Questions tagged [genetics]

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

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56
votes
12answers
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 ...
45
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13answers
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 ...
40
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10answers
63k 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 ...
36
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14answers
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 ...
32
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21answers
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 ...
31
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18answers
11k 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 ...
31
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16answers
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 ...
28
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10answers
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 ...
27
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7answers
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 ...
26
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7answers
5k 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 ...
26
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13answers
4k 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 ...
20
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11answers
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 ...
19
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7answers
3k 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 ...
18
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24answers
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 ...
17
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7answers
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 ...
17
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10answers
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 ...
17
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2answers
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 ...
16
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14answers
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 ...
16
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10answers
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 ...
14
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16answers
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 ...
14
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5answers
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 ...
13
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8answers
6k 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 ...
13
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4answers
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, ...
13
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4answers
9k 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 ...
12
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6answers
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 ...
12
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6answers
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 ...
12
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8answers
5k 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)? ...
12
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4answers
638 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 ...
12
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13answers
2k 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 ...
12
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4answers
5k 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 ...
11
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3answers
3k 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 ...
11
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4answers
982 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 ...
11
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4answers
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 ...
11
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5answers
574 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 ...
11
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3answers
724 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 ...
11
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6answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
10answers
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?
10
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12answers
2k views

Genetically engineered de-evolution

Why might a species advanced enough to develop genetic engineering start a process by which their own genes, over hundreds of years, would get edited back to resemble their more primitive ancestors? ...
10
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7answers
584 views

How different can an alien be from us if it is possible for us to have sex and procreate?

Aliens have arrived to Earth from the depths of space, and thankfully they are peaceful and only want to learn about us and interact with us. Despite some initial trepidation, first contact goes well ...
10
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5answers
998 views

Would a virus be able to change eye and hair colour?

The basic idea is that a small group of people, that were infected by the virus but managed to survive, has their hair colour changed to white and their eye colour changed to green. Said traits would ...
10
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6answers
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
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 ...
10
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3answers
532 views

Is it plausible to make human gametes from different parent chromosomes?

I'm creating a near future world where laboratories could create human gametes (sperm & ova) using chromosomes from different people. So theoretically we could take 1st chromosome from a 1st ...
10
votes
5answers
416 views

How could someone use genetics to place a skin tattoo on their descendants?

Imagine a world quite like our own, except where technology took a different turn. Instead of researching communication, transportation, the cosmos, and the general nature of the universe, scientists ...
10
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3answers
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 ...
10
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3answers
421 views

DIY Genehacking: What can I do with it?

Assuming an average, fully developed adult man, what sort of changes could be made to his genome that would have a noticeable effect on his mind or body? To the best of our current scientific ...
10
votes
2answers
540 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 ...
9
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11answers
4k views

How would a child of a human and alien inherit abilities?

Imagine a child of mixed race, one parent is human and one is an alien who has some ability humans do not have, for the sake of argument telepathy. I'm assuming there is some advanced medical ...
9
votes
8answers
3k views

Zodiac eugenics

Imagine a world slightly more developed then ours. For example internal combustion engines are becoming obsolete, they have fuel cells and electric cars. They also started using genetic engineering to ...
9
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5answers
5k views

Could someone survive if all the DNA inside his cells got damaged? For how long?

I did some quick research on DNA and I know it can be damaged by different sorts of mutagens. I also know that this kind of damage can lead to cancer. Though I'm not entirely sure of where exactly it ...

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