
I would like to comment that out of the 150 million differences only a tiny fraction change protein sequence in a meaningful way. First, because protein coding sequences are 1.5% of the genome. Second, a random amino acid change in a protein is very unlikely to have a functional effect. Third, because changes that affect function may potentially be selected against. So the actual number of functional differences much smaller (I am guessing ~100000 or less).
Nov
11
comment Is there a genomic code for nucleosome positioning?
Yes and no. Part of the issue is that there are different definitions for what a "genomic code" is and there are different definitions for what "nucleosome positioning" is. You may be interested in this review written by the two leading researchers involved in this debate: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23463311
Nov
24
comment Looking for a gene in my raw genetic data. What are the possible causes for this?
@Blankasaurus checking a specific SNP would be trivial for a molecular biologist, this is the type of thing you do in an undergrad molecular biology lab course. I am pretty sure you could pay some company to do this as well. Basically you can take some saliva, extract DNA, and use PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) to amplify the region of interest, and then sequence it using Sanger sequencing.
Oct
23
comment Forum on synthetic biology and hypothetical biology?
Synthetic biology is currently at the level of constructing genetic circuits and modifying bacteria. We still don't fully understand all the details of how single-cell organisms work, so creating new types of animals is pretty far away.
Aug
8
comment Which turtle species was on board the Iranian Space Agency launch in 2010?
I apologize for the skepticism, but is there any indication this was a real turtle?
May
30
comment How Sex Evolved ? and when?
@TheLastWord yes, the name is the letter a.
May
3
comment Are there special constants in biology that define organism's morphology?
Any scientific references on the appearance of the golden ratio in nature? From what I know this is highly debated.
Feb
27
comment How do we know that everybody's DNA fingerprint is unique?
Essentially, for the same reason we "know" that no one is going to be struck by lightning 100 times. It is possible but highly unlikely.
Feb
27
comment Length differences between physically interacting proteins
@Uri it seems like you mean to ask about 3D size rather than sequence length, is that correct? In other words, you are using sequence length as a proxy for some 3D size property.
Dec
16
comment How easy is it to carry out de novo sequence assembly?
@ThomasIngalls I mean assembling a complex genome de novo using high-throughput sequencing. Resequencing assembly is not de novo assembly.
Jul
30
comment Why isn't there a standard unit of promoter strength?
I think the quantity you suggest is suitable only if the relations between the different factors is linear. Is there any proof of that?
Jul
28
comment Why isn't a virus “alive”?
@nico actually you are mistaken. It is not true that the virus exists only when it is assembled into a capsid. The correct name is virus at all stages (you can check the definition). When it is in a capsid it is called a virion.
Jul
27
comment Why isn't a virus “alive”?
@nico a cell has a relatively clear definition and it must have its own membrane. A cell with double the DNA is not 2 cells, it is one cell with double the DNA. There is a point at which the cell divides and the membranes are separated - that is when it becomes a separate entity.
Jul
27
comment Why isn't a virus “alive”?
@nico that is why I wrote "the answer will be no for most people", i.e. under most definitions of life. I do not know of any robust definition of life that considers a piece of DNA to be alive. Also I completely agree with Jack - a cell is never a piece of DNA, under any possible definition.
Jul
27
comment Why isn't a virus “alive”?
@nico sorry I didn't understand - how is a cell a piece of DNA/RNA?
Jul
26
comment How do cells figure out the big-picture shape?
That is exactly what is studied in developmental biology, which is a huge field of research.
Jul
23
comment Has synthetic biology created new plants or animals as of 2013?
Can you define "new"? Is a genetically modified species "new"?
Jul
15
comment which exact mechanism triggers the first cell differentiation after n divisions?
There are two different questions here. One is how "identical" cells become different types of cells. The other is why do the cells start differentiating when they do.
Jul
14
comment What does “fit” mean in “survival of the fittest”?
Such definitions will always be lacking, in my opinion. For example, what if an organism has tons of grandchildren but they are all sterile?