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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3
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1answer
369 views

Elevated position effect on recovery times from upper respiratory infections at rest?

In nursing school, they advice for people with upper respiratory infections to be in a slightly elevated position at the head region when sleeping. My intuition of the reason is that the lymphatic ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is rabies incurable?

I'm still not sure about the mechanics that lead to rabies being incurable. I know that it can be treated before any symptoms show up, but why is it that once symptoms show the person is a dead man ...
17
votes
1answer
651 views

How fast can a human run?

I'm a runner (cross country) and I'm always amazed at how fast Olympic sprinters are. There's a lot of hype about those in the 100-meter dash being the fastest in the world, and we're constantly ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Can two humans with 44 chromosomes produce viable offspring?

It is known that there are very few individuals having 44 chromosomes, not the usual 46 chromosomes. One example is a male in China: the first article, the second article. The other is a female in ...
15
votes
2answers
5k views

Will humans and animals be harmed by frequencies outside their hearing range?

The human ear (for example) is sensitive to frequencies from 20Hz to 20kHz. Any sound beyond that limit would not be heard by us naturally. Will it harm us (effect our ability to hear) when we hear ...
14
votes
1answer
25k views

At what age do babies begin to synthesize their own antibodies?

When babies are first born, they receive their antibodies from their mother (I assume because they do not yet have the capacity to synthesize their own). So my question is, at what age do babies ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Which sex has higher variance of reproductive rate in modern societies - male or females?

Who has a more varied reproduction rate in modern western societies - men or women? The average rate is the same of course, but I wonder which sex have higher variance - higher variance means that ...
6
votes
1answer
431 views

What is the molecular basis of hangovers?

Well, most of us have experienced the wonderful feeling of the dreaded hangover. How does it work exactly? I imagine it has something to do with dehydration but what are the underlying mechanisms? ...
6
votes
1answer
8k views

Is it biologically possible for an adult's eye color to change?

Can it be that the adult eye can change color? Specifically my question is about a unilateral color change, such that the color of one eye remains constant, while the other changes color over time. ...
5
votes
1answer
100 views

Survival curve in early humans

The survival curve/function describes the probability of a given individual to survive to age $x$. In humans, today's survival function is very much influenced by medicine. This leads me to wonder ...
5
votes
1answer
414 views

Getting goosebumps at will

I can get goosebumps at will, regardless of the environment. Its mostly visible on my arms, and I can feel it on my head. It requires some level of concentration to achieve this. My questions are : ...
4
votes
3answers
10k views

Is the human body composition real?

In Fullmetal Alchemist when Ed goes to disprove to Rose the Sun God's "miracle" to bring humans back to life by proving that science (in the form of Alchemy) can create people by saying Water (35 ...
1
vote
2answers
155 views

Which was the last significant event in human evolution? What's next?

At 10.000 BC (12 ka), we became the last of the Homo species on Earth. In evolutionary terms this is a very little time range to something happen, but I'm wondering anyway, in this meantime which are ...
19
votes
2answers
376 views

Can an adult without genetic lactase persistence still develop a tolerance for dairy foods?

While investigating the rise of adult lactose tolerance, I came across the news that China has been encouraging its citizens to drink more milk, even though most of the Asian population lacks the SNP (...
18
votes
2answers
14k views

Can one die from pain?

Is it possible that a human or any other creature can die from pain? I googled and found different answers. Some articles say Yes while others say No.
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do we get runny noses in the cold?

The most annoying thing for me about being cold is a runny nose. Is there an advantage to having a runny nose when cold? What does having a runny nose achieve?
12
votes
3answers
3k views

What is happening when we get a tan?

Almost everyone nowadays wants that nice summer tan, but what exactly is going on beneath the skin? I've heard a few different theories about tanning - such as a tan is nothing but the pigmentation in ...
10
votes
1answer
713 views

How does laser surgery correct accommodation problems?

When someone undergoes laser surgery to improve eyesight, how does it correct accommodation problems? Why does it not help presbyopia?
6
votes
1answer
648 views

How quickly can the human heart rate rise and fall?

How quickly can the human heart rate rise and lower? For example lets say a human heart rate is rested and is at 60BPM and that person is suddenly scared to trigger their fight or flight reaction. ...
6
votes
4answers
83k views

How long human can survive with just drinking water everyday

Can humans live without eating food, just by drinking water? How long can we survive just by drinking water everyday?
6
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2answers
8k views

How hot can a beverage get without burning the tongue?

What is the maximum temperature that a beverage can be without burning the tongue? I suspect there's a maximum temperature that the surface tissue of a tongue can withstand without being damaged (...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Like other animals, why humans don't have species & breeds?

Like other animals, why don't humans have species & breeds ? Even my pet dog is one type of breed, but we (humans) lack breeds & species? What is the main reason?
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Why do humans seem so much more prone to disease than animals? [closed]

It seems like when we observe animals in the wild, the occurrence of noticeable disease in adult individuals is much lower than in humans. Why? There are a number of reasons that this could happen, ...
4
votes
1answer
897 views

What is the optimum length of abstinence for maximum ejaculation volume in humans?

There have been papers discussing this, and whether the abstinence period should be 1 week, 2 weeks or other [1, 2]. Some think the time to maximum ejaculation volume is even longer than this. doi: ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

What are differences between formation of embryonic disc in chick and mammal embryo?

