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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Calcium for Humans: Supplements vs Fortified Sources

I am intolerant to meat and milk products, but purely natural foods don't contain enough calcium for the Recommended Daily Intake. Links 2 to 4 (but NOT 1) avouch a correlation between calcium ...
2
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1answer
71 views

How correlated are proximally related CpG sites in human DNA?

Cytosine residues in DNA that can be methylated (i.e. CpG sites) are likely to be in the same methylation state if they are geographically (proximally) close together. I can only find one paper that ...
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1answer
65 views

What does the evidence suggest about how Neanderthals became extinct?

According to "Neanderthals: Facts About Our Extinct Human Relatives" (Szalay, 2013), Neanderthals dominated Europe during the last Ice Age, but may have died out before the arrival of Homo Sapiens ...
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1answer
73 views

What's the mechanism for pain-induced swoon?

Is it true that people will pass out when subject to pain too much to bear, or there's no such threshold? What's the reason for passing out under acute pain, even if no physical injuries occur (e.g, ...
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1answer
173 views

Are human feces and urine merely a subset of the food and liquid we eat and drink?

In other words, does the body actually ADD ANYTHING TO urine or feces? As the food and drink makes its way from our mouth to our toilets, does the body add anything to it along the way? Or, is the ...
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2answers
93 views

Why does the mixture of infant formula with saliva provide an ideal breeding ground for disease-causing micro-organisms?

From: http://www.nal.usda.gov/wicworks/Topics/FG/Chapter4_InfantFormulaFeeding.pdf Discard any infant formula remaining after a feeding. The mixture of infant formula with saliva provides an ideal ...
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2answers
572 views

Does every human eye see the same visible spectrum?

It is said that human eye can see light with wavelength approximately between 400nm and 700nm. Are these upper and lower bounds same for every human? If not, what are the means and standard ...
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2answers
314 views

How does the body measure dehydration?

What, physically, does the body do to measure it? I assume it's measured by how how turgid or plasmolysed certain 'sample cells' are, or water concentration in the blood, What is the way they use to ...
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3answers
1k views

What makes urine smell acrid?

Occasionally, after someone's been, there is an awful acrid smell lying about long after them. What causes this? The food that they've eaten? Urea less dilute due to dehydration? If it helps I've ...
14
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2answers
8k views

Why do people have antibodies against other blood types?

The ABO blood type divides each blood type according to whether they have the "A" and "B" antigen(s) (AB has both, O has none). People also have antibodies against the antigens they don't have (AB has ...
7
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2answers
481 views

What is the biology behind a skin “mole”?

Are the dark marks aka "moles" on our skin a patch of dead cells? If so, why is it not cleared over time? In a (probably) similar vein, why do scar marks from injuries remain long after new cells ...
3
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1answer
8k views

What is the standard deviation of adult human heights within sexes?

The wikipedia article on human height reports mean height for many different countries by sex but it does not report standard deviations. What is the standard deviation of adult human heights within ...
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0answers
158 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
92 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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4answers
197 views

Are biological systems engineered? They are often reverse engineered at a molecular level!! [closed]

Understanding biological systems, molecular biologists need to “reverse engineer” them. Is this evidence that the systems were engineered to begin with?
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2answers
6k views

Can the excessive consumption of mineral water lead to kidney stones or other health issues?

I heard that drinking too much mineral (bottled) water could lead to problems such as kidney stones because of the high amount of minerals in it. Is it true? If so, what is considered to be excessive? ...
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1answer
1k views

What is a “mechanistic study”?

I believe a "mechanistic study" means a study where a medicinal product is being used but the purpose of the study is to investigate the patient or disease, not the medicinal product. How does this ...
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2answers
60 views

Can we identify an individual from their palm lines

Can we identify an individual from their palm lines. Is there any uniqueness for palm lines among family members ?
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2answers
312 views

Why do people have darker skin in sunnier climates?

I don't understand why darker skin is advantageous in hotter climates. Wouldn't it absorb more of the heat? I have heard that it reduces the incidence of cancer, but I would think absorbing more ...
12
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1answer
2k views

Why does hair turn grey or white, and why does it happen later for some?

The question is pretty simple: what is happening molecularly when hair turns grey or white? I would imagine that it is due to the lack of a particular compound. I'm also interested in why some ...
2
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2answers
312 views

What mechanism suppresses melatonin release in humans?

I'm looking at melanopsin, a photo pigment in the human eye. One of its actions is to trigger suprachiasmatic nuclei SCN to suppress melatonin release. I'm interested in learning what is the exact ...
6
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1answer
3k views

What causes the colors we see in eyes?

Genetics aside, what are the biochemical reasons the different colours of human irises? Also, related, how does eye colour change, particularly in childhood? (example: my eyes used to be blue, ...
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2answers
87 views

Can the colour of skin change with age

Can the colour of skin change with age? Can a dark skinned person become fair or vice versa? Can Melanocyte production vary?
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1answer
105 views

What light intensity determines the start/end of a photoperiod in humans?

I'm reading this article, which discusses the influence of Long Photoperiod (LP) and Short Photoperiod (SP) on melatonin production: HIOMT drives the photoperiodic changes in the amplitude of the ...
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3answers
4k views

Why does it hurt when you take sweets, if you have cavities in your teeth?

