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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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 ...
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21 views

Circulating factors affecting human health/longevity

Circulating factors present in young mice have been shown to promote rejuvenation of aged mice, suggesting that tissues have inherent capabilities to regenerate, and circulating factors may be ...
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115 views

Evolutionary reasons why you cannot tickle yourself but masturbate

There are obviously good reasons that explain why you cannot tickle yourself (see e.g. here). This got me thinking why it is possible to masturbate... Wouldn't it make more sense to not being able to ...
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40 views

Are some facial features more important than others in human facial recognition?

I'm often surprised by the human ability to correctly identify other individuals despite significant modifications due to ageing, hairstyle, injury etc. But, sometimes the addition of a beard and a ...
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46 views

Which types of blood vessels can regenerate in humans/mammals?

Which types of blood vessels can regenerate in humans/mammals? From what I understand, arteries and arterioles can be created later in life, while this is not necessarily the case with veins. However ...
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67 views

What is the main challenge in creating a chemical male contraceptive?

More than 50 years after hormonal contraception for women was invented, a contraceptive pill for males is still not available. With the obvious major biological differences in mind, why does it appear ...
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170 views

Do Asian women have more difficult births than Europeans?

I recently heard a claim that Asians in general have more difficult births than Europeans. Is this true? I have found a few studies(1,2) on the effect of ethnicity on birth outcomes but they seem to ...
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45 views

Database of Medical Assertions

Can anyone point me toward a computationally-accessible database of medical assertions? I'm looking for something where each row in the database contains a single unit of knowledge. It could either be ...
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167 views

Can someone explain the color-changing unit (CCU) to me?

I've been physically carrying out serial tenfold dilutions on samples of Ureaplasma to work out the color-changing units (CCU). As a definition, the CCU is the highest dilution at which there is a ...
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89 views

What are the physiological effects of wine?

I have read that alcohol in general and wine in particular can have advantageous as well as detrimental effects on human health. Is this true? What are the physiological effects of consuming wine in ...
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117 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 ...
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29 views

What is the biological basis of “energy” that extraverted humans draw from social engagements and introverts expend?

This question is related to this question about introverts becoming exhausted after extended social events on cognitive sciences stack exchange. As I read more on the topic of human ...
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51 views

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

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 ...
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73 views

How many proteins are synthesized in human body throughout life?

My idea to calculate this is: Define up to what age will do the calculation. (for instance 60) Determine how many cells born and died up to that point in life. (by type of cell) Determine how many ...
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41 views

Viagra for pain management

Not all men who take Viagra experience any sexual side effects about 40% have no change of sexual abilities on the pill. However like many women the drug in such cases cause a strong pain reduction ...
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112 views

Human female chest model or data representation?

I am looking for professionally used representation of female chest (I know how it sounds ;). Generally - a model comprehensive enough to effectively represent human chest, with focus on breasts. ...
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87 views

How is color information transmitted from eye to brain?

Is it frequency-modualated or are different colors transmitted by different axons? I know that each ganglion cell is connected to multiple photoreceptors. How does it tell the brain which ...
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47 views

How well do we notice asynchronicity?

I'm stopped at a stoplight and, with nothing to do, my thoughts wander to the timed don't-walk sign that governs any pedestrians who might wish to cross the street I'm driving along. I can see two ...
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73 views

Are simple esters like those used as flavouring agents metabolised into their constituent carboxylic acids and alcohols in the human body?

By this I mean to ask whether say ethyl butanoate is hydrolysed in humans into ethanol and butyric (butanoic) acid. This is of interest to me as a pharmacology researcher because butyric acid, for ...
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135 views

What tests can be performed to test the purity and quality of the raw peptide HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)

What tests could be run to test the purity and type of HCG? We are looking to purchase HCG from China but the purity and quality varies between labs, we are able to receive samples of the raw peptide ...
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58 views

Movement of stem cells from mother to fetus

Recent results from J Lee Nelson and colleagues (Sci Am. 2008 Feb;298(2):64-71; available as full text through Google) show that cells from the mother were found in a person aged 46. Logically, these ...
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39 views

What processes are responsible for focusing on an image only seen by one of the eyes?

When a person is spying from around a corner with only one eye, it's rather easy to ignore the other eye's image, since it's probably much darker, because one usually spies around a corner standing ...
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88 views

How do omega-3 fatty acids reduce cholesterol at the molecular level?

I have heard that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are a good way to prevent/reduce cholesterol problems. My question is how do omega-3 fatty acids do that: what are they doing on a chemical level ...
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42 views

Is there an entry-level circadian model of serotonin, ghrelin, dopamine and the sense of well being?

I've long been interested in circadian rhythms and recently came across a variety of articles that appear to indicate that the following neurotransmitters, transferases and hormones are connected. ...
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87 views

Why do people feel extreme cold at different temperatures compared to other people of same body structure?

I have seen some people shivering in the room temperature of 18°C while others of similar body structure do not feel that much amount of cold. Of course the clothing of both people is similar if ...
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57 views

Do humans have chemosensors for nutrients or chemicals?

I'm reading about chemoreceptors on Wikipedia, and see that the typical ones are mentioned: taste, smell, CO₂. I would like to learn more about the other kinds of chemoreceptors that humans may ...
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171 views

Virucides - Herbal and otherwise, for HHV6 type virus or any inner-cell virus

Does anyone know where I can find a reliable list of virucides (not anti-virus) that can be used by humans? This virucide must be able to affect viruses that are already inside the cells. St John's ...
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305 views

Can the sleep/wake cycle be influenced by non-visible spectrum electro-magnetic radiation?

