Questions tagged [genetics]

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

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2answers
3k views

Do transcription factors bind to both strands of DNA?

Do transcription factors (or generally proteins) bind to only single strand of DNA or both strands? Since it can have non covalent bonds to both strands in theory. I would like to know the mechanism. ...
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1answer
624 views

How do members of cryptic species know who to mate with?

According to Wikipedia: In biology, a cryptic species complex is a group of species which satisfy the biological definition of species—that is, they are reproductively isolated from each other—...
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Is there any reason for the variation in mitochondrial DNA size?

As my textbook An Introduction to Genetic Analysis points out, yeast mitochondrial DNA has approximately 78 kb of genetic data, while the human mitochondrial DNA contains 17 kb. Is there any evolution ...
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1answer
272 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 ...
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Validity of the August Weismann mouse-detailing experiment refuting Lamarckism

Weismann conducted the experiment — described in Wikipedia — of removing the tails of 68 white mice, repeatedly over 5 generations, and reporting that no mice were born in consequence without a tail ...
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Is it possible for two brown-eyed parents to have blue-eyed child?

Here's the (real) story: A young man has stunning blue eyes. On his mother's side are lots of instances of blue eyes, but on his father's side is no history of blue eyes. Both parents have brown eyes. ...
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5answers
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Do human cells contain only one copy of the genome?

Does each cell contain only a single copy of its genome? Or are there ever 'extra' copies present. Reason behind question: Wondering whether gene mutations could be corrected by referencing a '...
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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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1answer
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What do the signs +/+ +/- mean in this image?

I don't understand what this graph is supposed to explain, especially what the signs +/+ or -/- mean. I just know it characterises some rats.
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Is it possible to genetically modify a plant at home?

Would I be able to genetically modify a plant at home? What equipment will be necessary? I think it might be a fun change from the 'norm' of regular hybridisation, to try some inter-family gene ...
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What are limiting factors for intron length?

For predicting genes from a sequenced genome, you need to set a maximum intron length. How long can introns get in animals? Is there some limit?
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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 ...
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1answer
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Is the discovery of dominant and recessive genes the only reason Mendel matters?

We've known that offspring inherit various traits from their parents since (at least) Aristotle. In The Elements of Plant Hybridization, Gregor Mendel treats that fact as common knowledge. Clearly, we ...
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2answers
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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 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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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 ...
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1answer
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On the genetics behind caste marriages

I am in India where it is typically a custom to marry within one's caste. Basically the caste system originated with roots in people's professions - Each of priests, carpenters, troupers, etc had a ...
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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 ...
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1answer
867 views

Why does size decrease across the sequence of human chromosomes?

The following graph shows a decrease in the number of base pairs per chromosome across the sequential set of human chromosomes: Is this because chromosomes were originally numbered by their size on ...
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4answers
334 views

Is there any other function of DNA?

We all know that DNA acts as a genetic molecule. Does DNA have any other function in the cell other than being a genetic material and carrier of information?
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1answer
395 views

Why do people with Down syndrome get fewer cancers?

I'm coming across some conflicting information regarding the correlation between cancer incidents and trisomy 21. I read a report from nature that discusses how Downs are only a tenth as likely to ...
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2answers
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Do white Australians have a distinct look? [closed]

Background I've heard from many people working in tourism or similar industries that, white Australians can be recognized as Australian solely by their facial features. Being Australian myself I've ...
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1answer
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How can you identify if a person is homozygous for a certain allele?

I've been thinking about starting a small private research project. In this project I need to find out whether a person is homozygous for a certain allele. The reason for this is that I'm really ...
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1answer
394 views

Does the genetic expression of specific physical traits ever correlate to behaviour?

Over at skeptics, there were a couple questions asked as to the correlation of specific physical traits in relation to personality/behaviour. For instance, the simian line as well as red hair. Now, ...
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Online phylogenetic tree of human lineages

I am looking for a source of information about the diversity of human lineages and their relationships. With a quick google search it is easy to find this type of tree A perfect online resource ...
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1answer
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Have any mutations or genetic loci been associated with exceptional longevity in humans?

