Can genes be passed on without sex?

Filed under: Bees |

Question by DesiDani(still waiting for 12am): Can genes be passed on without sex?
If so how? A poster said that and that does not make sense to me. So ease my questions, please explain how is this possible?

“It is likely that homosexual individuals are able to pass on their genes as effectively or more effectively through their close relatives by helping them and their offspring to survive than by reproducing themselves. The exact pathway or mechanism for this is unclear, but whatever it is, it is obviously evolutionarily successful; otherwise, genes conferring homosexual attractions would not be so ubiquitous and would have been eliminated by natural selection eons ago”

So how is it possible to pass on genes through close relationships? Doesn’t this person mean passing on a behavior and not genes?

Please ease the pain in my eyebrow strain,
“Genes can be passed down through invitro fertilization…no sex involved.”
That is in a lab and that is not natural.
Wait, isn’t that passing on a behavior and not a gene.
Wise Duck:
Then you are talking about conditioning and social influences. That is Sociology what does that have to do with Biology?

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5 Responses to Can genes be passed on without sex?

  1. soudns like a bunch of BS to me, another argument to justify homosexuality somehow, you cant pass on genes without actually physically passing them on

    January 8, 2014 at 11:29 pm

  2. Genes can be passed down through invitro fertilization…no sex involved.
    However after reading your question thoroughly, I’m starting to think they’re talking about passing on their traits, not their genes.

    The quote you’re referencing does sound a bit sketchy.

    January 8, 2014 at 11:47 pm

  3. You share 50% of your genes with your parents, and 50% with your siblings. In most cases the most effective means for passing on your genes is to have multiple offspring, all of which are 50% related to you. But an alternative strategy would be to aid your brothers and sisters (who have 50% of your genes) in raising their children (which have 25% of your genes). If your genetic contribution in raising nieces and nephews is greater than the contribution you would have made in having your own children, your overall reproductive success will be greater.

    This strategy is taken to an extreme with social insects such as bees, which do not reproduce at all but aid their mother in producing offspring that go off to make a new hive. Workers do not pass on their genes directly, but genes that the workers and their queen share are passed on effectively with the cooperation of the hive.

    Edit: I guess that didn’t compute. If I have gene A and my sister has gene A, I could either pass it on by having children, half of which would have gene A, or I could pass it on by helping raise my sister’s children, half of which would have gene A. If gene A is passed on from my bloodline, it *doesn’t matter* whether that gene was passed down directly from me or passed on through my sister–it’s our gene, and we’ve successfully propagated it either way. If more A’s will exist if I help my sister, it’s a better evolutionary strategy for me not to have kids, but to help raise her kids with their A genes.

    NOT sociology, just plain genetics!

    Beetle in a Box
    January 9, 2014 at 12:15 am

  4. In a way.

    A homosexual cannot directly pass on their genes through the bearing of any offspring, however they can contribute to the raising of the offspring of related individuals. Helping two nieces or nephews survive would be the equivalent of raising a child.

    Edit: No, this is genetics.

    An offspring inherits 50% of your genes. Your siblings also have 50% of your genes. So saving the life of a sibling is equivalent to having a child, evolutionarily speaking.

    A niece or nephew has 25% of your genes, so 2 of them equals an offspring. You can calculate this for any relation.

    This is the basis of kin selection.

    Wise Duck
    January 9, 2014 at 12:23 am

  5. Indeed, it can. It’s called human cloning.

    There may be two possibilities in human cloning, depending on what experiments and research may show.

    1. Clone and individual and produce an exact copy in the offspring.

    2. Use a modified form of human cloning (a certain window of opportunity in meiosis may allow for this) and literally produce offspring that will possess the same gene mixing between two parents as might be found in common fertilization. In this modified form of human cloning, only somatic cell DNA from two different individual parents are required—no sprem or egg are involved from the parents.

    Bob D
    January 9, 2014 at 1:15 am

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