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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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 ...
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2answers
2k views

Applying saliva to mosquito bites

Is it true that; when you apply your own saliva to a mosquito bite it would stop itching ?
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1answer
32 views

What happens when we stretch?

From the wikipedia page on stretching: Stretching is a form of physical exercise in which a specific muscle or tendon (or muscle group) is deliberately flexed or stretched in order to improve the ...
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1answer
41 views

Bayes theorem for mutations

MEN 2A is a dominant inherited disease caused by a mutation in the RET proto-oncogene. The probability of being sick when you have the mutation of the RET proto-oncogene varies with age and is assumed ...
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2answers
2k views

Do biological facts determine when a human fetus is considered alive and human?

I often hear or read this statement: "It's not a human, it's a fetus." In other words, some think a fetus is non-human until a certain point. And another similar statement: "The fetus isn't ...
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1answer
31 views

How can a heart of human work if one of its valve is not working?

Yesterday I went to a hospital and heard a doctor say that one of the heart valves of a patient is not working. However, the patient was still alive and was healthy; the patient could walk and talk ...
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1answer
71 views

Is homosexuality an adaptation in humans?

Homo sapiens have menopause - as some other mammals (e.g. some Cetacea) - a phenomenon where older females live for decades after the end of their own reproduction. Perhaps homosexuality, that looks ...
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1answer
45 views

Why do fingers swell during cold winters?

When exercising, tissue in the hands may swell. This may be caused by the muscles generating heat, which leads to blood being pushed to the vessels closest to the surface of your body to dissipate the ...
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2answers
30 views

Why is my peripheral vision better for seeing in the dark? [duplicate]

I often walk around my house at night with the lights turned off and one night I noticed that looking straight at an object with very little light available made the object disappear from sight but if ...
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1answer
69 views

Do human-ape hybrids exist?

Since humans and apes share up to 99% of their DNA, can they interbreed? For example, a horse and a donkey seem to be just as distantly related and produce offspring. Mules, however, are sterile. ...
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1answer
74 views

Does the DNA of a tadpole change after it becomes a frog?

Does the DNA of a tadpole change after it becomes a frog? In other words what changes take place as a tadpole becomes a frog, and does this metamorphosis affect the DNA in any way? I would appreciate ...
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0answers
37 views

How many mitotic divisions do haploid cells undergo before fertilization?

Background This question is about human physiology and gametogenesis. A spermatozoid is not necessarily the direct "offspring" of diploid cell. Stated differently, a spermatozoid cell can be the ...
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0answers
46 views

Is there any biological support for the concept of “chakras”? [on hold]

Is there any support in modern biology for the ancient concept of "Chakras"? I've seen the concept of 7 chakras linked to the major endocrine glands in the human body (pineal,thyroid, adrenal, ...
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1answer
61 views

Our muscles give us the ability to move our arms but…? [closed]

I have a strange question, but let me tell you something first. If you think of this carefully, then you realize something, please try this right now: Contract your muscles only so that your arms ...
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1answer
15 views

Difference between pulse and blood pressure

I'm a very naive and biologically illiterate person, and from what I've read on the internet I'm not really sure I understand the difference between pulse and ...
3
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1answer
52 views

Human bone density and Brown Bear bone density?

It is stated on this website that the density of a Grizzly bear bone is ten times our own. And since I am not into biology at all, I am confused as I don't understand the meaning of bone density here. ...
3
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1answer
56 views

What causes the line patterns in the palm of the hand?

The line patterns on the hand are unique to each individual, but what causes these lines and re they advantageous in anyway?
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0answers
35 views

Why do fingers swell during winters? [closed]

Why do fingers swell during winters (of temperature 5-15 degree celsius)? During winters mine and many others's fingers swell. is it due to blood circulation or what?
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1answer
119 views

Circadian Clock During a Flight

I am interested to know how does our Circadian Clock respond (and its resultant changes if any) when we are traveling across Time Zones? UPDATE 24th April I am reopening this question as the ...
2
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1answer
29 views

Help reading gene markers

I'm sorry if "gene markers" is not the correct word. An edit could be appreciated but I don't study in an English speaking country unfortunately. Question overview: In a family, there is a genetic, ...
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2answers
31 views

Help reading chromatogram

A genetic variation is found in this chromatogram: It says that the "reference sequence" is the top line and that I can use the general genetic code to find the reading frame. I can see that there ...
8
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1answer
631 views

What causes knuckle “popping” and the feeling of relief that comes from it?

Many people like cracking their knuckles. I have always been curious about it. What happens when we crack knuckles? What creates the POP sound? Why do we get a relief-like feeling after doing it?
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0answers
43 views

Why do we get tired

At the end of a day full of work, it is general for people that their eyelids start to feel heavy. Laziness takes over and we begin to yawn. We all know that we're tired at that time, but why people ...
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1answer
53 views

What's a mouth ulcer/canker sore “made of”, and why do they develop?

Mouth ulcers are red/white rings with a crater. They are sore and last for 7-10 days. What I want to know is what they are 'made of' - i.e., what is the ring filled with, and why is the centre crater ...
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0answers
23 views

The ring formation of ringworm

I know ringworm is caused by a fungus on the skin, nails or scalp but what causes the rash to form as a ring instead of like a normal spread out rash?
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1answer
103 views

Why do people in the scientific community use terminology such as renal, hepatic, cardiac instead of kidney, liver and heart? [closed]

Why is there the need to map these everyday words into another set of words, it seems to complicate matters. Is it done mostly out of tradition or is there some logical basis to it?
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2answers
4k views

How does HCl not burn our stomach?

