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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7
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2answers
532 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
9k 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 ...
2
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0answers
162 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
votes
0answers
100 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 ...
-5
votes
4answers
205 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?
2
votes
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? ...
4
votes
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 ...
2
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2answers
61 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 ?
7
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2answers
320 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
326 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
votes
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, ...
2
votes
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?
4
votes
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
357 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
66 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
votes
1answer
34 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?
3
votes
1answer
223 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
52 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
votes
1answer
478 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
98 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?
1
vote
1answer
994 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?
6
votes
3answers
165 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 ...
10
votes
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
449 views

Do teeth have the capacity to heal?

Could a cavity in a human tooth "heal over" or possibly fill back in?
4
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
189 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?
0
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3answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
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
votes
3answers
473 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
votes
2answers
758 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 ...
5
votes
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) ...
8
votes
3answers
421 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
votes
1answer
560 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
votes
1answer
115 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?
6
votes
2answers
949 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
votes
1answer
66 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
144 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
350 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
5k views

Is Diabetes sex linked disease

There are two types of diabetes mellitus. a. Type 1 diabetes mellitus b. Type 2 diabetes melliuts Is either of them a sex linked disease? Can either one be inherited? My book says, "this disease is ...
3
votes
0answers
101 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
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do you need you room dark for melatonin release?

There is a light pollution movement that says lighting at night obstructs melatonin production. They say: What makes you fall asleep are changes in the level of the hormone melatonin ...
2
votes
3answers
117 views

Is it possible to make humans extinct artificially?

Verging on the realm of science fiction, my question is that is there any theoretically possible way, biologically/chemically, with which the entire human race can be killed without affecting the rest ...
2
votes
2answers
233 views

Why are animal births not taken as seriously as human births?

When humans give birth, more than often medical assistance is needed. Others gather around and frantically look for any way to help. But when an animal gives birth, it is usually seen as a moment ...
3
votes
1answer
122 views

In theory, would it be possible to create an injection of Vitamins, Minerals, sugars etc so that eating was no longer necessary?

I am wondering, out of pure curiosity, whether with current medical & biological science, (or indeed with accepted probable future developments in those areas), in theory, would it be possible to ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

Stopping the effect of hormone

Many hormones released by endocrine organs travel down in the blood and bind to specific receptors on the target cells. What then breaks that binding of the molecule with the receptor ? ( thus ...
3
votes
2answers
999 views

Physiological indicators of happiness and well being

If I understand it correctly, levels of serotonin in the brain can indicate if a person is happy. What other physiological measures indicate happiness or well being for a humans? I am looking for ...
5
votes
1answer
67 views

Diabetes-diabetes comorbidity

Is it possible to have both type-1 (insulin-dependent) and type-2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus? That is, to have both insulin resistance and zero (or negligible) insulin production? If ...
3
votes
1answer
143 views

How are memories stored in the brain?

I've been thinking about this for a while and I can't figure out how a memory can be stored in the brain. I understand that important memories are favourably retained, such as a near death ...
1
vote
3answers
86 views

Are there “multi-frequency” signals within a human brain?

I know that neurons can exhibit tonic and phasic firing, and also that a neuron is sometimes called an integrator. This makes me interested to know if there are activities in the brain that depend on ...