Questions tagged [genetics]

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

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4
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1answer
136 views

Terminology question: the scope of an allele in an organism

Let us consider a gene FOO with novel type foo. If I were discussing an organism that has inherited foo in every cell during classical zygote formation, then I would ordinarily just say that the ...
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6answers
12k views

Difference between genetic engineering and synthetic biology

I've recently seen the term synthetic biology being used to describe research involving genetic modification of organisms. What is the difference between synthetic biology and genetic engineering? Is ...
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1answer
150 views

Which part of a female mantises's DNA causes her to be a few times larger than a male mantis?

Which part of a female mantises's DNA causes her to be a few times larger than a male mantis? Do other species have that part of DNA?
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1answer
9k views

What is a focal copy number variation?

Often, genetics studies, especially genome wide ones, talk about "focal copy number variations" in genes or regions of the chromosome. I know what a copy number variation is. What does "focal" mean, ...
4
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1answer
185 views

Non-monotonic knock-out effects in prokaryotes

Typically, when performing gene-knockout, the experimenters select one gene to remove/replace-with-junk and then see if the prokaryote can still undergo fission. If it continues to reproduce then the ...
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4answers
56k views

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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1answer
894 views

What phenotypes can arise from gender-related aneuploidy?

Humans normally have 46 chromosomes (two copies - one from each parent - of each of the 24 chromosomes: [1:22] + [XX or XY]). Aneuploidy is an abnormal number of chromosomes - Down's syndromes is an ...
6
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1answer
535 views

Have there been attempts to identify Chomsky's “language mutation” in humans?

I'm not versed in either biology or linguistics so please forgive any naiveties I may commit. I've learned that Noam Chomsky thinks that language is a result of a single genetic mutation in humans. ...
4
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1answer
141 views

In a vertebrate chimera, are particular organs homogenous genetically?

I have read that a chimera is an organism with two or more sets of DNA, with every cell having one of the sets. Is it possible and common for the two or more sets to be present in the cells of a ...
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2answers
2k views

Do twins “run in the family”?

My wife and I recently found out that we are going to have twins and so nearly everyone asks if we have a family history of twins. Now I know that the answer for me is that it doesn't matter—as ...
3
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0answers
122 views

How does a plant decide when to grow a branch? [duplicate]

As a plant grows, at some point the first branch forms. As it continues, branches grow new branches, and so on, in a seemingly random way. Is it random, or is it driven by the environment (heat or ...
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5answers
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Can the third sex be categorized as Male or Female?

Hijra are people who have a penis (not sure if sexually active) but look much like a female (perhaps for some feminine biological property). Wikipedia says they are "physiological males who have ...
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1answer
104 views

Can an organism obtaining a part of its genome via horizontal gene transfer be called a “hybrid”?

Wikipedia definition of "hybrid" offers many competing definitions. But most seem to be centered on sexual-reproduction gene transfer. Is there an official (in a textbook or widely accepted peer ...
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2answers
243 views

What is the Edward O. Wilson fuss about?

I have just read this article on E. O. Wilson and I don't understand what the difference is between what he is arguing and "standard" natural selection. I read "the extended phenotype" some years ago ...
2
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1answer
110 views

Expression of an ancestral gene

Why would the expression of an ancestral gene and comparing the product to a modern protein give misleading conclusions about heredity? Update: By ancestral gene I mean a gene which was used by an ...
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3answers
541 views

Why don't flies avoid the motorway?

Flies have a short lifespan, therefore evolution should technically happen over a shorter period of time (years). Flies die all the time from getting hit by cars on the motorway. Those flies that ...
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1answer
7k views

What is Mendelian Randomization, and how is it used to infer causality in epidemiology?

Studies of human traits and diseases are inherently confined to observational studies, known as epidemiological studies. This can make it very hard to determine what actually causes a particular ...
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3answers
1k views

Athletes: nature vs. nurture?

Having watched a lot of olympians the last few weeks, I was struck by how many of them have actually spent their wholes lives/careers training for their one event (be in running a marathon, or ...
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0answers
104 views

What is the frequency of double-hets between parent and child? [closed]

Say both parent and child are genotyped for all SNPs. In this setup we are only looking at variant positions between one parent and child - so neither parent nor child are homozygous reference (no AA/...
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3answers
2k views

Is the theory of evolution being disproved by bats?

For some species the Darwin's theory evolution makes perfect sense. I can easily imagine how, for example, the giraffe has evolved to its current appearance: the natural selection was favoring ...
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2answers
2k views

Can parents' learned traits be transmitted genetically?

I am wondering whether a behavioral trait (e.g. fear or stress experienced in the lifetime of the parent) can be transmitted genetically to its offspring? I understand that a behavioral tendency for ...
5
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1answer
101 views

Drosophila reference genome

Does anyone know the details about which line they are using to sequence as the Drosophila melanogaster reference genome?
3
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1answer
104 views

Predictable microchimerism

I read in New Scientist recently that microchimerism occurs between previously born siblings and grandparents, not just the mother. Do we know which parts of the genome are likely to be transferred? ...
3
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1answer
89 views

What's in a Name: Statistical Genetics

The novice often performs population calculations using what is referred to as Mendelian Genetics. Soon after the publication of Mendel's results; Hardy and Weinberg presented their results after the ...
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2answers
260 views

Is there an “evolutionary species similarity calculator”?

Is there a website where I can input pairs of species and get an "evolutionary similarity score"? E.g. (numbers are completely made up) Input: Chimp and Human, Output: 97% Input: Cat and Human, ...
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2answers
1k views

Which bacteria have the highest mutation rate?

