Questions tagged [genetics]

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

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22
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4answers
3k views

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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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? ...
15
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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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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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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1answer
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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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2answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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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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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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 ...
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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 right?
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
11
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1answer
344 views

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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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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3answers
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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 ...
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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. ...
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1answer
278 views

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&...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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? ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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. ...
14
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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 ...
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1answer
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Text Book Recommendation: Organic Evolution

I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of any text books on organic evolution? I have recently become interested in the subject and would like to know more. I think an undergrad ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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How to calculate relatedness in haplodiploid organisms (mainly full sisters and full brothers)?

I have tried to calculate the relatedness for haplodiploid organisms, but cannot understand the calculations behind full sister and full brother. (taken from Wikipedia: haplodiploidy I have managed ...
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1answer
384 views

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.
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Why are female not competitive for reproduction like males?

I have wondered if competition for mate among males and the race among sperm cells would result in healthy offspring, why no such mechanisms exist among females and egg cells? (Even females are ...
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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 (...
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1answer
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How is it known that Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis interbred?

Many recent articles maintain that a small percentages of Neanderthal genes (up to 2%) are found in modern non-African people. (I believe that currently there is insufficient genetic material from ...
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2answers
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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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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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How does the size of insert affects the rate of Homologous Recombination in yeast?

When performing genetic knockouts in yeast using homologous recombination to replace a target gene sequence via a vector DNA, does the region between the flanking regions in the vector have to be the ...