I've been reading a few papers on Melanopsin and Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN), and see that the sleep/wake transition is ...
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18 views

How and where do nerves share pathways to the brain?

I am interested in understanding how pain receptors send signals to the somatosensory cortex (the part of the brain that registers various nerve signals such as pain, presure, temperatures, etc). ...
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27 views

What specific sensory nerves act as receptors for “pins and needles” (neuropathy)?

According to this excellent answer, the difference between "pain" and "pins and needles" (neuropathy) is that different receptors (sensory nerves) trigger in reaction to different stimuli. Different ...
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28 views

How does proximal centriole of human sperm function?

I've read that the human's unfertilized oocyte ( stuck at metaphase 2 of meiosis ) lacks centrioles and that it completes meiosis 2 after fertilization as sperm gives its proximal centriole. Then what ...
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34 views

Can sealed epiphyseal growth plates theoretically be restored via epigenetic or genetic methods?

I know that epiphyseal growth plates seal up once people become young adults and that it is currently impossible to restore them to actively produce new bone growth but, is it theoretically possible ...
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41 views

Does a pregnant female body treat the fetus based on gender?

I have seen on a youtube video that the female body produces antigenes and antibodies when she is pregnant with a boy. But this behaviour is not produced when she is pregnant with a girl. These means ...
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239 views

Highest Pressure Human Body Can Survive In?

One design for underwater human inhabited environments is to have equal pressure between the surrounding water and the submerged habitat, thus allowing a section of the floor to be open to the water ...
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51 views

Is there a difference between endorphins that are released while physical activity and sex/masturbation?

I observerd myself and I can identify two different types of "happines". First - called by me - After Pleasure : Occurs AFTER (and last long) long activity that require from me engagement focus and ...
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51 views

Relationship between small and large fast-twitch motor units

When large fast-twitch motor units are temporarily fatigued, non-fatigue small motor units in the same muscle are impaired for small delicate tasks. Why? When impulses from the brain comes down, the ...
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37 views

Nearly Exhaustive List for Cholesterol Pathways

I have run across an interesting case that is similar to only two others I've encountered. What makes it interesting is the combination of undetectable (under normal testing conditions, can elaborate ...
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41 views

How can one accurately diagnose human hearing loss without surgery?

In a human, if you were to avoid a tympanotomy, how could you distinguish between a blocked Eustachian Tube, a ruptured eardrum, or Perilymph Fistula? For instance take the situation where a young ...
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30 views

Is there a homeostatic setpoint for number of hours of sleep required by a human?

I've heard this TED.com talk about dieting and it mentions that there's a very definitive setpoint within the human brain about how much a human should weight. The speaker mentions that after as much ...
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46 views

Why does the ovum prefers to be arrested at metaphase 2 of meosis before fertilization? What is the possible advantage of this process?

Why does the human ovum prefers to be arrested at metaphase 2 of meosis before fertilization? What is the possible advantage of this process??Please help me with it.
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44 views

What parts of the brain are involved in regulating blood pressure in mammals?

I'm reading this Wikipedia article on blood pressure and its regulation, and it mentions that medulla is involved. however, I vaguely remember reading another article on Wikipedia and it mentioned ...
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88 views

Why do ion concentrations change with different secretion rates in pancreatic juice?

Why is it that when secretory rate increases in the pancreas the concentration of chloride ions decreases, and the concentration of bicarbonate increases in the production of isotonic NaCl secretion? ...
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57 views

Does Dorsal Raphe Nuclei firing pattern change in response to voluntary breathing?

I'm reading this paper, which discusses how Serotonin may be involved in motor functions of mammals: 5-HT and motor control: a hypothesis . The paper includes the following diagram of the Dorsal ...
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41 views

Can we make any judgements about sleep or readiness to sleep from a heart rate metric and/or pulse oxymetry?

I'm looking at inexpensive and un-intrusive ways to quantify the state of human body/mind . One of these is Actigraphy, which is a study of human motion over time. This can be done with an iPhone ...
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57 views

Are the intestinal flora substantially different within a diverticulum of the colon?

From the Wikipedia page for the vermiform appendix: This proposal is based on a new understanding of how the immune system supports the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria, in combination ...
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20 views

Physiologically, how can stress/anxiety cause neuropathy?

According to the Mayo Clinic, stress/anxiety can cause "pins and needles" (neuropathy) sensations all over the body. But how can this be? My understanding of the sensory pathway is that sensory ...
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16 views

Would blue light be effective to help average people when sunsets come much earlier in the day?

I know people with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) benefit from blue light in the winter as night-time comes much earlier (in the UK, sunset is around 4pm in December, compared to 9pm in June). ...
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27 views

Cigarette consumption dose-response function WRT health outcomes

I'm curious how health risks (mortality, lifetime probability of cancer, etc) change with cigarette consumption. Specifically, treatring cigarette consumption like a continuous variable, rather than ...
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17 views

To Study Interactions of two molecules in PubChem

Assume you have two substances Diosminum / Hesperidinum. The former strengthens vascular walls. The latter has role in some glycoside biosynthesis. From Biochemistry, I recall that glycodises have ...
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7 views

Does transplanted heart have full sympaticus without medication?

I am reading this and this where I am considering this sentence [N]o baseline parasympathetic innervation [in transplanted heart]. Does this sentence imply that ...