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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How many mitotic divisions do haploid cells undergo before fertilization?

Background This question is about human physiology and gametogenesis. A spermatozoid is not necessarily the direct "offspring" of diploid cell. Stated differently, a spermatozoid cell can be the ...
2
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0answers
96 views

Is there any biological support for the concept of “chakras”? [closed]

Is there any support in modern biology for the ancient concept of "Chakras"? I've seen the concept of 7 chakras linked to the major endocrine glands in the human body (pineal,thyroid, adrenal, testes,...
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1answer
766 views

Our muscles give us the ability to move our arms but…? [closed]

I have a strange question, but let me tell you something first. If you think of this carefully, then you realize something, please try this right now: Contract your muscles only so that your arms ...
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1answer
126 views

Difference between pulse and blood pressure

I'm a very naive and biologically illiterate person, and from what I've read on the internet I'm not really sure I understand the difference between pulse and ...
3
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1answer
316 views

Human bone density and Brown Bear bone density?

It is stated on this website that the density of a Grizzly bear bone is ten times our own. And since I am not into biology at all, I am confused as I don't understand the meaning of bone density here. ...
3
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1answer
603 views

What causes the line patterns in the palm of the hand?

The line patterns on the hand are unique to each individual, but what causes these lines and re they advantageous in anyway?
9
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1answer
142 views

Circadian Clock During a Flight

I am interested to know how does our Circadian Clock respond (and its resultant changes if any) when we are traveling across Time Zones? UPDATE 24th April I am reopening this question as the ...
2
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2answers
144 views

Help reading chromatogram

A genetic variation is found in this chromatogram: It says that the "reference sequence" is the top line and that I can use the general genetic code to find the reading frame. I can see that there ...
8
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1answer
826 views

What causes knuckle “popping” and the feeling of relief that comes from it?

Many people like cracking their knuckles. I have always been curious about it. What happens when we crack knuckles? What creates the POP sound? Why do we get a relief-like feeling after doing it?
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0answers
105 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?
8
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2answers
10k views

How does HCl not burn our stomach?

How does the digestive acid (HCl) not burn the surrounding skin of our stomach? It digests the majority of raw food we eat but how does it stay safely in our stomach? Also, how does the stomach ...
19
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6answers
2k views

Human evolution: Where *exactly* did the first human come from, whose parents were not?

Layman here. So I have never really quite understood this facet of human evolution, (or any other for that matter), in that, I understand the evolutionary process, but I get lost on the 'border' cases....
4
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1answer
136 views

Length of sleep time

Why do we wake up after 6-8 hours of sleep ? Why don't we sleep for lets say 20-30 hours ? What mechanism is it that controls when to wake us up and how does it determine the moment that we should ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Time lapse between fresh blood's exposure to air and that same blood turning darker red-brown

For investigative purposes, I'm searching for a tool that can be used as a quick visual assessment of the the length of time that blood has been exposed to air after the blood flow has stopped.. Let's ...
16
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3answers
11k views

Supercomputer Vs Human Brain

With supercomputers doing calculation in petaflops ($10^{15}$ Calculations per Second), have we crossed the speed of Human Brain?
0
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1answer
124 views

Why should or shouldn't we allow the human body to take its natural course? [closed]

For example, when you are sick but don't feel thirsty, this could be due to baroreceptor reflex that is attempting to readjust salt and water balancing. Why shouldn't a patient be left thirsty and ...
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1answer
106 views

Survival with only water but no food [duplicate]

How long can the average, healthy adult human survive with only water?
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2answers
188 views

Can leukopenia in a person with an otherwise normal immune system lead to non-infectious diseases in the long-term?

If a person has developed leukopenia as a side-effect of long-term use of anti-convulsant medications and his/her immune system appears normal otherwise (does not get infections any more often than a ...
9
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4answers
435 views

How does an embryo know where to grow limbs etc

For example you have a cell or already a bunch of cells. Those cell(s) divide and after several week you have a grown organism, for example a human with limbs, several different organs etc. However, ...
4
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1answer
122 views

How can human infants express chymosin with only a pseudogene at their disposal?

I read on the Wikipedia article about Chymosin http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chymosin It stated that chymosin is produced by gastric chief cell in human infants. But it also stated that human only ...
5
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1answer
5k views

Why does ear wax taste sour?

Why does ear wax taste sour? I am interested in both the physiochemical mechanisms and the evolutionary reasons behind the sour taste of earwax.
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1answer
63 views

How are ketone bodies used?

While searching for literature on ketone bodies, I can only seem to find how they are synthesized, but not how they are broken down. I'm looking for the series of events with enzyme names and ...
1
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1answer
118 views

Why use creatine phosphate?

We use creatine phosphate as an energy storage to resupply ADP with a phosphate group as our muscle cells only contain about 2-5 mM ATP. But why doesn't the muscle cells just keep 20-30 mM ATP instead ...
0
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0answers
53 views

Why doesn't the body optimize how many fatty acids it burns?

Ketone bodies are produced due to an excess of fatty acids being burned (accumulation of acetyl-CoA) so my question is: Why doesn't the body simply regulate how many fats it burns so it doesn't have ...
2
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1answer
128 views

Atelectasis due to decreased surfactant in lungs

Surfactant is a protein lipid mixture produced by alveolar pneumocytes composed of Dipalmitoyl Phosphatidyl Choline lipid, apoproteins and calcium ions. This surface lines the alveolar epithelium ...
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0answers
43 views

Cholesterol's role in lipid uptake [closed]

I'm studying the digestion of fats and I understand that our dietary fats mostly consist of triglycerides. We absorb the fats and eventually they end up in a muscle/adipose cell for storage (as ...
4
votes
1answer
96 views

What happens when someone is stung by a jellyfish?

