Learn. Genetics

Learn. Genetics
Genetic Science Learning Center
© University of Utah

Registry of Standard Biological Parts

DNA. Origin of replication
Nikolay’s Genetics Lessons
Sep 21, 2013

genetics resources


Genetic sensitivity and harsh parenting

Harsh In Hard Times? A Gene May Influence Mom’s Behavior
August 5, 2013

The Great Recession, genetic sensitivity, and maternal harsh parenting
PNAS vol. 110 no. 34, 13780–13784
Dohoon Leea, … Irwin Garfinkele
Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, this study examined the effects of the Great Recession on maternal harsh parenting. We found that changes in macroeconomic conditions, rather than current conditions, affected harsh parenting, that declines in macroeconomic conditions had a stronger impact on harsh parenting than improvements in conditions, and that mothers’ responses to adverse economic conditions were moderated by the DRD2 Taq1A genotype. We found no evidence of a moderating effect for two other, less well-studied SNPs from the DRD4 and DAT1 genes.

The Chimera Quandary

The Chimera Quandary: Is It Ethical To Create Hybrid Embryos?
August 7, 2016


NIH Plans To Lift Ban On Research Funds For Part-Human, Part-Animal Embryos
August 4, 2016


Gene-edited ‘micropigs’

Gene-edited ‘micropigs’ to be sold as pets at Chinese institute
The pigs are endearing but scientists warn that they may be a distraction from more serious research.
David Cyranoski
29 September 2015

The animals weigh about 15 kilograms when mature, or about the same as a medium-sized dog.

Animal models

Compared to rats or mice, pigs are closer to humans physiologically and genetically, making them potentially more useful as a model organism for human disease. However, their larger size means that they cost more to keep and require bigger drug doses when they are used to test a pricey experimental medicine.

Bama pigs, which weigh 35–50 kilograms (by contrast, many farm pigs weigh more than 100 kilograms), have previously been used in research.

To make the smaller, gene-edited micropigs, BGI made cloned pigs from cells taken from a Bama fetus. But before they started the cloning process, they used TALENs to disable one of two copies of the growth hormone receptor gene (GHR) in the fetal cells.  Without the receptor, cells do not receive the ‘grow’ signal during development, resulting in stunted pigs.