From my reading on M. tuberculosis, I know that this organism has a pretty high mutation rate due to uncorrected sloppy replication, which leads to a high rate of development of spontaneous resistance ...
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0answers
109 views

effect of background selection on promoter regions compared to distant enhancers?

Has anyone looked at the effect of background selection on the levels of conservation of promoter regions compared to distant enhancers? Do promoter regions have a higher conservation due to ...
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2answers
10k views

Autosomal Recessive Trait when skipping one generation

I learned recently that given a pedigree it is possible to tell whether a disease is autosomal recessive by observing if the trait skips a generation. If the disease does skip a generation, then the ...
14
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1answer
271 views

Paralogous genes in genome-wide association studies?

Has anybody tested if paralogous genes are over-represented among the genes identified by genome-wide association studies (GWAS)? For example, if a GWAS study finds 200 genes associated to the ...
3
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3answers
440 views

Extreme examples of protein translation/use coupling/decoupling?

What are known extreme examples of protein translation/effect coupling/decoupling? For example, examples of proteins that are immediately used at the time the have been translated and vice versa, ...
3
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1answer
106 views

What are treatable foetal conditions during pregnancy?

What are different foetal conditions during pregnancy that could be treated with appropriate prenatal genetic testing? I only know that pregnant women are encouraged to take certain supplements to ...
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1answer
1k views

T7 promoter leakiness

Can a gene be expressed under the T7 promoter in an E. coli strain (e.g. DH5 alpha), which does not have the T7 polymerase gene encoded in its genome? In other words, is T7 promoter leaky? To be ...
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2answers
610 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 ...
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1answer
2k views

Are there examples of the green beard effect in humans?

Green-beard effects are genes that: Produce an effect that can be detected Produce preference to others with the same effect Are there any examples of this in humans?
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5answers
75k views

Do we get 1/4 of our genes from each grandparent?

I know that we get half of our genes from each parent, but does it necessarily mean we get 1/4 of our genes from each grandparent? Or is it possible that we might get say 30% from one grandparent, 20% ...
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1answer
211 views

Relative Property of Alleles

If there are three different alleles to a gene, is it possible that the first is dominant to the second, but recessive to the third?
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1answer
139 views

Online toolkit that provides functional similarity scores (in the form of a matrix) between two functional gene sets in the context of gene ontology

Where can I find an online toolkit that provides functional similarity scores (in the form of a matrix) between two functional gene sets in the context of gene ontology? I have tried the following: ...
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2answers
369 views

What is the relative power of GWAS studies in different species?

I would like to know of any publication studying the relative power of GWAS studies in different species. For example, I've seen reports that say genotyping and GWAS in dog breeds is much more ...
7
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1answer
298 views

Are there any DNA base sequences that are fully conserved between the genomes of all humans?

That is, they don't differ throughout the entire population. I understand of course that we can't DNA sequence every human, so by "fully" I mean there's an incredibly small probability of there being ...
4
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2answers
150 views

How do proteins and genes participate in learning?

I am a computer scientist that studies biology and bioinformatics. In the last weeks, I have been trying to study new research directions, and I would like to deepen my knowledge on the role and ...
10
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1answer
858 views

Is sexual reproduction outside the same biological family possible? Has it ever occured successfully?

Are there any examples of two species taxonomically classified in different biological families that have successfully hybridized and produced viable offspring? If not, is there an example of where ...
3
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1answer
145 views

What are Haplogroups?

What exactly does the term Haplogroup or Haplotype means? How is it claimed that people belonging to the same haplogroups have common ancestors?
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3answers
9k views

How does Artificial Selection work?

As far as I know for evolution to work mutations are necessary. Mutations are the raw material on which natural selection works. But mutations are always completely random and human beings have no ...
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2answers
195 views

Does the word “polymorphism” refer to the gene, the phenotype, or both?

In genetics, does the word "polymorphism" properly refer to genes, to phenotypes, or both? For example, if there are two alleles that lead to differences in the structure of the D2 neuroreceptor, ...
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2answers
364 views

Effect of single-gene overexpression in the cell's response

Which are the factors that modify the overall gene differential expression by introducing a vector for single-gene overexpression? If you overexpress a gene for a protein involved in signal ...
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1answer
4k views

Are there dog breeds that are so far apart genetically that they can't produce viable offspring?

Obviously, a very large dog would have difficulties mating with a very small dog and vice versa. But putting that problem aside (using, say, insemination), considering the large variation of dog ...
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0answers
64 views

Is there a gene that starts meiosis 2? [closed]

Yesterday I thought about a question and asked it to my friend. The question was which gene is completely the same for a male cell that made meiosis 1 recently. My answer was the gene that starts ...
6
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2answers
142 views

phylogenetic analysis of gene enrichment?

Are there any tools to do phylogenetic analysis of gene enrichment? This is, I have a list of genes from an experiment performed in several species, with a z-score that can be described as "enrichment"...
10
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2answers
976 views

How many gigabases of DNA are there on earth?

The human genome is about 770 MB, the C. elegans genome is about 100 MB, the yeast S. cerevisiae is about 12 MB. Different other genomes have been sequenced: how many GB of genomic DNA we have now? ...
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1answer
3k views

Co-transformation of plasmids from the same incompatibility group

Can two plasmids with the same origin of replication (for example pBR322 ori) and thus from the same incompatibility group be successfully co-transformed in E. coli? What are the mechanisms that would ...