3: Molecular Biology and Genetics
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- Beth Shook, Katie Nelson, Kelsie Aguilera, & Lara Braff, Eds.
- Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges
Hayley Mann, M.A., Binghamton University
Xazmin Lowman, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine
Malaina Gaddis, Ph.D.
- Define terms useful to molecular biology and genetics.
- Explain and identify the purpose of both DNA replication and the cell cycle.
- Identify key differences between mitosis and meiosis.
- Outline the process of protein synthesis including transcription and translation.
- Use principles of Mendelian inheritance to predict genotypes and phenotypes of future generations.
- Explain complexities surrounding patterns of genetic inheritance and polygenic traits.
- Discuss challenges to and bioethical concerns of genetic testing.
I [Hayley Mann] started my Bachelor’s degree in 2003, which was the same year the Human Genome Project released its first draft sequence. I initially declared a genetics major because I thought it sounded cool. However, upon taking an actual class, I discovered that genetics was challenging. In addition to my genetics major, I signed up for biological anthropology classes and soon learned that anthropology could bring all those molecular lessons to life. For instance, we are composed of cells, proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and lipids. Anthropologists often include these molecules in their studies to identify how humans vary; if there are meaningful differences, they propose theories to explain them.
Since the release of the first human genome sequence, the field of genetics has grown into genomics. Researchers now address these complex questions on a large scale. To process “big data,” some scientists have moved to working on a computer full time doing computational biology. As you learned in Chapter 1, molecular anthropologists use genetics to compare ancient and modern populations as well as study nonhuman primates. Molecular anthropologists must also stay current with advancing technology (you will learn about the results of some of this genomic research as it has been applied to fossils in Chapters 11 and 12). If you wish to be part of this dynamic field, then take advantage of available campus laboratory classes and internships and also never stop reading scientific papers.
This chapter provides the basics for understanding human variation and how the evolutionary process works. A few advanced genetics topics are also presented because biotechnology is now commonplace in health and society. Understanding the science behind this remarkable field means you will be able to participate in bioethical and anthropological discussions as well as make more informed decisions regarding genetic testing.
About the Authors
Hayley Mann, M.A.
Binghamton University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hayley Mann received her bachelor’s degree in Genetics from the University of California, Davis, and continued her graduate studies in Biological and Molecular Anthropology at the California State University, Sacramento. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Binghamton University, where her dissertation focus is on studying genetic variation of Pacific Islanders (Republic of Vanuatu) and also changes in health as the result of colonization. Hayley also works in clinical genomics and specializes in various DNA-sequencing methodologies.
Xazmin Lowman, Ph.D.
University of California, Irvine, email@example.com
Xazmin Lowman received her bachelor’s degree in Physiology from the University of Arizona. She pursued her doctorate in cancer biology at the University of Minnesota, where she studied how blood cancers evade cell death. Currently, her scientific interests have led to a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Irvine, where she studies how solid tumors adapt to metabolic stress. Beyond figuring out the mechanisms that drive cancer, she enjoys traveling to learn of other cultures and share her own upbringing on the Navajo reservation.
Malaina Gaddis, Ph.D.
Malaina Gaddis studied biology at Brigham Young University in Utah and then earned a Ph.D. in genetics and molecular and cellular biology at the University of Southern California. During her Ph.D. studies, she investigated small molecule inhibitors that alter epigenetic modifications and gene expression in cancer cells. Following her Ph.D., she focused on the business side of the biotech industry by completing a master’s degree in bioscience management at the Keck Graduate Institute. Malaina is especially interested in using genomics to further genetic testing and personalized treatment and currently works as a genome variation scientist.
For Further Exploration
National Human Genome Research Institute https://www.genome.gov/
Genetics Home Reference https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/
Genetics Generation http://knowgenetics.org/
Cardiovascular Disease: Genes are Important, but Health-Related Behaviors and Lifestyle Choices Can Make or Break Your Health http://ehrweb.aaas.org/ehr/books/3_howard.html
Gene Sequencing Speeds Diagnosis of Deadly Newborn Diseases http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/body/newborn-gene-sequencing/
Carl Zimmer’s Game of Genomes https://www.statnews.com/feature/game-of-genomes/season-one/
Illumina Sequencing by Synthesis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCd6B5HRaZ8
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Figure 3.1 Phospholipid Bilayer (Anatomy & Physiology, Chapter 3.1, Figure 2) by OpenStax is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.
Figure 3.2 Nucleic Acid by NIH National Human Genome Research Institute is in the public domain.
Figure 3.3 Amino acids (Biology 2e, Figure 3.22) by OpenStax is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.
