Biology Fun-damentals

Aug 03, 2018

Stickleback fish

Posted in:  ·  General  Science

Meet your typical stickleback dad. My research is based on understanding how genes contribute to his behavior.

A mostly blue fish above a fake aquarium plant that has a nest made of pebbles to the left of its base.

You can tell this is a male ready to become a dad because of his blue color. He also has red/orange color under his throat. Its only during the summer breeding season that he will look like this. Not all males will color up this brightly as it depends on a number of factors including the amount of light and the surrounding environment (gravel color). This particular male has improvised a nest ...

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Aug 09, 2016

Genes, Phenotypes and Traits

Posted in:  ·  Introductory

Genes and Phenotype

Important concepts:

  • Gene
  • Phenotype

We are constantly seeing both news articles as well as scientific publications on new genes - the new gene for intelligence, cancer or happiness. So lets start at the beginning by figuring out what a gene is. Simply, its a way to refer to inherited traits.

There are a wide variety of traits that are controlled by genes. Flower color is a pretty obvious trait, so lets use a flower that comes in both white and red as an example. We call the specific ...

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The basic but complex pieces of biology: DNA, RNA, & Proteins (aka Central Dogma)

Posted in:  ·  Introductory

All of biology functions around the core of DNA, RNA and Proteins or the so called Central Dogma of Molecular Biology. The key here is that you always go in the order of DNARNA→protein. You can’t jump from DNA to protein or visa versa; it just doesn’t happen. However, you don’t have to go all the way. Just because you made RNA doesn’t automatically mean it will be a protein. This is also not necessarily a one-to-one relationship. One RNA can be used to make several copies of the exact same protein.

Why do I care?
Because a gene can be looked at in each step of the DNARNA→protein progression. We look at all the different steps because how a gene is functioning can be regulated or changed at any point. However, in all cases, we are still interested in the gene..

Biological Levels explained through the analogy of a book.

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