How does the digestive acid (HCl) not burn the surrounding skin of our stomach? It digests the majority of raw food we eat but how does it stay safely in our stomach? Also, how does the stomach ...
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6answers
2k views

Human evolution: Where *exactly* did the first human come from, whose parents were not?

Layman here. So I have never really quite understood this facet of human evolution, (or any other for that matter), in that, I understand the evolutionary process, but I get lost on the 'border' ...
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1answer
90 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 ...
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2answers
592 views

Why do men have a higher hematocrit (red blood cell count) than women?

The hematocrit, also known as packed cell volume (PCV) or erythrocyte volume fraction (EVF), is the volume percentage (%) of red blood cells in blood. It is normally 45% for men and 40% for women. ...
6
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1answer
71 views

Time lapse between fresh blood's exposure to air and that same blood turning darker red-brown

For investigative purposes, I'm searching for a tool that can be used as a quick visual assessment of the the length of time that blood has been exposed to air after the blood flow has stopped.. Let's ...
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0answers
22 views

Do blood glucose “spikes” contribute to insulin resistance, or is prolonged elevation required?

There's increasing public discussion about the health risks of chronic insulin resistance* (IR). In many cases there's a focus on high glycemic index foods that "spike" your blood sugar, which implies ...
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3answers
3k views

Supercomputer Vs Human Brain

With supercomputers doing calculation in petaflops ($10^{15}$ Calculations per Second), have we crossed the speed of Human Brain?
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1answer
90 views

Why should or shouldn't we allow the human body to take its natural course? [closed]

For example, when you are sick but don't feel thirsty, this could be due to baroreceptor reflex that is attempting to readjust salt and water balancing. Why shouldn't a patient be left thirsty and ...
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1answer
36 views

Survival with only water but no food [duplicate]

How long can the average, healthy adult human survive with only water?
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2answers
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Can leukopenia in a person with an otherwise normal immune system lead to non-infectious diseases in the long-term?

If a person has developed leukopenia as a side-effect of long-term use of anti-convulsant medications and his/her immune system appears normal otherwise (does not get infections any more often than a ...
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1answer
335 views

Why do people feel pleasure when using roller coasters / centrifuges?

The feeling when using an amusement park unit is usually a pleasure. Why is it not a pain instead? Are there advantages, from an evolutionary point of view, in loving this potentially dangerous ...
7
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4answers
190 views

How does an embryo know where to grow limbs etc

For example you have a cell or already a bunch of cells. Those cell(s) divide and after several week you have a grown organism, for example a human with limbs, several different organs etc. However, ...
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1answer
36 views

How can human infants express chymosin with only a pseudogene at their disposal?

I read on the Wikipedia article about Chymosin http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chymosin It stated that chymosin is produced by gastric chief cell in human infants. But it also stated that human only ...
3
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1answer
561 views

What is the minimum air pressure the human body can tolerate if oxygen supply is not an issue?

Disregarding hypoxia, what is the minimum air pressure that the human body can tolerate? (i.e. at what air pressure would the blood start to boil, or skin start to burst, or whatever else might ...
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2answers
194 views

Why do we urinate more when we are nervous?

This question is a result of my personal experience... But I guess that is common for many of us. My school timing is 8:00 am to 1:30 pm (usually). During normal school days I typically urinate one ...
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1answer
17 views

Beta oxidation of saturated fats

In my text book there is an example of a 18 carbon long fat and it says that it can run 8 laps of oxidation. I don't understand why it doesn't run 9? 2 are removed each cycle? Thanks.
2
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1answer
901 views

Why does ear wax taste sour?

Why does ear wax taste sour? I am interested in both the physiochemical mechanisms and the evolutionary reasons behind the sour taste of earwax.
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1answer
278 views

Why gluconeogenesis?

It seems quite pointless to me. Why would I want to use energy to create a molecule that I can then use again for less energy? It seems only to serve as a complete waste of energy to me? Can someone ...
2
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1answer
29 views

How are ketone bodies used?

While searching for literature on ketone bodies, I can only seem to find how they are synthesized, but not how they are broken down. I'm looking for the series of events with enzyme names and ...
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1answer
38 views

Why use creatine phosphate?

We use creatine phosphate as an energy storage to resupply ADP with a phosphate group as our muscle cells only contain about 2-5 mM ATP. But why doesn't the muscle cells just keep 20-30 mM ATP instead ...
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0answers
25 views

Why doesn't the body optimize how many fatty acids it burns?

Ketone bodies are produced due to an excess of fatty acids being burned (accumulation of acetyl-CoA) so my question is: Why doesn't the body simply regulate how many fats it burns so it doesn't have ...
2
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1answer
26 views

NADH shuttles - Why cytosol?

Why is the malate-aspartate and the glycerol-3-phosphate shuttles located in the cytosol and intermembrane space? The krebs cycle happens in the matrix so why wouldn't they push electrons from the ...
2
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1answer
36 views

Atelectasis due to decreased surfactant in lungs

Surfactant is a protein lipid mixture produced by alveolar pneumocytes composed of Dipalmitoyl Phosphatidyl Choline lipid, apoproteins and calcium ions. This surface lines the alveolar epithelium ...
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0answers
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Cholesterol's role in lipid uptake

I'm studying the digestion of fats and I understand that our dietary fats mostly consist of triglycerides. We absorb the fats and eventually they end up in a muscle/adipose cell for storage (as ...