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
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) ...
14
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4answers
9k 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
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2answers
596 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 ...
11
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2answers
1k views

If human eyes watch an area, what's the shape of its capturing shape? Rectangular? Half spherical?

A normal camera can capture a rectangular image. If human eyes watch an area, what's the shape of the captured region? Rectangular? Half-spherical?
9
votes
2answers
402 views

How is human biological clock modelled in modern science?

Im an engineer by education and i program a lot, so the question sounds weird to people from other disciplines. Im trying to better understand the human biological clock. Yet i do not really know ...
8
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4answers
533 views

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

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 ...
8
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1answer
134 views

What happens when we know that there is something that we forgot but we can't remember what it was?

I think it happens for everyone that sometimes we go to a room and forget why we went there. Is there any research or article on this?
8
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1answer
403 views

How do the pharmacodynamics of the NSAIDs differ and are there “resistant” COX phenotypes?

I know that the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen) affect the enzymes cyclooxygenase (types I and II). Is there any difference in the degree to which these ...
5
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1answer
273 views

How does a fetus retain a blood group different from its mother?

It's a well-established fact that blood group is decided by genotype. But, when a new child starts its journey in the womb, the mother's blood (along with it's agglutinins and agglutinogens) flows ...
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2answers
2k views

Ill effects of urea and NH₃ on metabolism

What exactly does urea do that harms our body? Does it interfere with our cellular processes or disturbs the colloidal onchotic pressure of our blood? I have heard that NH3 damages the brain. What ...
4
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1answer
255 views

Does an allergic reaction kill body cells?

I have wondered what actually happens in an allergic reaction that causes the symptoms such as pain, rash etc. Is it possible that the human body actually kills its own cells in the process?
4
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1answer
165 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 ...
2
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1answer
2k views

What would be the best design for spike-and-recovery and linearity-of-dilution validation experiments in one 96-well ELISA plate?

I have searched in the web for a detailed explanation of doing such validation experiment, but unfortunately couldn't find a satisfactory one. I came across the following sources: Thermo ...
24
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3answers
51k views

Why do mammalian red blood cells lack a nucleus?

How did the red blood cell in humans get to lose its nucleus (and other organelles)? Does the bone marrow just not put the nucleus in, or is it stripped out at some stage in the construction of the ...
20
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4answers
4k views

Where does the 'C' in exhaled CO₂ mostly come from?

When a human being exhales CO₂, what is, by the numbers, the main source of carbon atoms exiting the body in this way? I mean what class of cells, or which tissues are the biggest on a pie chart of ...
11
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2answers
4k views

Can humans transdermally absorb minerals from ocean water, and if so how much?

According to several studies quoted here, chemicals can be absorbed by the skin transdermally, at least under certain conditions. When it comes to elements in seawater like sodium, magnesium, ...
11
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3answers
9k views

How does sodium in one's diet affect blood pressure?

Due to high blood pressure, my doctor has recommended I go on a low-sodium diet. So, that got me wondering what it is about sodium that drives this recommendation? What does sodium do to a body ...
11
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1answer
157 views

What portions of the brain have drastic changes in activation when we “sense” someone is there?

I was watching an old Arnold Schwarzenegger movie ("Commando") where he plays an elite soldier (surprise). An enemy tries to sneak up on him, and Arnold says that he smelled the other guy ...
10
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3answers
1k views

How are our senses dimmed during sleep?

Our senses are not as sensitive during sleep compared to wake. There is an arousal threshold during sleep that only when it is overcome will it wake a person up. My question is how is this arousal ...
10
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2answers
340 views

What can the timing of human urination tell about the human's physical condition and circadian rhythms?

I've noticed a peculiar phenomenon. A subject drinks 400 ml of water, then observes time until the urge to urinate is felt. The time is 15 minutes. The subject releases water. 14 minutes later another ...
10
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2answers
3k views

Why would taking antibiotics increase stamina and energy?

I often hear that people who are taking antibiotics experience wild fluctuations between feeling full of energy and completely alert but soon after feeling impossibly fatigued and sick. Does this ...
9
votes
1answer
309 views

Why can you not tickle yourself?

It's the age old question, why can't we tickle ourselves? If you rub your fingers along your skin, sure there's sensation but you don't break down into a laughing fit (at least I don't :P), if someone ...
9
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1answer
125 views

Why is there an extended delay before G.M. liver cells are attacked by the immune system?

In this BBC article a trial is described where patients with B-Haemophillia are infected with modified Adeno-associated Virus 8 which contained the genes for Factor IX clotting protein. Trials seemed ...
8
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2answers
2k views

How much weight/volume do microbes occupy within the human body?

Microorganisms constitute the bulk of all the biomass on Earth. I weighed myself yesterday, and wondered how much less I would weigh if I were completely free of bacteria and microbes, inside and out. ...
8
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2answers
37k views

Which shades/hues of color are easiest to distinguish for humans?