Figure 3.4 Amino Acids by NIH National Human Genome Research Institute is in the public domain.
Figure 3.5 Bacteria by NIH National Human Genome Research Institute is in the public domain.
Figure 3.6 Bryum capillare lamina by Kristian Peters [Fabelfroh 13:07, 2007 (UTC)] is used under a CC BY-SA 3.0 License.
Figure 3.7 Cell Membrane (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 3.4) by OpenStax is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.
Figure 3.8 Organelle by NIH National Human Genome Research Institute is in the public domain.
Figure 3.9 Nucleus (Biology 2e, Figure 4.11) by OpenStax is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.
Figure 3.10 Mitochondrion through an electron microscope (Biology 2e, Figure 4.14) by OpenStax is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.
Figure 3.11 Cell Structure table original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Hayley Mann, Xazmin Lowman, and Malaina Gaddis is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.
Figure 3.12a A group of Tsimshian people having a tea party in a tent, Lax Kw’alaams (formerly Port Simpson), B.C., c. 1890 by unknown photographer at Online MIKAN no. 3368729 Library and Archives Canada (C-060817). Copyright is expired.
Figure 3.12b Tsimshian Territory map original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Elyssa Ebding at GeoPlace, California State University, Chico is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.
Figure 3.13 Rosalind Franklin from the personal collection of Jenifer Glynn by MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology is used under a CC BY-SA 4.0 License.
Figure 3.14 Histone by NIH National Human Genome Research Institute is in the public domain.
Figure 3.15 Genome by NIH National Human Genome Research Institute is in the public domain.
Figure 3.16 Chromosome original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Katie Nelson is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.
Figure 3.17 DNA replication zh by LadyofHats has been designated to the public domain (CC0).
Figure 3.18 Cell cycle (Biology 2e, Figure 10.5) by OpenStax is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.
Figure 3.19 HeLa-III by National Institutes of Health (NIH) is in the public domain.
Figure 3.20 Mitosis original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Mary Nelson is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.
Figure 3.21 Meiosis original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Mary Nelson is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.
Figure 3.22 Transcription by NIH National Human Genome Research Institute is in the public domain.
Figure 3.23 Protein synthesis original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Mary Nelson is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.
Figure 3.24 Ribosome (Biology 2e, Figure 3.34) by OpenStax is used under a CC BY 4.0 License
Figure 3.25 Codon Table by NIH National Human Genome Research Institute, accessed August 13, 2018 is in the public domain.
Figure 3.26 Protein by NIH National Human Genome Research Institute is in the public domain.
Figure 3.27 Mendel´s statue by Coeli has been designated to the public domain (CC0).
Figure 3.28 Mendels peas by Mariana Ruiz LadyofHats has been designated to the public domain (CC0 1.0).
Figure 3.29 Homozygous by NIH National Human Genome Research Institute is in the public domain.
Figure 3.30 Punnett square mendel flowers by Madeleine Price Ball (Madprime) is used under a CC BY-SA 3.0 License.
Figure 3.31 Mendelian disorders table original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Hayley Mann, Xazmin Lowman, and Malaina Gaddis is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.
Figure 3.32 Blood types by Shahinsahar is used under a CC BY-SA 3.0 License.
Figure 3.33 ABO Blood Genotypes original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Katie Nelson is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.
Figure 3.34 Mendelian dominant pattern of inheritance original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Beth Shook is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.
Figure 3.35 Cystic fibrosis, Mendelian recessive pattern of inheritance, original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Beth Shook is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.
Figure 3.36 X-linked recessive pattern of inheritance original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Beth Shook is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.
Figure 3.37 Antirrhinum a.k.a. Snap dragon at lalbagh 7112 by Rameshng is used under a CC BY-SA 3.0 License.
Figure 3.38 Epigenetic Control (Biology 2e, Figure 16.7) by OpenStax is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.
Figure 3.39 “Rue” the calico cat by Hayley Mann is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.
Figure 3.40 PCR electrophoresis gel by Hayley Mann is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.
Figure 3.41 Sanger sequencing with heterozygous result by Hayley Mann is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.
Figure 3.42 DNA microarray by Guillaume Paumier (user:guillom) is used under a CC BY-SA 3.0 License.
Figure 3.43 Illumina Hiseq 2,000 sequencers, BGI Hong Kong sequencing room by Scotted400 is used under a CC BY 3.0 License.
Figure 3.44 Positive carrier result for celiac disease allele by Hayley Mann is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.
Figure 3.45 DNA ancestry percentage test results by Hayley Mann is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.
Figure 3.46 Pedigree original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Beth Shook is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.