Exam question which got lowest average points in my university: 1/5 average. No markscheme available so my attempt below. I assume that embryonic disk prefers to germ disk such that Formation prefers ...
3
votes
2answers
137 views

Do intestinal flora have the same DNA as their host?

Please bear with me, this is not my professional field and I might be mixing things up. In an explanation why seeds won't start growing in one's intestines, the explanation given was that foreign ...
3
votes
1answer
229 views

Fecundity per woman in early humans

The average fecundity per woman varies a lot from country to country. I call average fecundity per woman the average number of born children per woman. In Homo sapiens, what was the average fecundity ...
3
votes
2answers
141 views

Can an argument be made that humans are 90% bacterial?

On the blog, All about Scientist in Microword: Microbiology, I read the post We are 90% bacteria, actually, which says that humans are 90% bacterial cells. If this is the case, then why don't we ...
3
votes
4answers
455 views

Why do the humans become sleepy after meals?

I don't know about all the mankind, but I know enough people, who becomes sleepy after their meals. Also, I'm not sure, what kind of food do they consume, but I personally get sleepy almost from any ...
2
votes
2answers
174 views

Agony, Hydrophobia and viruses in the light of evolutionary principles

I'm undergraduate physics student, but I've always been interested in biology. So I have a couple of questions about an application of the evolutionary principles to practice. Agony as the last ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Can drinking caffeine, alcohol and other diuretics be part of a good drinking regime?

Tea, Coffee, Beer, Coke etc… I wonder if the benefit from amount of fluid we get from them is bigger or smaller then the handicap of dehydration. In other words it is worth to drink them if we want ...
2
votes
2answers
65 views

Database of medically validated SNPs

I'm looking for all possible sources of clinically tested human SNPs. There is a handful of databases that store SNPs (like dbSNP), but I only need those that have validated presence/absence of ...
1
vote
1answer
2k 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?
1
vote
1answer
233 views

Determining a patients biological age?

I am looking for an algorithm that shows the exact coefficients some variables that have on a hospital patient's chronological age versus their biological age. I understand a lot of the variables ...
0
votes
1answer
729 views

Static in limbs

I have noticed that while sitting in the Sukhasan posture(picture below) for a long time, my feet suddenly become all stiff and i am unable to move it. What I deduce from the experience is that it is ...
41
votes
1answer
33k views

Why Does Salt Water Help Sore Throats?

I am having some trouble understanding how salt water, a simple solution, could so effectively remove the pains of a sore throat. I do believe that the answer is closely related to hypo/hyper-tonic ...
17
votes
2answers
547 views

Can parts of a human brain be asleep independently of each other, or vary in the times required for them to fall asleep?

I know that some birds and marine animals can continue complicated activity (swimming, flying?) while one hemisphere of their brain is asleep. I'm interested if human brain has some parts of it that ...
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 ?
25
votes
1answer
10k views

What do you see when your eyes are closed?

If you are in pitch black and you close your eyes, you sometimes can see strange shapes of various colors. A lot of the time these shapes and colors change as you observe them. This phenomenon still ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

What light intensity starts melatonin release in humans?

I'm interested in whether any studies have determined the intensity of light at eye level that starts melatonin release in humans. I know that: melatonin release is suppressed by blue light with ...
14
votes
1answer
15k views

What is the female equivalent of the morning erection that some men experience?

There was question about what causes "morning wood." It was answered that the erection in the morning is caused by decline of norepinephrine during REM sleep. Which in part allows to prevent ...
10
votes
1answer
228 views

Does stress physically age our body?

Going by the assumption that stress eventually triggers a flight/fight response, and the subsequent realization that flight/fight puts the body in a system of readiness to use it's available resources ...
9
votes
3answers
921 views

Do memories have mass?

If it were possible to live forever, would our brains grow infinitely with the number of memories that we store? Or would we remove old memories as we create new ones?
28
votes
2answers
5k views

How long do your eyes need to adapt to darkness and reach full contrast?

I heard you should wait some time until your eyes adapt to darkness and are able to see smallest luminosity differences, otherwise you might overlook faint objects in the ocular. Are there any rules ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

How does a brain distinguish stimuli?

If all the brain ever "sees" is action potentials, how do we know that one set of action potentials denotes a flash of light, another one signifies a loud sound, etc ?
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Why did humans become bipedal?

Somewhere in evolutionary history homo started walking upright and became bipedal. You hear these hypotheses that, by walking upright, they could see better across the grassy savannas to escape ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

Effects of Polyphasic vs Monophasic sleep in humans

Why do humans practice monophasic sleep cycles? When altering one's circadian rhythm to a Polyphasic sleep schedule, how much would that affect development? Is Monophasic sleep (once per day) ...
8
votes
1answer
807 views

In humans what is the last metabolic process to cease after death?

After death which of our body's metabolic processes will continue functioning for the longest?
14
votes
4answers
11k views

Why we have no enzyme to digest cellulose?

As we know, cellulose is the most abundant polysaccharide in nature. Why don't we have any enzyme to digest cellulose?
12
votes
2answers
624 views

Could an “overactive” brain increase the chances of Alzheimer's Disease?

From Raichle ME. 2010. Two views of brain function. Trends in cognitive sciences 14: 180–90: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of progressive cognitive decline and dementia in ...