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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12
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2answers
159 views

Can viruses be toxic?

Bacteria can produce toxins like endotoxins and exotoxins. In diseases like cholera or tetanus they can harm infected people due to these toxins. Now, although viruses are much smaller and are ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

Which literature/study/myth spurred the idea that urine is sterile?

There is a seemingly unfounded mantra that a person's urine is sterile who is not suffering from a UTI. So far I have found convincing evidence to the contrary; urine is not sterile. This poster ...
1
vote
0answers
36 views

When touch and pain are caused by heat/cold or pressure how are the nerve cells triggered?

I suppose that when your skin is smoothly touched by any cold/heat or pressure we feel that because our AB cells notice this due to a kind of change in the nerve cell. But when you touch something ...
1
vote
0answers
13 views

Does the change in eye color (melanin concentration) affect the iris pattern?

In cases of acquired heterochromia, is there a quantifiable change in the iris pattern; the clefts , furrows, etc. If yes, what changes are observed? And if no, are there any diseases or acquired ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Anaerobic nutrient expenditure

Doing some research into different forms of exercise and energy systems and I realized something odd about the way we talk about energy. When we eat, we take on macronutrients that are broken down ...
5
votes
1answer
57 views

If our skin is burned by the sun what causes the red color of the skin?

Mostly it is not a good sign we are burned because too much UV light has damaged our skin and increases skincancers. But the red color we get after a few ours, what is the exact cause of it and why ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Corpus luteum during the luteal phase and gonadotropins

Does the corpus luteum operate independently of the hypothalamic-hypophyseal-ovarian axis? I know that hCG sustains the corpus luteum in the absence of FSH and LH, but in an ovarian cycle where there ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

the evolution of the human brain size [closed]

I was thinking, as I know, sometimes the process of producing DNA did not work well(correct me if I'm wrong), so it gives us some changes in the object we gonna ...
0
votes
1answer
133 views

Is an athlete's heart rate after exercise greater than a non-athlete [closed]

I was just wondering And if it is greater or lower how does this benefit an athlete Also what is the averaged number of heart beats per minute
0
votes
2answers
118 views

Are humans evolving since their first appearance? [duplicate]

Is the evolution a very prolonged progress, or are we going to witness further evolution of the human species? If so, in which direction? Are there any widely predicted changes for humans?
23
votes
4answers
16k views

How many genes do we share with our mother?

Somewhere I have read we share more than 99% of our genes with every other other person and 98% of our genes with chimpanzees. What does this mean? Don't we share 50% of our genes with our mother and ...
2
votes
1answer
29 views

Can specific B-cells be created in a lab? [closed]

Instead of creating protein sequences, could that stepped be skipped and just have B-cells created to manufacture a particular type of immunity?
5
votes
2answers
5k views

How do we know that everybody's DNA fingerprint is unique?

How do we know that everybody's DNA fingerprint is unique? I know, I know, everybody's DNA is unique. But when we do DNA fingerprinting, we're looking at very specific regions of high variability. ...
9
votes
1answer
5k views

Why do sneezes come in pairs or more?

I very rarely sneeze just once, usually there's two coming in a row, and I've noticed the same thing in other people and even in animals. Is there any reason for this?
30
votes
5answers
15k views

Why is cold water more refreshing than warm water?

Obviously, the temperature of water does not affect its chemical composition. At least not in the ranges we are likely to drink it in. Yet it is clearly far more pleasant and refreshing to drink cool ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Does a zygote express all genes?

If a zygote has all the cytoplasmic determinants and all the specific transcription factors, does that mean that all genes in the genome are expressed?
8
votes
0answers
69 views

What Would Happen To a Human Who Died In Space And Stayed There For a Prolonged Period of Time? [closed]

Last night I was watching a documentary regarding the Apollo space program, and it spoke about how Apollo 8 orbited the moon 10 times then came back to Earth. It said that while the ship was in orbit ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Is the zygote the only totipotent cell?

I’ve been told that the unfertilized egg contains cytoplasmic determinants (e.g. proteins, transcription factors, mRNAs) that are divided unevenly during the early stages of cell division in an ...
10
votes
1answer
12k views

Will a bone marrow transplant change one's blood type?

Will a bone marrow transplant change one's blood type? Or is the donor blood type matched with the person before transplant?
5
votes
0answers
102 views

What will happen when humans are injected with plant growth hormones

Will plant growth hormones (PGHs), (let us consider auxins for example) poison our body or not? I do realise that when you eat a shoot, auxins get digested and are less likely to be poisonous but when ...
5
votes
0answers
50 views

Are high sounds worse for your hearing than low sounds?

From about 80 dB it is possible to suffer loss hearing after a couple of hours. But does it make a difference what frequencies those sound waves are or is it just the volume of the sound in dB that ...
7
votes
2answers
78 views

Do babies conceived naturally or artificially have any differences in long-term health?

Are there any long-term differences in children conceived via artificial insemination or sexual intercourse, pending that the mother successfully delivers the child?
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do we like salt?

A few friends of mine told me that salt provides zero nutritional value to us, and in fact can harm our bodies. Now, these guys are medical students, and being an engineering student myself, I decided ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is it advised that infants are fed mother's milk?

I have heard that mother's milk is preferred over other baby foods, because it contains immunoglobulines (secretory IgA), and other essential nutrients. But why is mother's milk so special? Any ...
11
votes
3answers
413 views

During starvation, does the human body do anything to prioritize which organs receive nutrients?

