Questions tagged [genetics]

For questions about a way to pass on biological information from one generation to the next.

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58 votes
12 answers
8k views

How can an organ that provides biological immortality be unable to regenerate?

After Cain killed his worthless brother Abel, he was unjustly cursed by God to wander the earth forever. On his travels, he met a sympathetic woman named Lilith. They discovered that they had a mutual ...
Incognito's user avatar
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44 votes
13 answers
15k views

Could humanity survive if all except a few males died in a plague?

Tomorrow, a sudden airborne plague comes around that kills nearly all human males - women are unaffected. The UN and different nations try their hardest but fail to find a cure. There are riots and ...
Grollo's user avatar
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43 votes
10 answers
67k views

How many people are required for a healthy re-population of the Earth (Post-Apocalypse)?

In my particular Earth, much has remained after the human-killing virus, and nature is thriving - even taking over the cities. It's beautiful. But I have separated the healthy populace in orbit ...
Mikey's user avatar
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37 votes
14 answers
10k views

How can hornets be engineered to kill a human with a single sting?

Asian Giant Hornets are particularly vicious and deliver a dose of neurotoxin to its victims. Generally an average of 59 stings are sufficient to kill a healthy non-allergic man Given a suitable ...
user avatar
32 votes
21 answers
8k views

Sure-fire way to identify an heir in a world without genetic testing

My question is about unusual hereditary traits in humans. I'm new here and this is my first question - apologies in advance if I've accidentally messed this up or covered existing ground. I'm writing ...
Tania Walker's user avatar
31 votes
18 answers
12k views

How does an all-female medieval country maintain itself?

Here's a question that came up while I was tinkering with a setting I'm working on. How would a small city-state, with a population in the tens of thousands, where all children were girls, sustain ...
Amechra's user avatar
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31 votes
16 answers
7k views

Is there a precedent for inventing a new technology many years before anyone else?

History shows that most inventors of groundbreaking new technologies, for example, the light bulb or the telephone were not actually the first to invent this technology and that there were actually ...
Josh's user avatar
  • 429
29 votes
7 answers
8k views

How would "Amazon" (a female only subspecies) genetics work?

The traditional Amazon tribe in mythology is a society of only women that reproduces by capturing outside men. Suppose that the Amazons were an actual sub-population/subspecies of humans that, as the ...
Celibate Hetaerism's user avatar
28 votes
10 answers
2k views

How can I make a net beneficial genetic trait occur only in a small fraction of the population, sustained?

For a species I am working on, there is a specific genetic trait that I want to introduce into the population. The exact nature of either is not important for the purposes of this question, but the ...
user's user avatar
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27 votes
7 answers
6k views

Is intraspecies genetic incompatibility possible?

I'm creating a humanoid species, roughly based on humans. The difference is that not every opposite sex couple of fertile age could produce offspring. The premise of my story is based of some men ...
liraxu's user avatar
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26 votes
13 answers
5k views

Real DNA encryption (or at least making it hard to decode/change)

So I'm the owner of a startup which is going to make our lives easier with custom-DNA creatures! Our few first products are selling very well and nothing was wrong until last week's events. Another ...
val - disappointed in SE's user avatar
21 votes
11 answers
6k views

How could cats evolve toxic claws?

This cat looks like a normal Maine Coon to the unsuspecting victim. Except for one little detail: Red claws that inject a neurotoxin into the victim onpon scratching it. What would be the most ...
Secespitus's user avatar
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19 votes
24 answers
4k views

How to limit the proportion of a Force sensitive population?

I'm making a world where small part of population are like Star Wars Force sensitives. They have high status in my world, as the sensitivity gives them certain advantages over ordinary people. A ...
Saren's user avatar
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19 votes
7 answers
4k views

Alternatives to DNA

I am in the process of creating my universe, and have based it on semi-hard science. The universe that I have created is quite extensive, and I thought that it would be unreasonable for the only kind ...
user avatar
18 votes
14 answers
3k views

Are artificial genes discernible from natural ones?

In a sci-fi project, bioengineering is now a fashionable and profitable industry. A couple of bioengineers decide to play silly buggers with the exobiologists downstairs by cobbling together an ...
user98816's user avatar
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18 votes
7 answers
5k views

Will a race survive eugenics?

I recently watched the classic film Gattaca, which is about a world in which humans are selected with desirable traits at birth. Ignore all the ethics of abortion and genocide (like those claimed for ...
Kavi Vaidya's user avatar
18 votes
10 answers
2k views

Genetic structure of a trait with six discrete phenotypes

In my world magic is conferred genetically. Their are five "types" of magic, which never mix. You either have one type, or you have another (or none at all, the sixth option), you never have a mix of ...
DonyorM's user avatar
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18 votes
3 answers
3k views

Humanoid Race with Surpressed Myostatin Gene - Appearance?