I'm trying to represent data graphically and am using a variation of hue/lightness to distinguish one data point from the next. I would like to use a color that would allow me to convey most ...
7
votes
1answer
360 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
263 views

Is there any scientific evidence that a human has ever grown a third set of teeth?

This is about the possibility (or lack thereof) for a person to re-grow a new "permanent tooth" or set of teeth, to replace the teeth that grew after their milk teeth fell out. I had earlier seen ...
6
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1answer
5k 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. ...
6
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1answer
5k 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, ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Are there any effects of elevated Cysteine levels on cognitive function?

I'm looking at this diagram of homocysteine metabolism and see two distinct pathways that the amino acid may get metabolized to: with vitamin B12 it gets converted back into methionine, while with B6 ...
5
votes
1answer
195 views

What's the worst that can happen from too much sleep deprivation? Can you die?

It is well known that sleep deprivation causes considerable discomfort in humans (and has even used as a form of torture), but nevertheless there have been people who went through protracted sleep ...
5
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2answers
3k views

Why doesn't the human skin grow back exactly how it was before being damaged?

Very simple: Why (and how) is regenerated skin different from original ? As we know we lose skin cells that becomes the dust in out homes and it always grows back to full thickness right ? So when I ...
4
votes
1answer
117 views

Length of sleep time

Why do we wake up after 6-8 hours of sleep ? Why don't we sleep for lets say 20-30 hours ? What mechanism is it that controls when to wake us up and how does it determine the moment that we should ...
4
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1answer
203 views

How can we measure cardiac output?

I could find a way which could find it by body oxygen consumption and there is another way to measure it by injecting drugs — measuring cardiac output by the so-called “indicator dilution method,” a ...
4
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2answers
520 views

The gender of offspring of Twins?

Given identical twin males, Michael and Douglas, Douglas and his wife have four children, all of whom are girls. Michael and his wife have only one child, a boy, and are expecting another. What are ...
4
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2answers
768 views

What happens if a person has the right side of the body totally removed (including the brain)? [closed]

I guess humans could live without just the right lobe of the liver or the right brain. Could a person without the whole right side of body survive? The left brain controls the right side of the ...
4
votes
1answer
121 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 ...
3
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1answer
172 views

What are the most important factors influencing a person’s gut microbes?

You are your bacteria! The probiotics and the antibiotics... There has been on going discussions about how our gut bacteria is important for a healthy lifestyle. Figure 1: Schematic diagram ...
3
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1answer
91 views

Feeling of spicy

I have done a survey on my friend When everytime they eat something spicy, They will eat ice or drink icy water. First, Mostly they feel nothing but a cool sensation. However when they finished, they ...
3
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0answers
94 views

What proportion of salt in water would make it not dehydrate nor hydrate someone? [duplicate]

Drinking sea water can be deadly as it contains too much salt, basically de-hydrating the body. Normal tap water contains little salt and is good for re-hydration. My question: How much salt needs to ...
2
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1answer
98 views

How many different smells can a human recognize?

How many different smells can a human recognize? If the space of smells is not discrete, how many dimensions it has (for example, the space of colors is three-dimensional).
1
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1answer
163 views

How does anger relate to blood pressure?

Anger is an emotion generated by neural processes in the brain and is associated with elevated blood pressure. How can an emotion, which is totally related to brain, result in blood pressure changes?
1
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1answer
69 views

Gastro-intestinal physiology reference

I am a physicist but I have always wanted to understand how my digestion takes place in as much detail as possible. I have no idea about books or reference on the subject of Gastro-intestinal and ...
0
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1answer
38 views

X-recessive disorders and genetic markers

Please observe the following pedigree of a family with a x-recessive disease (bleeder disease). The A's are genetic markers so close to the disease gene that recombination is negligible. I ...
14
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2answers
209 views

Relationship between our microbiome and personalized nutrition

Recently, it has been asked whether there are 'metabolic types' between humans that can benefit from a sort of personalized nutrition. One answer suggested that one discerning factor could be the ...
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, ...
13
votes
0answers
2k views

Why do we experience temperatures below 37 degrees Celsius as 'hot'? [duplicate]

We always prefer to be in 20-25° C, although our core temperature is about 37°? Why is our skin temperature lower than our core temperature?
12
votes
1answer
547 views

How heavy are all foreign microorganisms in and on the human body?

I define "foreign microorganism" as a microorganism which is not produced by the human body (not antibodies or leukocytes) including bacteria, viruses, fungi, biofilm aggregates or small lifeforms ...
11
votes
1answer
971 views

Is there an evolutionary advantage to crying when sad?

It seems as though the act of crying when sad does nothing to relieve that sadness. Is there an advantage to crying from an evolutionary perspective, or is it the end result of a different process? ...
10
votes
3answers
456 views

Athletes: nature vs. nurture?

Having watched a lot of olympians the last few weeks, I was struck by how many of them have actually spent their wholes lives/careers training for their one event (be in running a marathon, or ...