Individuals that avoid age-related diseases into later life are known as 'exceptional survivors', and have increased longevity compared to their 'controls' (those that were born at a similar time, yet ...
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1answer
346 views

Which is the reference 16S rRNA?

Recently, I've stumbled upon a fact, which hasn't bothered me for many years. The fact is that all universal 16S primers are written as "[FR][0-9]+" (in regex notation), that is they have a position ...
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Does the DNA sequence of a butterfly match that of the caterpillar it used to be?

Just had this thought occur to me. If one were to take a DNA sample(or is it RNA?) of a caterpillar before it became a chrysalis, and attempt to match the sample against one taken after the chrysalis ...
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3answers
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Can any species be bred selectively/engineered to become as diverse looking as dogs?

I've done some research and it appears that dogs are the most diverse looking single species of mammals. The questions that interest me is - are dogs special in respect to genes/gene activation ...
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Why is an HIV infection considered “incurable”?

My biology teacher told me that if one caught HIV, they cannot be cured because it was near to impossible to be completely virus-free. She said this was because HIV keeps on changing its glycoprotein ...
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6answers
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Why these 2 dots frequently occur in dog's eyebrows? Do it serve/served any advantage?

It has been wonder me, in spite of so-many variations in color-patterns in dogs; these 2 dots (1 on each eyebrow) remains frequently occurring. Dog-1 Dog-1 close up. this one has a white dot. ...
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1answer
286 views

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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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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1answer
363 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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805 views

Can bacteria release free DNA into their environment?

Natural transformation AKA natural competence involves the uptake of DNA into a competent bacterium (for horizontal gene transfer or as a food source). My question is about where this extracellular ...
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What is the functional and structural distinction between core (H2A, H2B, H3,H4) and linker(H1/H5) histones?

Many explanations of histone biochemistry isn't quite elucidating for the undergraduate student. How does histone structure (dimers, octomers) relate to their specific functions as core or linker ...
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1answer
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Why does polyploidy give an evolutionary advantage?

I would like to know what advantages polyploidy holds. I have come across a few examples during my research of polyploidy, for example human adults' hearts contain 27% diploid, 71% tetraploid and 2% ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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7answers
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What's a non-allelic gene?

Non-allelic or non-alletic I stumbled across the term in my Human Genetics textbook. It didn't explain it there, and a quick google search only showed scientific papers that refer to 'recombinations ...
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1answer
145 views

Are homozygous carriers of the CCR5-Δ32 allele fully immune to all known strains of HIV?

Or is there documented evidence of even one homozygous carrier contracting HIV and staying infected?
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Have any genetically altered organisms actually become abundant in a natural environment?

Most of the things that come up in Google and Google Scholar for this question have a mostly/completely speculative tone, or at best use models instead of measurements. This report describes some ...
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Books on machine learning applications in Biology

I have recently engaged with a collaboration, which requires me to construct, then train an unsupervised artificial neural network (ANN). However, I have only a very coarse understanding of what ...
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How does DNA still work after recombination?

If you take two computer programs and randomly swapped pieces from each of them. The result is not going to work. It will just be garbage. If you take two novels and randomly swapped chapters the ...
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1answer
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Do I not have any alleles from my mom's mom & my dad's dad?

So, I have an XX, & I got an X from my mom, & an X from my dad. My dad would have gotten his only X from his mother, & my mother could have gotten the X I got from her father or mother. ...
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3answers
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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 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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1answer
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What is the difference between “cistron” and “gene”?

I'm asking after reading the cognate wikipedia.en article on "cistron". I am still not sure about the difference between the two terms. To me it seems valid to picture a "cistron" as the genome wide ...
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262 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
982 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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Why does human chromosome 19 have the second highest number of protein-coding genes?

While chromosome 19 only is the 19th largest autosomal chromosome, it contains 1440 protein-coding genes, and thus has the second highest number of protein-coding genes of any human chromosome. For ...

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