I'm thinking about using this as a sort of meta explanation for how Orcs (and possibly other things as well) are different than humans (in muscularity), but I'm not entirely sure what the result of ...
JustSnilloc's user avatar
  • 2,779
18 votes
5 answers
2k views

Would a trait that's genetics have "circular dominance" be plausible?

Okay, so based on some quick research, there don't appear to be any real-life cases in genetics of "circular dominance" where, for example, allele A is dominant to allele B, B is dominant to ...
Cowrie's user avatar
  • 968
17 votes
10 answers
3k views

Why would life on a different planet use DNA?

Life on Earth pretty early on settled on deoxyribonucleic acid organized in chains of base pairs as the means to code for the construction of proteins which make up a lifeform. It also has the benefit ...
user's user avatar
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16 votes
16 answers
6k views

Is there a paternity test method given medieval level technology with low false positive rate?

Determining genetic fatherhood is very important in my worldbuilding experiment for lots of reasons, one being succession, but regardless it's the genetic component that's important But it's possible ...
Krupip's user avatar
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16 votes
14 answers
7k views

Could you populate a hospitable planet with only a vial of DNA?

In my world, the characters have to travel to a new planet and start all over again. Say they make the journey in a space ship transporting a bunch of human DNA samples. If this ship crashed on the ...
Matthew Goulart's user avatar
16 votes
7 answers
5k views

How should a time traveler be careful if they decide to stay and make a family in the past?

In a world where time travel in the past is possible but deletes the current future/ present, there is a person named Sarah who does not worry about the ripple effects her actions might create. Sarah ...
intro's user avatar
  • 846
15 votes
5 answers
4k views

Can a population suffer from accidental inbreeding?

Consider a society that is both matrilineal and non-monogamous, such as Patrick Rothfuss' Adem from The Kingkiller Chronicles. For those unfamiliar with the work, there are basically two factors at ...
Raven Dreamer's user avatar
15 votes
9 answers
4k views

Will it be possible to prevent cancer by introducing ECC on genome?

Could it be possible to drastically improve DNA repair capabilities by introducing error-correcting codes into the human genome? Would it be feasible to reduce the probability of cancer while slightly ...
Tentacles3587's user avatar
14 votes
16 answers
5k views

Can an Alien Breed With Earth Animals?

This is my first post here, but here we go: I have been creating an alien world for a while, and the sentient species on it is very canine-like. They have a canine body, legs, and head, and the only ...
GalaxyCat's user avatar
  • 333
14 votes
4 answers
10k views

Improving human reaction time

In this question, we were provided a look at what would happen if a human-like species was capable of moving faster than the speed of sound. The consequences of such a modification seem rather ...
Frostfyre's user avatar
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13 votes
15 answers
6k views

How can the wealthy prevent the illegal propagation of their genetic code?

The human genome has been completely mastered and understood by the end of this century, which has led to a service industry revolving around genetic codes. Gene editing to prevent diseases are now ...
Incognito's user avatar
  • 38.5k
13 votes
10 answers
2k views

Variable Intelligence Among Dragons

In the land of Dracoriri, there are dragons. There weren't always dragons, once humans were the dominant species, but then magic-an unexplained phenomenon-invaded earth alongside creatures from ...
Alendyias's user avatar
  • 13.5k
13 votes
8 answers
7k views

Real life explanation of inheritance of werewolves' curse

Let us imagine later medieval society, very close to our 15 century society. This society struggled with Great Plague. The legends say, that they signed a pact with some supernatural forces, and the ...
vodolaz095's user avatar
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13 votes
4 answers
3k views

Who owns genes? [closed]

I'm building a world where humans reproduce by machine, not by sex. Two or more individuals submit their DNA together to a breeding company. This company has pods that take multiple people's DNA, ...
shieldgenerator7's user avatar
13 votes
7 answers
4k views

What genetic enhancements would maximise “luck” in humans? [closed]

In this Sci-if project of mine, bioengineering is now a highly advanced science, nay an art form, and humans are able to enhance their biology using injections of nanomachines which alter their genes. ...
user98816's user avatar
  • 8,593
13 votes
13 answers
3k views

How does a species with three "sexes", where only two needed are at a time, determine the sex of its offspring?

I am trying to figure out the sex-determination of a very foreign form of reproduction. A species has three sexes X, Y, and Z. X produces X gametes, Y produces Y gametes, Z produces Z gametes. They ...
Anonymous's user avatar
  • 7,320
13 votes
4 answers
808 views

What is the technical feasibility of DNA-altering drinks in a fictional bar?

