Questions tagged [genetics]

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

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Why is a heritability coefficient not an index of how "genetic" something is?

On his blog, Eric Turkheimer writes: [T]aken as a number, a unit of analysis, heritability coefficients are funny things to aggregate on such a massive level. What exactly are we supposed to ...
user1205901 - Слава Україні's user avatar
32 votes
4 answers
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Books on population or evolutionary genetics?

I have recently been involved in collaborations that require me to model the population genetics of eukaryotic populations. I fear I may either be "re-inventing the wheel" or making conceptual ...
hello_there_andy's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
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Solving Hardy Weinberg problems

I really fail to understand Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and can't find an easy enough source of information. Can you help me to understand Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium? My goal is to be able to solve ...
Thomas's user avatar
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7 votes
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Why is the strength of genetic drift inversely proportional to the population size?

I saw a concept on the Internet that says "the strength of genetic drift is inversely proportional to the population size". I don't know why they are inversely proportional? Can somebody explain? ...
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20 votes
6 answers
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Why are some genes dominant over others? What is the mechanism behind it?

If I have a brown eye gene which encodes the protein that is responsible for the brown color and have a blue eye gene as well, what is the reason that my eye color is brown? How does one gene maintain ...
caeruleus's user avatar
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17 votes
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Genetic linkage greater than 50 centimorgans

Classically, the linkage between two loci can be measured in centimorgans (cM), which represents the percent chance that these two loci will recombine an odd number of times (generating a recombinant ...
Superbest's user avatar
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Are mutations random?

The following claim Mutations are random or just the use of the expression Random mutations are very common among lay people. The claim is very common among lay people. The claim is often ...
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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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81 votes
3 answers
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Why 20 amino acids instead of 64?

This question got me thinking about amino acids and the ambiguity in the genetic code. With 4 nucleotides in RNA and 3 per codon, there are 64 codons. However, these 64 codons only code for 20 amino ...
Daniel Standage's user avatar
29 votes
1 answer
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Do trees age on a microscopic level?

Most animals age via at least two mechinisms: at a "macroscopic" level, basically wear and tear to the point where (on evolutionary time scales) it's more genetically advantageous to optimize for ...
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How many genes do we share with our mother?

Somewhere I have read we share more than 99% of our genes with every other other person and 98% of our genes with chimpanzees. What does this mean? Don't we share 50% of our genes with our mother and ...
cpx's user avatar
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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 ...
Gergana Vandova's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
355 views

How is genetic speciation defined?

What determines speciation at a molecular level? At what point does a scientist determine two lineages are different enough to be considered separate species? Does it have a margin of error?
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8 votes
2 answers
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Redundancy of the genetic code

One particular codon codes only for one amino acid, but an amino acid can be coded for by several different codons. Now according to the genetic code, the codon UUU ...
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21 votes
3 answers
16k views

Why is DNA antiparallel? Can it be parallel?

My biology textbook mentions that DNA is antiparallel and it got me wondering - can DNA be parallel? What would happen if it was parallel? Could DNA still replicate correctly?
Alex Stacks's user avatar
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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? ...
Gabriel Fair's user avatar
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13 votes
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"Same" DNA vs genes

It is often cited that humans share 99% (or 98%) of their DNA with chimpanzees. On the other hand it is stated that siblings share only half of their genes. What (if any) is the difference between ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
Aaron Schif's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the definition of a mutation?

There are two alleles that determine the sensitivity of a person to Coumadin (a medicine for blood thinners used to treat a stroke etc). Sometimes you encounter the terminology that one has a mutation ...
Marijn 's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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What are homologous chromosomes?

I've read that homologous chromosomes are composed of one maternal chromosome and one paternal chromosome. I want to confirm if this image is for one set of homologous chromosomes: They have the ...
Via Lo's user avatar
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14 votes
3 answers
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Why doesn't recombination occur in male Drosophila?

"Males do not show meiotic recombination, facilitating genetic studies." For a while I have known that this phenomenon occurs, this quote comes from the Wikipedia page on Drosophila melanogaster, and ...
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What is the function of the RNA primer in DNA replication?

During DNA replication, RNA primase puts an RNA primer in the lagging strand. What is the function of this RNA primer? Why can't the enzymes put DNA fragments directly?
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How can the number of genes increase through evolution?

I am aware of the basics of evolutionary theory, however I don't understand how mutations can add genes over time. Am I correct in thinking that creatures within the same species who mutate to have ...
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4 votes
2 answers
446 views

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. ...
munish's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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Are people genetically predisposed to being interested in specific fields/ideas? How does specialization occur?

I'm not sure if I formulated my question well, but I'm curious about a couple statements made by Steven Pinker and and James Heckman. In this interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ9Ad6s8g7I&...
gsastry's user avatar
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1 answer
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Influence of temperature on protein binding and decay rates

For computer modeling purposes, I am looking for some referenced quantitative measurements of the effect(s) of temperature on the dynamic of biochemical reactions. Question In particular, my ...
Remi.b's user avatar
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54 votes
4 answers
9k views

Why do men have nipples?

