This tag is for questions about the general biological features of human beings (as opposed to the biology of non-humans).

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478 views

Evolutionary reasons why you cannot tickle yourself but masturbate

There are obviously good reasons that explain why you cannot tickle yourself (see e.g. here). This got me thinking why it is possible to masturbate... Wouldn't it make more sense to not being able to ...
6
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0answers
30 views

Would constant light or fading light be registered as more wakefulness promoting by the Supra Chiasmatic Nucleus?

During the fall and winter season, a number of people are experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder. One of the way it has traditionally been treated is with a dedicated lightbox - a very high ...
5
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0answers
67 views

Is there a mechanism by which mammals lose interest in a partner after mating?

I'm reading the book called "Cupid's poison arrow", which revolves around a rather simple assumption: most mammals, including humans have a genetic program that is responsible for ever increasing ...
5
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0answers
92 views

What is basis of multifunctionality of “master glands” in the endocrine system?

I have just started reading about the endocrine system and I am having some difficulty understanding the basis of distribution of glands and associated hormones. I am using multifuntionality to ...
5
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39 views

Is it possible that the vapour form of propylene glycol could lower a humans blood oxygen saturation by the manner in which N2O does?

My understanding is that by inhaling nitrous oxide leads to the body not being able to take in as much oxygen as it usually would. Is it possible that a heavier soluble gas such as the vapour form of ...
4
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0answers
28 views

Can we predict a person's tolerance to cold exposure during excercise?

Being an amateur athlete and student of anatomy I've always wanted to know if there is a formula for determining an unconditioned body's tolerance to cold temperatures while exercising. I know the ...
4
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0answers
102 views

Why are lips covered with specialized skin?

I found out some interesting facts while studying our lips: They are covered in glabrous skin, while most of the skin surface is hairy; The outermost layer (stratum corneum) of the skin is far ...
4
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39 views

How does drug-induced photosensitivity work?

Some drugs (tetracyclines, for instance) can cause photosensitivity reactions—that is, some patients become extremely sensitive to the sun, developing rashes or inflammation after spending time ...
4
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0answers
53 views

Does anxiety about weight or eating cause people to become overweight?

A while ago I saw this TED talk about the futility of dieting. The speaker suggests that a body maintains a homeostatic weight point and returns to that weight after dieting has stopped: Turns out ...
4
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0answers
395 views

Do Asian women have more difficult births than Europeans?

I recently heard a claim that Asians in general have more difficult births than Europeans. Is this true? I have found a few studies(1,2) on the effect of ethnicity on birth outcomes but they seem to ...
4
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0answers
118 views

How do omega-3 fatty acids reduce cholesterol at the molecular level?

I have heard that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are a good way to prevent/reduce cholesterol problems. My question is how do omega-3 fatty acids do that: what are they doing on a chemical level ...
3
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27 views

In the life-cycle of the HIV virus, how does the created DNA enter the nuclear membrane?

I am in a high school biology class, so I cannot truly attest to how accurate the information I am given is, but as far as I know only RNA and very small molecules can enter the nuclear membrane ...
3
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32 views

Why are kidney discard rates so high?

A recent report from UNOS states: The kidney discard rate has returned to pre-KAS levels, dropping from 20.2 percent in the first six months to 18.4 percent in months 7-10. To me, this seems ...
3
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0answers
32 views

Can body temperature affect the quality of sleep?

If so, how does it influence our sleep? And what can we do to improve the quality of sleep by adjesting our body tempurature?
3
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0answers
81 views

How long does conception take?

I know that conception is a multi-step process. A sperm fuses with an egg. Its contents diffuse into the cytoplasm. Dad's DNA is transported to the nucleus. Proteins are gradually made from Dad's ...
3
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0answers
77 views

The ring formation of ringworm

I know ringworm is caused by a fungus on the skin, nails or scalp but what causes the rash to form as a ring instead of like a normal spread out rash?
3
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0answers
67 views

How does estrogen influence collagen synthesis?

