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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22
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2answers
9k views

What causes fingerprints to form and why is the pattern formed unique?

I've found research that suggests that the reason we develop fingerprints is because they aid us with feeling surfaces (Scheibert, et al. 2008) and not to increase friction and help with the gripping ...
14
votes
2answers
164 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
votes
3answers
3k 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?
11
votes
1answer
817 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
378 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
321 views

Can Naegleria fowleri enter through wounds into the bloodstream?

All the sources I've read said that Naegleria fowleri enters the brain through the nose. But lets say that someone had cuts on their arm or leg and they are swimming in water that is conducive to ...
10
votes
1answer
132 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
118 views

What's the smallest size a human eye can see?

During a biology experiment at school, where we would look at waterweeds under a microscope, my teacher said something about that it's impossible for the human eye to see the cells without a ...
8
votes
1answer
172 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
764 views

Does a bigger breast give creamier milk?

It is fairly common for a woman to have one breast larger than the other. I have also heard that, for a breast feeding mother it is common for one of the breasts to yield a creamier milk whilst the ...
8
votes
1answer
11k views

What is the composition of human feces?

Are there any studies or general information on the composition of human feces? I'd specifically like to know the percentage of carbohydrates and amino acids relative to the amount that was ingested ...
7
votes
2answers
284 views

What is the eye muscle status when you stare at distant view through a glass wall?

The book said when you look at object close to you, the eye muscles contract and vice versa. I wonder what will be the status of the eye muscles when I stare at distance view (such as a mountain) ...
6
votes
1answer
79 views

When are a female's eggs created?

Since a human woman is born with a set number of eggs, and meiosis is the process by which sex cells are produced, would meiosis in a woman happen before she is born or soon after she was born? If ...
6
votes
2answers
168 views

How would the human body adjust to sleep times if we were to live in a place with different day lengths?

You sleep at night and are active during the day that's how things work for humans, but theoretically if a human whose parents lived on earth were to be born in another planet resembling earth but the ...
6
votes
1answer
739 views

Why don't we have hair on palms?

We have hair all over the body except palms. What is the biological reason behind this? Thanks
6
votes
2answers
10k views

Can positive and negative blood type of a couple lead to miscarriage?

I want to know can $+ve$ and $-ve$ blood group of a couple could be a cause of miscarriage in pregnancy?
6
votes
1answer
300 views

Is there a normal human melatonin concentration to light level curve?

I'm looking for a graph or a curve that would show the typical concentration of melatonin in blood or saliva for humans over 24 hours. It would be good to know the photoperiod for the same human as ...
6
votes
2answers
231 views

Is there such thing as a generic “metabolic type”?

A while ago I picked up a book called "Eat right for your metabolic type". The book discussed the effects of the endocrine system on the overall shape and the speed of metabolism. The book outlined ...
5
votes
2answers
80 views

Problems understanding membrane potential

I understand that membrane potential is the difference of the extracellular and intracellular ionic charges, due to their concentrations. We say that the extracellular space has a charge of 0 and then ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does it hurt when you take sweets, if you have cavities in your teeth?

When you have cavities in your teeth taking any sweetend drinks or food causes sensitivity or pain. What could be the reason?
5
votes
2answers
715 views

The probability of indirect human fertilization?

What is the probability of conception in situations when sperm isn't directly ejaculated into the woman's vagina, like: The man's or the woman's hands come into contact with sperm, for example when ...
4
votes
3answers
146 views

Why can't you just take a vitamin? Why you need a healthy diet on top of that?

From what I understand, your body needs certain amounts of vitamins and minerals to maintain health. Why can't we just take enough pills to obtain these vitamins and minerals?
4
votes
2answers
217 views

Where do the 31 spinal nerves start/meet?

Which part of the brain is the first place (from top to bottom) where all 31 pairs of spinal nerves (on each side) meet? Or if they all start at one place - where is that? Nominally, the beginning of ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

Does mixing alcoholic drinks really make you more drunk?

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence ("beer after wine and you'll feel fine, wine after beer will make you feel queer") that mixing alcoholic drink types leads to a stronger effect, but I can't find ...
4
votes
2answers
121 views

Ultrasound during pregnancy

In a hospital I can see a long queue of pregnant women waiting for their turn for ultrasound. Is it safe to go through the ultrasound during pregnancy, especially during last few weeks? Is ...
3
votes
2answers
95 views

Why can't we defibrillate the heart within 1 minute after ventricular fibrillation by electroshock?

We mostly can defibrillate the heart before 1 min of ventricular fibrillation by electroshock.Then we often can't do defibrillate it with electroshock. What's the reason and What's the best way to ...
3
votes
1answer
56 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
1answer
268 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?
3
votes
1answer
334 views

How are melatonin levels measured in humans?

I'm wondering how it is possible to measure diurnal variations of melatonin levels in humans. I keep reading that there should be a large difference in amplitude between melatonin levels measured at ...
3
votes
0answers
123 views

What controls the feeling of discomfort/comfort before and after sleep?

I'm interested in which biological systems or hormones are involved in the following phenomenon: Before sleep it may be difficult to find a comfortable position, and muscular aches and pains are more ...
3
votes
1answer
446 views

Could inhibition of progerin formation slow the rate at which a body ages?

According to wikipedia, progerin is activated in senescent cells. The protein itself is known to be the cause of a rare affliction 'progeria' - a disease marked by accelerated aging of the body. This ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Why do the size of the phase 1 notch vary among cardiac cells?

The size of the phase 1 notch varies among cardiac cells. It is prominent in myocytes in the epicardial and midmyocardial regions of the left ventricular wall and in ventricular Purkinje fibers. ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Why can't people talk while inhaling?

Why do we have to exhale in order to talk? From looking on Wikipedia, it seems like it has something to do with the glottis, but I'm not clear on the mechanism that makes speech sound so different ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

How usable is the Human Metabolic Model to predict biomass?

In order to use the Human Metabolic Model for Flux Balance Analysis of specific cancer cell lines, we would like to know what sort of flux values have been determined for the Human Metabolic Model. ...
2
votes
3answers
548 views

Is there such thing as “half-life” of dopamine?

If a dopamine is released at T=0 and binds to receptor D2, what determines the time when the concentration of this neurotransmitter bound to the receptor reaches half of the original concentration? In ...
1
vote
1answer
25 views

Dehydration from caffeine, alcohol and other

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

What are good data on the Human Metabolic Model and where can I get them?

Trying to get a good SBML representation of the Human Metabolic Model for use in Flux Balance Analysis and drug targetting (i.e. gene knockout) simulations. What are good sources for these data? ...
1
vote
1answer
82 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
0
votes
1answer
51 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?