What happens in the human body when someone is stung by a jellyfish; namely a box jelly. Judging by what I have heard about the stings I'm guessing that they involve a neurotoxin. But what is ...
8
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2answers
205 views

Is it possible for a human to wake up in a wrong way?

There's an old folk saying that goes like "He got out of bed on a wrong foot" - to indicate that the person's day is going poorly because of the way that person woke up. Is it is possible for a human ...
3
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1answer
284 views

Can Leptospirosis be spread through human urine

I am wondering if Leptospirosis can be spread via the urine of an infected human individual. All of the sources I have been able to find on the web have stated that the disease is primarily spread ...
4
votes
1answer
8k views

Difference between intervertebral and vertebral foramina

In the human spine, what is the difference between intervertebral and vertebral foramina? Is it just a matter of perspective and do they refer to the same thing or are they different?
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2answers
126 views

Difficulties understanding a pathway [closed]

I am not a biologist and I would love to understand what is going on with this pathway. I went to the description but it's still complicated, and I couldn't follow. Can someone please help me with it? ...
24
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4answers
2k views

How and where, in the human brain, are memories stored?

Background I am a computer programmer who is fascinated by artificial intelligence and artificial neural networks, and I am becoming more curious about how biological neural networks work. Context &...
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1answer
338 views

Pasteurization and Bioavailability of Antioxidants in Beet Juice

What are the effects of pasteurization on the antioxidants found in beet juice ? Does the process render most of the beneficial nutrients (betaine) useless and make them unable for the body to process ...
10
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2answers
9k views

Why can all animals swim in water without learning to swim but humans cannot?

I had a question since I was a child. I was always curious about the fact that all animals can swim in water. They don't need any training or to learn swimming. But humans need to learn to swim. Why ? ...
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1answer
347 views

How does the body respond to blood donation; are there any possible risks?

Can blood donation cause any harm to the donor? I have been told so, but cannot find any references supporting this claim. I have also learned that our body will replace the lost fluids within 24 ...
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1answer
71 views

What would happen if we had a device that produced oxygen inside of our lungs? [closed]

Hypothetically speaking, suppose there is a device that produces a limitless supply of oxygen. The device is inhaled by a human and is resting inside the (a) lung. What would hypothetically happen if ...
5
votes
1answer
150 views

Are some facial features more important than others in human facial recognition?

I'm often surprised by the human ability to correctly identify other individuals despite significant modifications due to ageing, hairstyle, injury, etc. But, sometimes the addition of a beard and a ...
22
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3answers
4k views

Is there any use of CO₂ in human body?

We all know CO₂ as a waste product of metabolism . Does CO₂ have any helpful role , apart from having a role in pH of blood ?
2
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1answer
125 views

Role of Calcium and Magnesium in capacitation/acrosome reaction

During the acrosome reaction, the activation enzyme present in the sperm dissolves the corona radiata and zona pellucida enabling the sperm to reach the plasma membrane of the egg. Also calcium and ...
6
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2answers
4k views

Why does yawning impair hearing?

When I yawn I can't hear anything happening around me. I also feel some kind of muscles inside my head contract and hear a faint hum, but it is not loud enough to explain not hearing other sounds. I ...
20
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4answers
5k views

Where does the 'C' in exhaled CO₂ mostly come from?

When a human being exhales CO₂, what is, by the numbers, the main source of carbon atoms exiting the body in this way? I mean what class of cells, or which tissues are the biggest on a pie chart of ...
11
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6answers
3k views

What is the use of eye banks, if eyeball transplants do not exist at present?

Corneas are donated and transplanted, but not the eyeball. I don't understand. What is the purpose of donating a cornea without an eyeball to a blind person?
2
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1answer
713 views

When contracting a muscle will the muscle spindle stretch or contract?

When you contract your muscle, will your muscle spindle stretch or contract? And why? I was always under the impression that it was contracting your muscle spindle, but now I am not sure.
6
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2answers
104 views

What level of cellular radiation is harmful for humans?

What level of radiation at the frequencies used by the cellular network(1-2 Ghz) is harmful for human health?
5
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1answer
85 views

Stretching and compressing bones

The Young's modulus of elasticity when a bone is stretched is : 16×109 and when it is compressed, it is 9×109 N/m2. That means, change in length will be more if you compress a bone as compared to ...
4
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1answer
64 views

By what mechanism does Risperidone swell breast tissue?

There has been much talk of the anti-psychotic drug Rispeirdone causing un-natural breast tissue growth as well as galactorhea (milk production). Especially in young men and boys. What is the ...
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1answer
68 views

What factors affect the likelihood of auditory stimuli causing arousal during sleep?

I've noticed that the sound of water drops makes me wake up from sleep but other more strong sounds don't make me wake up. I can't find anything about this. The only reason I can think of is maybe ...
1
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1answer
54 views

What are the roles of cadherins in epithelial mesenchymal transitions? [closed]

I know that cadherins control the expression of cancer cells involved in the epithelial-mesenchymal transitions, but I was wondering exactly how the process worked.
4
votes
1answer
351 views

What do trans-fats do when in human body?

Trans fats cause health problems, especially to the heart. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans_fat#Health_risks My guess is that all effects happen because trans-fats are inherently toxic as the ...
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3answers
218 views

Does the necessary Carbon Dioxide need to be in the atmosphere for mammals?

In the answers to this question, we've learnt that carbon dioxide is necessary for mammalian life, but is it necessary in the atmosphere/to breathe it in? Or does the act of respiration give a ...