Questions tagged [genetics]

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

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3answers
203 views

Is DNA actually like source code repository?

So after reading articles like "People Use Just 8.2% of Their DNA" etc., and thinking a bit... I got this idea: What if DNA is actually like a software source code repository? You know, it has "...
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does order of genes in a chromosome matter?

does the order of genes within a chromosome matter? or is the main thing that the genes are there. so for example, our DNA is very similar to that of apes not only by the genes themselves but also by ...
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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 ...
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What is an operon?

What is an operon in a eukaryotic cell, and how does it regulate the expression of genes? I've already read Wikipedia, but it is not enough clear to me. Unfortunately my knowledge in genetics are very ...
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Is there logic in this sentence? “Authors discovered a gene as one of the genes evolved through natural selection”

From a news report: PhD candidate Daiki Sato and Professor Masakado Kawata have discovered SLC18A1 (VMAT1), which encodes vesicular monoamine transporter 1, as one of the genes evolved through ...
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How can someone share 50% of their DNA with their parents yet all humans share 99.9%?

I have heard that humans share 99.9% of their DNA with other humans. I have also heard that a child shares 50% of their DNA with their parents. How do I resolve this apparent contradiction? It has ...
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1answer
123 views

Do DNA repressors exist?

I know about enhancers and the mechanism that lead them to increase the gene expression of their targets but I was wondering if similarly DNA repressors exist. I know about protein repressors but I am ...
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1answer
239 views

How much does a biological experiment to validate a gene function cost?

I am computer scientist working on machine learning methods applied to predicting missing Gene Ontology annotations. In many papers, I wrote that my computational methods are very useful to suggest ...
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12k views

What does phasing mean?

What does phasing mean in genetics/informatics? I've heard that a phased file is a file that has genes separated by chromosome, but can someone give a concrete definition of what phasing actually ...
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What are some (bioinformatic) methods to characterize potentially novel gene transcripts?

I am working with a few novel transcripts of genes- before I confirm their existence experimentally, I would like to perform some bioinformatic analysis. I have already considered coding potential, ...
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932 views

What is the minimum population size that Hardy-Weinberg calculations can be applied to?

I'm trying to find out if a particular allele is in Hardy-Weinberg disequilibrium, but the data is poor. What's the minimum population number that you can use to get any sort of respectable conclusion?...
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Chromosomes are of different size but why do all chromosomes have similar GC percentage?

When I browsed NCBI I saw a pattern: even if the chromosome sizes, number of genes, and number of proteins are different, GC% in chromosomes tend to be similar. The examples are linked below. Yeast, ...
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Pedigree Probability of Autosomal Recessive Trait

Here is a pedigree: The trait is autosomal recessive. The question is: What is the probability that the bottom 2 people (4 and 5) have a child with the trait? I tried doing ...
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369 views

A good textbook on GMO

I am interested in learning about GMO. The topic is so wrapped in controversy, that it's hard to find a good book that introduces the basic concepts involved. I went through various university ...
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714 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, ...
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1answer
10k views

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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3k views

Smallest unit on which selection can act

Traditionally, the individual was considered to be the smallest unit on which Natural Selection (NS) acts. Today, we usually consider the gene as being the unit of NS. Of course, we should also ...
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142 views

Selection on linked loci in a diploid population

Let’s consider two linked loci $A$ and $B$ that are both bi-allelic. In consequence, we have four different possible haplotypes $A_1B_1$, $A_1B_2$, $A_2B_1$, $A_2B_2$, which frequencies are $X_1$, $...
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100 views

Do antisense transcripts have different names than their sense strand transcripts?

I want to find which genes in the human genome can potentially be complementary to a transcript that could act as antisense transcript inhibtion? Are cis-NATs (naturally occuring anti-sense ...
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130 views

How many, and how severe, are known single gene polymorphisms for obesity?

A fairly recent meta-analysis of studies examining the association between adult obesity and polymorphisms of the FTO gene (Peng et al., 2011). The paper looked at 59 studies and concluded that, "FTO ...
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653 views

Linkage and LD: quantitative or qualitative?

My understanding is that the concept "genetic linkage" can be expressed in quantitative form, like: A predisposing gene X was found in close genetic linkage to Y. ...
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379 views

Is there a double helix RNA?

I wonder what is its function and if it can be the genetic material for a living organism. If not, why?
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Colorblindness in females and random X chromosome inactivation

From Annenberg Learner: Because the X is inactivated randomly in cells, one cell could have the maternal X inactivated, while the adjacent cell could have the paternal X inactivated. This causes ...
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GWAS: why is replication in another cohort so crucial?

Almost all the landmark GWAS (Genome-Wide Association Studies) reviews agree that, for a GWAS finding to be valid, it needs to be replicated in an independent cohort. What exactly is the rationale ...
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386 views

How exactly can dsRNA be introduced to a cell?

Is it just by viruses or are there other means by which it gets into cells, such as plasmid uptake?
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How to map the Gene name to its Gene Symbol?