I'd be tempted to call nipples in men vestigial, but that suggests they have no modern function. They do have a function, of course, but only in women. So why do men (and all male mammals) have them?
Shep's user avatar
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29 votes
2 answers
1k views

Smallest viable reproducing population

What is the smallest viable reproducing population, such as in a human population. By viable I mean a population which keeps genetic defects low (enough). A very strongly related question: what is ...
John Smith's user avatar
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22 votes
3 answers
50k views

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 ...
Flux's user avatar
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17 votes
3 answers
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Mathematical Modelling of Natural Selection

I'm a math undergrad looking for some papers on modelling the process of natural selection. The only paper I've been able to find is by the pre-eminent mathematician Herbert Wilf from 2010, There's ...
tom's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
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What determines if an allele 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 ...
harpalss's user avatar
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10 votes
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Could a sperm be altered to contain a female's genetics?

While discussing with a friend a while back on the likelihood a futanari (a woman with both fully developed and functioning sets of genitalia) existing in real life, we got into a discussion of ...
Memor-X's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
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A free book/resource for learning genetics?

I took an undergrad class in genetics. I felt it was not too intensive and I do not feel prepared for grad school (if I can manage to get in.) Does anyone know of a preferably free resource for ...
Ro Siv's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
15k views

What makes a gene dominant or recessive [duplicate]

We all carry two copies of each gene (outside of male sex chromosomes). If the two differ from each other often one is dominant and one recessive. How does this mechanism work on a molecular level? ...
interguru's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
1k views

Crick’s Central Dogma — Counter Cases

I was recently reading about non-coding RNAs being a counter example to Central Dogma of Biology. Can someone add more cases which violate the Central Dogma? Thanks! UPDATE - Reference of lncRNAs ...
Failed Scientist's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
853 views

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, ...
daniel's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
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What is the standing genetic variation?

I am reading this review. In the first part, the author introduces Standing Genetic Variation, described as: STANDING GENETIC VARIATION Allelic variation that is currently segregating within a ...
gc5's user avatar
  • 820
7 votes
1 answer
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Can DNA & RNA be considered as nature's programming language?

The final frontier of Biological Sciences could be considered understanding the effects of variation in the DNA (and RNA). If after fertilization the DNA of the zygote could be genetically ...
arnabanimesh's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
2k views

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 ...
KineticBiology's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
704 views

Mitochondrial Genetic code

We know that the genetic code is universal. My query is why the mitochondrial genetic code is different from universal genetic code?
katherinebridges's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
212 views

Neanderthal/Human Genetics

"According to preliminary sequences, 99.7% of the nucleotide sequences of the modern human and Neanderthal genomes are identical, compared to humans sharing around 98.8% of sequences with the ...
user avatar
35 votes
2 answers
15k views

What is the advantage of circular DNA in bacteria?

From what I understand, bacteria have circular DNA. What advantages does it have over linear strands like for eukaryotes? Do there exist bacteria with more than one ring of DNA?
John Smith's user avatar
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25 votes
2 answers
656 views

Can an adult without genetic lactase persistence still develop a tolerance for dairy foods?

While investigating the rise of adult lactose tolerance, I came across the news that China has been encouraging its citizens to drink more milk, even though most of the Asian population lacks the SNP (...
Chris Wenham's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is the smallest number of amino acids required for life?

Is there any hypothesis on the minimum number of amino acids required for life?
John Smith's user avatar
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17 votes
4 answers
7k views

Can two humans with 44 chromosomes produce viable offspring?

It is known that there are very few individuals having 44 chromosomes, not the usual 46 chromosomes. One example is a male in China: the first article, the second article. The other is a female in ...
Özgür's user avatar
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15 votes
5 answers
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Do men and women have the same number of genes?

As far as I know, humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, each one which contains a particular amount of genes. But in the "last" pair, men have a XY pair chromosome, and women have a XX pair chromosome. ...
Pablo's user avatar
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14 votes
3 answers
3k views

Can genes change as we age?

Let's say you're a 23-year-old man who impregnates a woman. Will your genes be the same if you were to impregnate another woman at age 35? Will your genes in those 12 years have changed/mutated/become ...
Marin's user avatar
  • 243
12 votes
2 answers
20k views

Does one parent transmit more DNA to the offspring than the other one?

Does one parent transmit more DNA to the offspring than the other one? Or do both parents always transmit the same amount of genetic material to their offspring? In other words, can a baby be ...
sarah's user avatar
  • 129
9 votes
1 answer
502 views

Evolution of the Redundancy of the Genetic Code

In short Looking at the genetic code, it appears that most redundancy is on the third letter rather than on the first or the second letter of the codon. Why has it evolved this way? Longer version ...
Remi.b's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
743 views

Can an argument be made that humans are 90% bacterial?

On the blog, All about Scientist in Microword: Microbiology, I read the post We are 90% bacteria, actually, which says that humans are 90% bacterial cells. If this is the case, then why don't we ...
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