When food is scarce, the body slows its metabolic rate to conserve energy. Are there any other systems or processes that prioritize which organs receive nutrients?
-5
votes
1answer
173 views

Why are plants classified in living things? [closed]

@Volunteers Beware that I am none of the biological magnates. Nor a philosopher. This is just a sign of curiosity. And, I want only an intuition that enables me to see the difference. As far as I ...
10
votes
3answers
966 views

What is the purpose of gluconeogenesis?

The gluconeogenesis pathway seems quite pointless to me. I don't understand why an organism would want to spend energy to create a molecule that can then be metabolized again for less energy? The ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

Do both the Sperm and Egg must be at exactly 7.4 pH for fertilization?

I suddenly came across this article and it says that for human conception to occur both the sperm and egg must be at exactly 7.4 pH - not 7.0, nor 7.7 but 7.4. If conception depended on such exact ...
3
votes
0answers
33 views

Are all genes transcribed in differentiated cells?

My textbook tells me that it’s specific transcription factors that allow for a different set of genes to be expressed in different cells (differential gene expression). My book gives the example of ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

When you take a very cold or hot bath how is that influencing your breath?

It looks like when you take a cold shower or bath your veins get smaller and when you take hot shower your veins get wider. But is that right and do you need to breath more in both cases because you ...
5
votes
1answer
46 views

Is Zika suspected of causing birth defects only if contracted during pregnancy?

There seems to be growing evidence that a recently spreading strain of Zika virus is in fact linked to microencephaly and other birth defects in newborns (see here, here, and here for examples). I ...
8
votes
2answers
231 views

Why did women historically have such a high mortality rate during birth?

Historically women had a relatively high chance of dying while giving birth. At first thought it seems to me that this would be a disadvantage for the species for the obvious reason that a dead ...
5
votes
1answer
90 views

Why is it always Sodium that we talk of in blood pressure?

Why is that we emphasize so much on sodium in blood pressure? I understand that it is a major extracellular ion, but, it also is tightly regulated. So when something is that tightly regulated, won't ...
5
votes
1answer
375 views

What is the function of the polar bodies produced during oogenesis?

Why are polar bodies produced during oogenesis in human females? I read that polar bodies are produced during meiosis so that the oogonium (or gamete mother cell) can be converted into a haploid ...
5
votes
1answer
172 views

Do humans have skin cells that trigger oxytocin release in the brain?

I was reading an article by Montgomery on the therapeutic effect of pets (Boston Globe, January 12, 2015), and I found this quote: All animals appear to have cells directly under the skin that ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

Why are oral cells (or tissues) more heat resistant? [closed]

When we are having meals, such as enjoying hot pot and drinking hot water, we only have a sense of "warm" in our mouth, or even along the organs in alimentary canal. But when we put our fingers into ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

How is pain induced by blunt and sharp objects?

Normally, when something touch you, you won't feel pain. With a great force "touching" you, you will feel pain. However, if something that is spiky makes contact with you, you will feel pain. So, how ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does it hurt more when you touch a nerve directly?

I am not a biologist nor know much about biology (so please explain in layman's terms) however I have always been curious as to why this is. What causes the difference in pain between touching an ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Identifying an Unknown Blood Type [closed]

The following case study has a student working with blood samples to identify their blood types (A, B, AB, and O). Consider the situation and answer the questions. A student is given eight ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

Is a bone marrow transplant limited by sex?

Can a female patient get transplanted with bone marrow of a male donor and vice versa?
1
vote
1answer
78 views

How can a blood test give information about rickets?

Can we detect rickets from a blood test? What evidence pf rickets is in the blood and how is the blood treated to detect rickets?
4
votes
0answers
14 views

Why do kupffer cells not attack sporozoites of malaria?

During malaria, why don't kuppfer cells (hepatic macrophages) attack the plasmodium and stop schizogony, thus saving us from the disease?
12
votes
4answers
20k views

How long can a naked human survive on Mars?

How long can a naked human survive at the surface of the Mars planet? For instance, let's say a worker's base takes fire while he sleeps, the building is totally ablaze and he can do nothing but run ...
6
votes
1answer
46 views

Would constant light or fading light be registered as more wakefulness promoting by the Supra Chiasmatic Nucleus?

During the fall and winter season, a number of people are experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder. One of the way it has traditionally been treated is with a dedicated lightbox - a very high ...
0
votes
0answers
123 views

Are Young Girls Stronger than Young Boys?

According to "common wisdom" the average man has, as a proportion of his body weight, 50% more muscle mass than the average woman. This is in addition to how the average man is several inches taller ...
0
votes
0answers
85 views

Is natural selection still at work in humans in the 21st century? [duplicate]

There has been some disussion on this site about some aspects (e.g. evolution of eye sight, or height, or the effect of medicine, or evolution the past $\sim10000$ years). My question is really more ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Can humans extract calories from all roots? [closed]

Roots are used for storing plants' energy, which suggests that humans could extract the calories by consuming them. However, I have been unable to find any substantial sources on consuming the roots ...
3
votes
2answers
326 views

Why do our eyes “wrap” hue from UV to IR?

On the high-wavelength side of things, we see almost-infrared as reddish, with a slight tinge of magenta. On the low side, we see violet fading into the same magenta color. Why is that? You can see ...
1
vote
0answers
18 views

Is the amount of blood same in the pulmonary and systemic foetal circulation?

We learn that the stroke volume is the same for the right and left side of the heart. So the amount of blood in either circulations should also be the same. (is it? I myself doubt this statement. As ...