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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17
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8answers
12k views

Why have humans evolved much more quickly than other animals?

Humans have, in a relatively short amount of time, evolved from apes on the African plains to upright brainiacs with nukes, computers, and space travel. Meanwhile, a lion is still a lion and a ...
13
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
224 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
863 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 ?
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) ...
14
votes
4answers
10k 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
610 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
votes
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?
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?
9
votes
2answers
419 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
votes
4answers
555 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
votes
1answer
136 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
votes
1answer
463 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
97 views

What level of cellular radiation is harmful for humans?

What level of radiation at the frequencies used by the cellular network(1-2 Ghz) is harmful for human health?
4
votes
2answers
3k 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
votes
1answer
277 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
votes
1answer
168 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
971 views

How does Bernoulli’s Principle apply to the cardiovascular system?

Below are graphs which illustrate the cross-sectional area, velocity, and fluid pressure through each vascular segment of the cardiovascular system. It makes sense that velocity and cross-sectional ...
2
votes
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
votes
3answers
57k 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
6k 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
votes
3answers
11k 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
votes
1answer
159 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
votes
3answers
846 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
2k 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
votes
2answers
349 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
votes
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
336 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
votes
1answer
127 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
39k 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
389 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
370 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
votes
1answer
7k 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
votes
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
votes
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
223 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
votes
2answers
4k 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
237 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
128 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
votes
1answer
235 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
votes
2answers
602 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
votes
2answers
809 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
123 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
votes
1answer
101 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
101 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).