I am interested of a fictional future world where people can walk into a bar, order a drink with the flavors they want, and as that drink flows through their system, their DNA is modified. An example ...
user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
6k views

What are the effects of having too small a gene pool?

This question discusses the various steps a very small gene pool could take to avoid inbreeding however most of the answers agree that it's very unlikely that a group of 6 individuals could avoid all ...
Liath's user avatar
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12 votes
6 answers
5k views

Why haven’t scientists found evidence of humans interbreeding with aliens?

In my alternative universe, Atlantis was a real city that existed, although it wasn’t called Atlantis or founded by humans. Atlantis or rather, Dosham was a city on an isolated landmass in the ...
user avatar
12 votes
9 answers
8k views

In a world with time travel, would it be possible to be your own mother's mother?

Given that you can travel back in time and have a baby there, or alternatively, send your baby back in time, would it be possible that this baby one day becomes your own mother (gives birth to you)? ...
sebrockm's user avatar
  • 231
12 votes
6 answers
4k views

How could the intelligence of elephants be raised to a level closer to that of humans?

Elephants are some of the most intellingent mammals, and they have large brain sizes compared to people. They are said to present self-awareness among other things. How could one go about raising the ...
user avatar
12 votes
13 answers
4k views

A subtle war between the sexes

In this question, I detail a world with a third human sex, lilim, who have bat-like wings and taloned feet like a bird's. The TL;DR is that lilim give birth to equal numbers of men, women and lilim (...
Monty Wild's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
1k views

Taxonomy of genetically engineered species

The Context I have a group of genetically engineered people known as 'crows'. Their genome has been meddled with significantly enough that they are unable to successfully reproduce with humans, but ...
Ynneadwraith's user avatar
  • 8,066
11 votes
6 answers
2k views

To what extent is it feasible for this race to be majority female?

In my world there is a race of humans who are disproportionately female. They are closely derived from and very similar to real-world humans, but are unable to interbreed with the other races as they ...
Maddock Emerson's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
1k views

Greatest possible genetic difference between a male and female of the same species?

Nature does some pretty interesting things with gender: This is a female trilobite beetle. Scientists have observed females extensively, yet for decades, scientists could not identify the male ...
Zxyrra's user avatar
  • 20.6k
11 votes
3 answers
5k views

How can an evil spirit take control of a human body during REM sleep?

I have a friend who is a really nice guy. The problem is that he was born as a half demon. While he looks completely normal, he possesses a spirit inside him called "Amon". This being forces him to ...
Incognito's user avatar
  • 38.5k
11 votes
4 answers
1k views

Myelination in cephalopods

I am a complete amateur regarding biology, so please forgive me if this question is a little stupid. Could we ever create squids that have human-level intelligence and could serve as a replacement in ...
Qoray's user avatar
  • 1,089
11 votes
5 answers
737 views

How can isolated matrilineal societies avoid loss of genetic variation?

In this setting, the family unit is based around a clan system. An individual's wealth and status is related to the clan they are born in, and its ancestry is based on matrilineal lines. Due to ...
Incognito's user avatar
  • 38.5k
11 votes
3 answers
811 views

What is the minimum distance needed between physically distinct races?

If there are several races with very distinct appearances (e.g. Nordic-pale vs. Arabic-tan skin, red vs. black hair, etc.), how much space / natural barriers do I need between their homelands to ...
Epiglottal Axolotl's user avatar
11 votes
6 answers
5k views

How would 10 generations of living underground change the human body?

In my country, we are split down the center by an intensely large mountain range. Us desert people live on the eastern half of the country, while on the other side of the mountain range the forest ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 2,078
11 votes
3 answers
1k views

Karyotypes of partially interbreeding human races

In a non-magical world where homo sapiens has evolved into several races or breeds (like dogs) or even species as in Q10102 and Q12190, that can interbreed for the most part, how can one model the ...
Crissov's user avatar
  • 2,838
11 votes
2 answers
852 views

In a species of simultaneous hermaphrodites, would there be any meaningful difference between siblings of the same parents in opposite roles?

Inspired by this question: Sexual reproduction without biological sex And, to a lesser extent, this question: Would a society of simultaneous hermaphrodites have gender roles? I'm not particularly ...
Aporia's user avatar
  • 339
10 votes
10 answers
3k views

Could your grandchild be genetically identical to you?

Plain and simple: could your offspring's offspring be genetically identical to you? What conditions would this be possible under, if any?
Christopher Costello's user avatar

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