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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1answer
124 views

How is deviated nasal septum related to cold

I have a deviated nasal septum and I always suffer from common cold I was just wondering how a deviated nasal septum can be the cause for chronic common cold
3
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1answer
362 views

Is there a maximum pain threshold?

Is there a maximum threshold of pain a Human can experience, beyond which point there is no noticeable difference? I ask this question in part to better understand the definition of pain and its ...
47
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3answers
10k views

How does the brain's energy consumption depend on mental activity?

What is the impact of mental activity on the energy consumption of the human brain? I am most interested in intellectually demanding tasks (e.g., chess matches, solving a puzzle, taking a difficult ...
5
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1answer
577 views

Could alcohol be used as an antibiotic?

I was thinking about how alcohol is used to sterilize, and I was wondering if it would be possible to use alcohol as an antibiotic? if it kills bacteria, couldn't (conceivably) alcohol in the ...
0
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1answer
2k views

For the human head, which direction is anterior, and which direction is ventral?

I read the wikipedia entry and I am sort of confused. In dog, the nose is toward the front. That's anterior. So I conclude that human nose is anterior. In dog, the head is on the back. So that's ...
3
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2answers
154 views

How far into a pregnancy is it before visible signs of it is apparent and risk of physical trauma increases

I'm doing research for a series I'm writing. in it the main character is pregnant however goes off to fight a criminal organization who have been killing her friends and i want her appearance to show ...
2
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1answer
190 views

Scrotal temperature and vascularization

The testes (at least in human males) are vascular organs, the vascularization extending even o the interstitial spaces of the seminiferous tubules. The function of the scrotal sac, is to isolate the ...
1
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1answer
89 views

Body's decomposition

Does a human body decompose in a completely sterile environment ? If yes, what decomposes it ? And how fast ? What happens in vacuum ? Can it remain exactly the same ? Thanks
8
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2answers
3k views

Preferred Aspect Ratio for Human Eyes

Our eyes are spherical, our retina is circular, but still our eyes can see more in the horizontal direction than in vertical direction. Why is it so, why is the preferred aspect ratio not square? ...
6
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1answer
209 views

Understanding Membrane / Resting Potential from the perspective of ions?

From wikipedia article RESTING potential: "there is no actual measurable charge excess in either side. That occurs because the effect of charge on electrochemical potential is hugely greater than ...
3
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2answers
5k views

Does bright environment strain eyes more than dim?

I'm trying to figure out how to modify my working conditions so that I can program longer without harming my eyes. Because doing so experimentally hasn't given conclusive results so far, I decided to ...
0
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1answer
74 views

Does the eye image interval refresh? [closed]

It's known the human eye takes 24 images per second. But does this refresh? For example after sleeping. Or will it always be the same interval? I talk about when the eye takes the images. So it are ...
11
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1answer
107k views

What causes random long white body hairs?

I'm sure many of you have experienced this - you scratch your back or brush your hand over your arm and find a ridiculously long thin white hair, sometimes as long as 3 or 4 inches. I know a few ...
6
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1answer
266 views

How does skin healing work?

I stacked my bike and split my head right open. About three weeks later the scab falls off and the skin is sealed over, like magic! How does it all work? How does the brain know that part of the ...
9
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1answer
811 views

Could humans and chimpanzees hybridize?

In some cases two species can hybridize. For example, Tigers and lions can hybridize to produce "Ligers". Would it also be possible for humans and chimpanzees (or any other species) to hybridize ? ...
6
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1answer
180 views

Does knowing the sex of each of a couple’s first N children have any marginal value in predicting the sex of child N+1?

Does knowing the sex of each of a couple’s first N children have any marginal value in predicting the sex of child N+1? By “marginal” I mean predictive power beyond other known effects, e.g., the race ...
21
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2answers
809 views

How is temperature sensed?

Can anyone summarize the mechanism by which when an object of a given temperature is placed in contact with, say, the skin on a human fingertip, the average speed of the particles of the object is ...
2
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1answer
1k views

Transfer of antibodies in breast milk of humans

Why isn't the IgA secreted in breast milk digested due to proteases of the digestive system in the baby? Wikipedia says: The secretory component of sIgA protects the immunoglobulin from being ...
1
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1answer
615 views

Transfer of antibodies from mother to fetus

My questions: When does fetus begins to acquire antibodies from mother? Does it continue throughout the pregnancy? From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_immunity This occurs around ...
8
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2answers
139 views

What is the effective relatedness of inbreeding?

If a human inbreeds with a relative, how distant does the relative have to be before the homozygosity in the child is no higher than if the mate were randomly chosen from the global population?
0
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1answer
319 views

Why are human eye colours limited?

Related to the question What causes the colors we see in eyes?, I am wondering why human eyes are restricted in colour. Most common eye colours are blue, green and brown. Why not yellow, orange, ...
0
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1answer
216 views

What is meant by 73 hour birth [closed]

I was reading an article, when I read a sentence saying, His mother ... nearly died less than three years later during Mathers' 73-hour birth. What does mean by 73-hour birth?
0
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1answer
11k views

How reversible is decerebrate posturing caused by brain stem damage?