When you have cavities in your teeth taking any sweetend drinks or food causes sensitivity or pain. What could be the reason?
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1answer
320 views

Why is the liver the only internal organ of the human body to regrow?

Related to my earlier question, "How does the human liver regrow?", am curious as to why the liver is the only major organ that has this capability? Why is it that other major organs, such as the ...
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1answer
64 views

The difference between “Hunger” and “Appetite”

When I am "hungry", I need something to eat physically. But what about "appetite"? I think it is a psychological phenomenon. Is that correct?
2
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1answer
33 views

Is it possible to suffer from hyperthermia by spending too much of time in the hot springs?

People may tend to spend time in a hot water spring. Is it possible to get hyperthermia (like a sun stroke) due to this?
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1answer
194 views

When was the purpose of bone marrow discovered?

I'm currently reading William Cheselden's book Osteographia or The Anatomy of the Bones, which was published in 1733 (for the pretty pictures, naturally; not up to date anatomy). When he addresses the ...
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1answer
51 views

Axial skeletal system

I was curious about a fact given in my biology textbook as to why the Japanese have 3 pairs o floating ribs unlike the rest who have just two?
2
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1answer
457 views

Human body power consumption in still state

I'd like to know what kind of power human body needs to maintain life, in still state (average daily power consumption of an average man is also of interest). In terms of watts. I've only managed to ...
2
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1answer
92 views

What triggers creative thought in humans?

Creativity, innovation and ideation. Is there something in the brain that makes the brain think that way, as opposed to "normal baseline". What triggers creative thought in humans?
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1answer
862 views

Can food swallowed when a person is upside down reach the stomach?

If a person positions himself upside down and swallows food, will it reach the stomach against gravity? If so how?
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3answers
162 views

Why are diabetic people often overweight?

I was looking at diabetes the other day, and I noticed something strange. Lower amounts of lipase are a symptom of diabetes, as is overweightness. However, since lipase is the enzyme that breaks down ...
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2answers
2k views

What is the evolutionary reason behind the fragility of teeth?

Almost all organs in the human body have a rather large threshold within which the organ or tissue is capable of repairing itself using materials supplied by the body, whether it's made from organic ...
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2answers
427 views

Do teeth have the capacity to heal?

Could a cavity in a human tooth "heal over" or possibly fill back in?
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2answers
11k views

What happens to the holes in the skull where teeth were developing?

In Skeptics.SE, a question regarding the skulls of children arose. Depicting a scary skull where the permenent teeth are "hidden" inside the jaws and the milk teeth are in the their place. After all ...
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1answer
181 views

Characteristics of life

If all of the characteristics of life are required for something to be defined as living, how can we account people or other life that can not reproduce?
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3answers
1k views

How come that we “feel” it when someone's watching us [closed]

The question is relatively easy (the answer however..). We all know this feeling "being watched" and more often than not this is a real thing. If someone is staring at us from the side or from the ...
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1answer
2k views

Are there more/less favourable phases of menstrual cycle to donate blood?

I was wondering whether it makes a difference when during the menstrual cycle a female is donating blood in terms of: Blood quality (iron or hormones levels) Her health/safety I am aware that ...
18
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3answers
470 views

Are human fetuses more likely to be male? [duplicate]

Question: From a physiological point of view, when sex is determined in a human fetus, is it equally likely to be male or female? Studies in this area typically measure age at birth, where the data ...
2
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2answers
676 views

What is the best color for a PPG signal (photoplethysmography)?

What is the best color for a PPG signal? Red, green, blue or infra-red? I'm asking because commercial oximeter sensors usually use a pair of red and infra-red LEDs. But recently, I've seen a lot of ...
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3answers
2k views

Fetal development, gastrulation and embryonic disc

I am completely confused by the images circulating on the internet of human gastrulation. First, lets see how it happens in deuterostomes. This image depicts the process: (image is from Wikipedia) ...
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3answers
411 views

Why people like to see pornographic scenes, but do not feel the same about eating scenes?

This question may seem funny, but I think biology must have good answers. I think no more explanation is needed. I really thought about this and searched for an answer, but there is nothing yet. If ...
0
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1answer
501 views

Why does air from the nasal cavity not go into the oesophagus?

When we ingest food, the epiglottis covers the trachea and the uvula covers the nasal passage. But what happens when we breathe? Why does the air go into our trachea and not the oesophagus?
3
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1answer
109 views

What causes sinus pain and congestion?

When the sinuses flare up, it can get very painful. Thus, my question - what biological mechanisms cause the congestion and especially the pain associated with sinusitis?
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2answers
882 views

Do animals get sick from eating dirty food or eating off the floor?

Humans have very strict tradition of hygiene, such as washing hands before eating, using utensils, and in general keeping as much distance between food and dirt as possible. At the same time, most ...
2
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1answer
62 views

Use of pigs for obtaining transplant organs

It is being said that organs can be obtained for transplant from the pigs. What is special about pigs that we are using them? Why can't we use monkeys or chimpanzees with whom we share a more recent ...
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2answers
139 views

Lactose Intolerance

What nutrition is given to infants who are lactose intolerant? I understand, in today's day and that age we have non-lactose formula milk, but what happened, before lactose-free milk was created, to ...
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2answers
343 views

Is there a preferred sleeping position for humans?

I remember hearing various sleep related advice as a child, like "sleep on your right side", or " have your head pointed in X direction". Is there any biological reason why sleeping on one side ...