I am learning in Gene data lately so I apologize for the silly questions in advance. I read a paper for a cancer on human which found some important genes. For example, the paper listed one of genes ...
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428 views

How to determine whether changes of an allele's frequency are due to genetic drift or selection?

Given that both natural/artifical selection and genetic drift are evolutionary mechanisms that influence how allele frequencies shift in a population: Are there ways to determine whether a frequency ...
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170 views

Within and Between Allelic Class Diversity

I am reading Charlesworth et al. 1997. They talk about diversity within and between allelic classes. Nucleotide diversities ($π$) at each neutral site were estimated from the mean of $2 \sum z_t (1-...
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Are recessive, deleterious alleles less common on the X chromosome than the autosomes in humans?

As there is a potential for them to be more readily purged in hemizygous males (and in cell lineages in females with the deleterious-allele-bearing chromosome activated), I would expect the frequency ...
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267 views

Hill-Roberston effects and effective population size

From this article, first page, middle of the second column: Even if harmful alleles do not become fixed, they can still reduce the efficacy of selection on neighbouring loci through a process ...
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751 views

What is the biological mechanism underlying caffeine intolerance? (CYP1A2 or other?)

As far as I can tell, caffeine metabolism occurs primarily via the CYP1A2 enzyme. I am curious as to whether mutations in the CYP1A2 gene are associated with caffeine intolerance. Some site that is ...
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60 views

Which functional annotations could be useful?

Analyzing a genome, for a generic gene, which functional annotations (e.g from Gene Ontology) can help understanding its meaning/function or, at least, provide helpful informations? Annotations of ...
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How does a drastic change to the genome persist and spread?

I just read the article on songbirds in the November, 2019 Scientific American. The article explains that songbirds have an extra chromosome, called GRC (germ-line restricted chromosome) that other ...
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Book on current state of knowledge on the genetics of intelligence

I'm looking for a book that gives a good summation of the current state of knowledge on the genetics underlying intelligence. I have read textbooks on human population genetics but I'm looking for ...
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Why do telomere lengths not predict differences in life spans among species?

We read that ageing is related to cell death when we run out of telomeres at the end of our DNA molecules. Humans live roughly for 70 years - the traditional three-score years and ten. This compares ...
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235 views

Easy derivation of Kimura's approximation for the probability of fixation of a mutation

Kimura's approximation for the probability of fixation of a mutation under selection finds recurrent use in population genetics models till date. I am trying to understand the mathematical basis of ...
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On average how many genes / alleles do people share?

I am curious about how much more a child can be alike to one parent than the other. If a child were to inherit all the alleles that are shared between both parents from one parent, but inherit all ...
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130 views

Evolution of Wheat

In the evolution of wheat, there are two instances of chromosomal doubling, when Emmer wheat Triticum turgidum was formed from Einkorn wheat, and when Triticum aestivum was formed from Emmer wheat. ...
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Are there mechanisms that limit the amounts of time conjugation and F-plasmid transfer can happen? If yes, what are they?

Not all bacteria have acquired F-plasmids through conjugation. Some of the mechanisms for this are unsuccesful conjugation events (mechanical disruption), no transfer due to integration in bacterial ...
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457 views

Why is an allele dominant or recessive? [duplicate]

Alleles refer to duplicate genes, where one allele can be dominant over the other. What makes an allele dominant or recessive, given that both code for a single protein?.
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How to estimate heritability from breeding data

I have a lot of plant-breeding data (tens of thousands of results) that are composed of phenotypes of parents and offspring. The plants however went trough years of selection and it is not balanced. ...
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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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Why do most animals never seem to evolve over millenia?

People often say, including those with extensive knowledge in biology, that a certain species of animal will evolve in one way or another: From changing environments. Mutations. Possibly even genetic ...
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Is the genetic term “polycistronic” still used in modern biology?

Is the term "cistronic", meaning an ORF on a mRNA, still commonly used in modern genetics? I´ve seen "polycistronic" being applied to prokaryotic mRNA in old textbooks, but I´ve rarely stumbled upon ...
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How many transcription factors are there?

In molecular biology and genetics, a transcription factor is a protein that binds to specific DNA sequences, thereby controlling the flow (or transcription) of genetic information from DNA to ...
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188 views

Can genetically modified genes jump to bacteria in the eater's intestine?

The Guardian ran an article a while back talking about GM gene's jumping to bacteria in an eater's intestine. Has other research confirmed this phenomenon?
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Will modern-day insects grow to massive size in a high-oxygen environment?

It's a reasonably well-known fact that insects grew to massive sizes due to the excessive concentration of oxygen in the prehistoric-Earth's atmosphere. If one were to try to recreate this high-...
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433 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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205 views

Turning publicly available genome data into proteins

I'm a computer scientist who is starting to dabble with biology. My eventual goal is to model different kinds of cells with a computer program. As of right now, I'm just trying to take some smaller ...
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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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