This is a follow-up question to How likely would Abraham Lincoln be to survive his wounds today? You don't have to see a CT scan or autopsy to know if the brainstem is injured (directly or ...
2
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1answer
61 views

Antibody production in secondary immune response

Can IgG antibodies be produced in the secondary immune response without the help of T cells? Is the affinity of antibody for antigens higher during secondary immune response?
14
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3answers
4k views

What causes the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria?

I understand bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics due to selection pressures, but how do resistant bacteria process antibiotics when exposed to it, compared to non-resistant bacteria. Also, ...
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2answers
272 views

Is love biologically useful? [closed]

I thought about this statement a while ago: Natural selection sucks, it says those who love too much (or too many) will die the easiest and fastest. Sad but true. Only family (biologically of ...
3
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1answer
69 views

Alternating Ovulation

I have often heard that right and left ovaries alternate in releasing ovum. Is it always true? What controls this rhythm? Is it simply because the other ovary is unresponsive to LH or FSH? If so, ...
2
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1answer
182 views

Can antibodies be formed against white blood cells after blood transfusion?

If antibodies are produced against other blood groups' red blood cells, why can't antibodies form against white blood cells, of any blood group? (even the same one, as MHC will be different in almost ...
2
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0answers
103 views

What to do with a DNA sequencer? [closed]

My school is very fortunate to have a DNA sequencer, and I want to find an opportunity to learn how to use it. I'm currently taking AP Biology this year, and I hope to do an independent study in ...
3
votes
3answers
239 views

Blood pressure during exercise

What happens to blood pressure when we exercise? Does it increase, decrease, or remain the same? If it does increase, why are patients with high blood pressure recommended to exercise?
0
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1answer
138 views

The probability of indirect human fertilization (follow-up)

This question is a follow-up to this one. I've been wondering how small that probability is. As we all know, "safe" sex, that is (correctly) using a condom and all that, isn't perfectly safe. So, in ...
2
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1answer
4k views

Which blood vessel carries the most impure blood?

There is a question in my Biology textbook: "Which blood vessel in the human body carries most impure blood after few hours of meal." The answer is given as Renal artery. But I think the ...
-2
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1answer
96 views

Would I still exist if [closed]

I've been wondering for some time, but say that my mother's egg chose another sperm cell, and a baby was eventually produced. Would I still be born, but end up with different characteristics/features? ...
2
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1answer
190 views

Need of Creatinine Phosphate

In muscle cells most of the ATP's phosphate is with creatinine phosphate. So why is the displacement of the phosphate group done ? Is it because creatinine phosphate would give it's phosphate more ...
2
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1answer
126 views

How can we distinguish blended flavors?

As far as I know, humans can distinguish between 5 basic tastes based on various molecules in food and their interactions. There's a level to all 5 so there can be an endless variety of tastes, and we ...
2
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1answer
724 views

Glycolysis and Non-Glucose Sugars

In my biology book's section on disaccharide metabolism and glycolysis, it states that sugars other than glucose must be acted upon to enter glycolysis. Let's take sucrose as an example. Sucrose is ...
10
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3answers
994 views

Why do people say that trans fatty acids are bad for your health?

I've heard from several sources that trans FAs are bad for you and their consumption will lead to cardiac problems, and that they are indigestible. But I also learned from biochemistry that they are ...
1
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1answer
833 views

Why does shaving dehydrate the skin? Is there an hormonal effect involved?

I want to understand why the face becomes dry after shaving and if shaving affects hormones? I've heard that after shaving, hair grows back faster, why? Shaving damages hair follicles and they become ...
34
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2answers
841 views

Why don't teeth glow?

Hydroxyapatite is the main component of tooth enamel. It contains phosphorus in the form of phosphates, pyrophosphates etc. that are found to exhibit the the property of phosphorescence. But why don't ...
1
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1answer
136 views

What are the effects of muscle and fat mass on survivability?

If we have humans A, B and C who are different: A is thin (skinny) without significant muscle or fat mass. B is muscular C is fat Which one of them has the best body for survival in accidents like ...
6
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2answers
3k views

What did we learn with Nazi human experimentation?

Was there actually any useful knowledge gained from the Nazi experiments on human test subjects? Wikipedia cites freezing and phosphine gas reactions, but I would like to know other potential results ...
6
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1answer
773 views

What is Mendelian Randomization, and how is it used to infer causality in epidemiology?

Studies of human traits and diseases are inherently confined to observational studies, known as epidemiological studies. This can make it very hard to determine what actually causes a particular ...
2
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1answer
551 views

How many consecutive cell divisions are required to form the adult human body from the single cell zygote?

The preferred question would have been what is the total number of cells in a full term human foetus and how many cell divisions are required to reach that number. However estimates of total cell ...
2
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1answer
78 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 ...
8
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1answer
78 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 ...
3
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1answer
82 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, ...
3
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1answer
195 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 ...
2
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2answers
99 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 ...
7
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2answers
632 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 ...
7
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2answers
380 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 ...