Through what mechanisms does estrogen interact with collagen synthesis? Especially in the context of elevated estrogen levels and genesis of purpura simplex .
3
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0answers
76 views

What is the biological basis of “energy” that extraverted humans draw from social engagements and introverts expend?

This question is related to this question about introverts becoming exhausted after extended social events on cognitive sciences stack exchange. As I read more on the topic of human ...
3
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0answers
228 views

Which types of blood vessels can regenerate in humans/mammals?

Which types of blood vessels can regenerate in humans/mammals? From what I understand, arteries and arterioles can be created later in life, while this is not necessarily the case with veins. However ...
3
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68 views

Viagra for pain management

Not all men who take Viagra experience any sexual side effects about 40% have no change of sexual abilities on the pill. However like many women the drug in such cases cause a strong pain reduction ...
3
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0answers
141 views

Human female chest model or data representation?

I am looking for professionally used representation of female chest (I know how it sounds ;). Generally - a model comprehensive enough to effectively represent human chest, with focus on breasts. ...
3
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52 views

Database of Medical Assertions

Can anyone point me toward a computationally-accessible database of medical assertions? I'm looking for something where each row in the database contains a single unit of knowledge. It could either be ...
3
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0answers
315 views

Can someone explain the color-changing unit (CCU) to me?

I've been physically carrying out serial tenfold dilutions on samples of Ureaplasma to work out the color-changing units (CCU). As a definition, the CCU is the highest dilution at which there is a ...
3
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0answers
116 views

What are the physiological effects of wine?

I have read that alcohol in general and wine in particular can have advantageous as well as detrimental effects on human health. Is this true? What are the physiological effects of consuming wine in ...
3
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0answers
247 views

Virucides - Herbal and otherwise, for HHV6 type virus or any inner-cell virus

Does anyone know where I can find a reliable list of virucides (not anti-virus) that can be used by humans? This virucide must be able to affect viruses that are already inside the cells. St John's ...
3
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0answers
139 views

What controls the feeling of discomfort/comfort before and after sleep?

I'm interested in which biological systems or hormones are involved in the following phenomenon: Before sleep it may be difficult to find a comfortable position, and muscular aches and pains are more ...
2
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0answers
24 views

Are there fundamental differences between the adaptive immune systems of higher primates and other mammals?

I recently attended a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society lecture in which one of the lecturers indicated that there are fundamental differences between the adaptive immune systems of higher primates and ...
2
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0answers
11 views

What are necessary parameters for a tissue scaffold to be biodegradable?`

I am a mechanical engineer with little biological experience, but I have recently been looking at tissue scaffoldings. My current understanding is as follows, but may be flawed. I would appreciate ...
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0answers
40 views

Why do workouts cause your muscles to feel heavy?

I know that muscle activity causes your muscles to build up lactic acid. Is this the specific reason that your muscles begin to feel heavy? How does this relate to the healing or inflammation process ...
2
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0answers
43 views

Proteases in the blood

I’m reading on hormones and the book talks about how peptide or amine hormones are easily broken down by proteases present in the blood plasma. This has led me to question the interactions between ...
2
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0answers
718 views

What causes head hair to be different than body and face hair?

If you feel your head hair, it typically feels a lot softer and is easier to manage (comb, brush, fix) than a lot of other hair on your body - specifically I'm thinking about beard hair and pubic ...
2
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0answers
80 views

Can DNA test of my grandparent's brother reveal my heritage from that branch of the family?

I'm thinking about doing that DNA test on all my grandparents to know where their genes come from. They are getting very old and I don't want to let the opportunity pass to gather more knowledge about ...
2
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0answers
70 views

Is it possible that weak memory is due to interference between signals in the brain?

"Weak memory", as used in this question, refers to the inability to retrieve a memory that a person otherwise knows he has memorized earlier. An example of this is some fact snippet that the ...
2
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0answers
35 views

Neural correlates of the function of the cardiovascular system?

