Questions tagged [genetics]

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

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53
votes
12answers
7k views

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

After Cain killed his brother Abel, he was 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 beef with their ...
44
votes
12answers
14k 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 ...
39
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10answers
55k 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
votes
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 ...
32
votes
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 ...
28
votes
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 ...
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 ...
25
votes
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 ...
20
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11answers
5k 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 ...
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
votes
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
2k 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 ...
17
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
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
votes
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 ...
13
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14answers
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 ...
13
votes
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 ...
13
votes
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
votes
4answers
8k 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
votes
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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3answers
2k 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 ...
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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10answers
2k 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?
11
votes
4answers
577 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
651 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
votes
5answers
461 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 ...
10
votes
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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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
votes
4answers
793 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
513 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
6answers
1k 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
3answers
394 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
3answers
898 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 ...
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
5answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Could the Bunker Dwellers become noticeably different from Wastelanders?

So, in my world, there are a group of people, mostly unknown to the rest of the world, who took shelter from the apocalypse 90 years ago in great underground bunkers. Compared to the rest of the ...
9
votes
8answers
409 views

How could a bloodline ability manifest in one sex but not the other?

A kekai genkai is a bloodline ability that is passed down genetically within clans. They give users access to specific powers unique to that family. These abilities take a number of forms: going bones ...
9
votes
3answers
753 views

How to make different social classes look quite different?

I have a country, inspired by Edo era where for 2000 years the people lived in a hierarchical society arranged in below classes: 1 Aristocracy - Ruling class, negligible part of population 2 Warrior ...
9
votes
5answers
547 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 ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

Would a black population whiten over generations because of living underground?

This questions came to me after some discussion on my previous one about a civilization living under Antarctica. I somehow have the feeling this is a dumb question - sorry if it is -, however I can't ...
9
votes
4answers
522 views

Little Green EARTH Men?

This question is based on the articles saying that the Mongoloid body plan was all due to an individual mutation from 35,000 years ago. In science fiction, humanoid aliens that aren't of the human ...
8
votes
6answers
527 views

Magical Talent: Genes vs. Enviroment

I've built a magical world. In this world, mages crop up one of two ways. 1) Genetically passed down. 2) Through exposure of magic, for example, growing up in a magical forest. I would also like ...
8
votes
4answers
332 views

What is more plausible, viruses in a host brain or a viral colony becoming conscious?

In my story I have a strain of virus capable of stealing parts of or changing its hosts DNA, so it could copy the abilities in nature for its next host of choice by taking the genes which control the ...
8
votes
4answers
432 views

Methods to Implant Serial Numbers in/on Clones

I am writing a science fiction story with mass produced clones. Since I have a number of clone I need to tell them apart. The ID system must be: Permanent over the lifetime of the clone (call it 150 ...
8
votes
3answers
643 views

Can Genetic Engineering Overcome Inbreeding (homozygosity) Among a Ruling Family Indefinitely?

Premise In the near future, a cult-like ruling family worships symmetry and condemns asymmetry. By association, they are condemning much of nature as there are many instances of asymmetry in nature (...
8
votes
1answer
187 views

How can professional leagues implement gene enchancement into sports while keeping a balance among athletes?

The year is 2050, and genetic enchancement is now commonplace in society. People can currently opt to improve their bodies through the form of gene packages. These are geared towards increasing ...