Are there any known neural correlates of the function of the cardiovascular system? I'm looking for research results that use standard brain imaging techniques (e.g. electroencephalography, ...
2
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0answers
66 views

Why does human hair grow and behave differently depending on its location?

Why does human hair behave differently depending on its location? For instance, head hair grows to an indefinite length, but eyebrows maintain a particular length and appearance. Head hair and ...
2
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0answers
1k views

Physiologically, how can stress/anxiety cause neuropathy?

According to the Mayo Clinic, stress/anxiety can cause "pins and needles" (neuropathy) sensations all over the body. But how can this be? My understanding of the sensory pathway is that sensory ...
2
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0answers
220 views

How many proteins are synthesized in human body throughout life?

My idea to calculate this is: Define up to what age will do the calculation. (for instance 60) Determine how many cells born and died up to that point in life. (by type of cell) Determine how many ...
2
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0answers
122 views

Are simple esters like those used as flavouring agents metabolised into their constituent carboxylic acids and alcohols in the human body?

By this I mean to ask whether say ethyl butanoate is hydrolysed in humans into ethanol and butyric (butanoic) acid. This is of interest to me as a pharmacology researcher because butyric acid, for ...
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0answers
208 views

What tests can be performed to test the purity and quality of the raw peptide HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)

What tests could be run to test the purity and type of HCG? We are looking to purchase HCG from China but the purity and quality varies between labs, we are able to receive samples of the raw peptide ...
2
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0answers
67 views

Movement of stem cells from mother to fetus

Recent results from J Lee Nelson and colleagues (Sci Am. 2008 Feb;298(2):64-71; available as full text through Google) show that cells from the mother were found in a person aged 46. Logically, these ...
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0answers
47 views

Is there an entry-level circadian model of serotonin, ghrelin, dopamine and the sense of well being?

I've long been interested in circadian rhythms and recently came across a variety of articles that appear to indicate that the following neurotransmitters, transferases and hormones are connected. ...
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0answers
72 views

Does Dorsal Raphe Nuclei firing pattern change in response to voluntary breathing?

I'm reading this paper, which discusses how Serotonin may be involved in motor functions of mammals: 5-HT and motor control: a hypothesis . The paper includes the following diagram of the Dorsal ...
2
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0answers
414 views

Can the sleep/wake cycle be influenced by non-visible spectrum electro-magnetic radiation?

I've been reading a few papers on Melanopsin and Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN), and see that the sleep/wake transition is ...
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0answers
14 views

What happens to the mold spores we inhale?

What happens to the mold spores we inhale? I'm guessing when we exhale, many of them are expelled back out to the environment. But given that disease can be caused by mold exposure, I'm also ...
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0answers
13 views

Is the efferent arteriole a pathway for filtrate through the nephron ?

I am studying the urinary system. I have to identify what part of the nephron is not a pathway for filtrate. I believed the collecting duct is not a pathway for filtrate because once the filtrate ...
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0answers
19 views

Did the number of rods changed from ancient time?

Correct me if I am wrong, but I know that rods work under limited light conditions only. But now we are in a world that always have lights everywhere unlike ancient time when humans had to deal with ...
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0answers
9 views

What is the difference between chloride shift and Bohr shift?

Does anyone know the difference between chloride shift and Bohr shift? Is it that Bohr shift happens in respiring tissues when CO2 concentration is low, and that Chloride shift happens in the blood ...
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0answers
15 views

Can one eye affect the other eye's low-light adaption?

This previous question addresses how long eyes need to adapt to darkness and reach full contrast. My question is how does one eye affect the "transition" and/or efficacy of this "night vision" of the ...
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27 views

Is urine sterile? A reference request for evidence supporting sterility

There is a seemingly unfounded mantra that a person's urine is sterile who is not suffering from a UTI. So far I have found convincing evidence to the contrary; urine is not sterile. This poster ...
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0answers
13 views

What fills the spaces between non-fused sacral vertebrae?

What is in between the sacral vertebrae before they are fused? I have looked and found no specific descriptions. If it is simply cartilage, what type of cartilage?