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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620 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 ...
7
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0answers
113 views

What is basis of multifunctionality of “master glands” in the endocrine system?

I have just started reading about the endocrine system and I am having some difficulty understanding the basis of distribution of glands and associated hormones. I am using multifuntionality to ...
5
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0answers
56 views

Are high sounds worse for your hearing than low sounds?

From about 80 dB it is possible to suffer loss hearing after a couple of hours. But does it make a difference what frequencies those sound waves are or is it just the volume of the sound in dB that ...
5
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0answers
136 views

What will happen when humans are injected with plant growth hormones

Will plant growth hormones (PGHs), (let us consider auxins for example) poison our body or not? I do realise that when you eat a shoot, auxins get digested and are less likely to be poisonous but when ...
5
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0answers
30 views

Can we predict a person's tolerance to cold exposure during excercise?

Being an amateur athlete and student of anatomy I've always wanted to know if there is a formula for determining an unconditioned body's tolerance to cold temperatures while exercising. I know the ...
5
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0answers
48 views

Is it possible that the vapour form of propylene glycol could lower a humans blood oxygen saturation by the manner in which N2O does?

My understanding is that by inhaling nitrous oxide leads to the body not being able to take in as much oxygen as it usually would. Is it possible that a heavier soluble gas such as the vapour form of ...
5
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0answers
105 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?
4
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0answers
18 views

Reason for variation in the site of onset of edema

What is the reason for the observed clinical difference in the earliest site of onset of edema in cases of different etiologies? For example, in Congestive Heart Failure, it appears initially as ...
4
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0answers
18 views

Why do kupffer cells not attack sporozoites of malaria?

During malaria, why don't kuppfer cells (hepatic macrophages) attack the plasmodium and stop schizogony, thus saving us from the disease?
4
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0answers
43 views

Does variation in human gut length vary predictably with diet of ancestors?

Background: Numerous online searches, textbooks and other sources seem to pin the average length of the human gut from mouth to anus (oroanal) between about 5-10m in length. To pick a reputable ...
4
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0answers
81 views

Do animals have different taste preferences within the same species?

Humans (especially children...) seem to dislike certain foods or drinks, that other humans seem to like. Common examples are coffee, french cheeses, olives, milk, fish and cabbage. Are there examples ...
4
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0answers
133 views

Why are lips covered with specialized skin?

I found out some interesting facts while studying our lips: They are covered in glabrous skin, while most of the skin surface is hairy; The outermost layer (stratum corneum) of the skin is far ...
4
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0answers
45 views

How does drug-induced photosensitivity work?

Some drugs (tetracyclines, for instance) can cause photosensitivity reactions—that is, some patients become extremely sensitive to the sun, developing rashes or inflammation after spending time ...
4
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0answers
56 views

Does anxiety about weight or eating cause people to become overweight?

A while ago I saw this TED talk about the futility of dieting. The speaker suggests that a body maintains a homeostatic weight point and returns to that weight after dieting has stopped: Turns out ...
4
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0answers
542 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 ...
3
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0answers
23 views

Does increased calorie intake cause increase in libido in humans?

I'm interested in the effect of increased calorie intake on sex hormones and chosen mating strategy in humans. I'm aware that humans have a dual mating strategy - somewhere between pair bond and ...
3
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0answers
43 views

What happens to the brain during sleep versus unconsciousness?

How does being unconsciousness differ from being asleep and whether it causes breaks in consciousness?
3
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0answers
39 views

Are all genes transcribed in differentiated cells?

My textbook tells me that it’s specific transcription factors that allow for a different set of genes to be expressed in different cells (differential gene expression). My book gives the example of ...
3
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0answers
49 views

What is the name of the category of viruses that affect only one side of the body?

The Varicella zoster virus causes chickenpox in children and shingles in adults. When the virus attacks as shingles, one of its distinguishing characteristics is that it only affects one side of the ...
3
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0answers
32 views

In the life-cycle of the HIV virus, how does the created DNA enter the nuclear membrane?

I am in a high school biology class, so I cannot truly attest to how accurate the information I am given is, but as far as I know only RNA and very small molecules can enter the nuclear membrane ...
3
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0answers
41 views

Why are kidney discard rates so high?

A recent report from UNOS states: The kidney discard rate has returned to pre-KAS levels, dropping from 20.2 percent in the first six months to 18.4 percent in months 7-10. To me, this seems ...
3
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0answers
20 views

What are necessary parameters for a tissue scaffold to be biodegradable?`

I am a mechanical engineer with little biological experience, but I have recently been looking at tissue scaffoldings. My current understanding is as follows, but may be flawed. I would appreciate ...
3
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0answers
37 views

Can body temperature affect the quality of sleep?

If so, how does it influence our sleep? And what can we do to improve the quality of sleep by adjesting our body tempurature?
3
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0answers
129 views

How long does conception take?

I know that conception is a multi-step process. A sperm fuses with an egg. Its contents diffuse into the cytoplasm. Dad's DNA is transported to the nucleus. Proteins are gradually made from Dad's DNA....
3
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0answers
74 views

How does estrogen influence collagen synthesis?

Through what mechanisms does estrogen interact with collagen synthesis? Especially in the context of elevated estrogen levels and genesis of purpura simplex .
3
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0answers
81 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 extraversion-...
3
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0answers
412 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 ...
3
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0answers
80 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 ...
3
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0answers
150 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. ...
3
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0answers
54 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 ...
3
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0answers
382 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 ...
3
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0answers
120 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 ...
3
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0answers
269 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 ...
3
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0answers
144 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 ...
2
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0answers
46 views

T cell sensitivity and persistence to specific bacterial proteins

Currently, the standard tests for Lyme Disease measure antibody production after exposure to a bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi. Often, the tests are performed too soon after infection, before ...
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0answers
45 views

Are all the atoms in your body replaced with others over a 30 year period?

I was reading Creation - Life and How to Make It by Steve Grand. (This is the book that inspired Jeff Bezos to start the AWS initiative. ) In it he makes the following statement: Anyhow, by now I ...
2
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0answers
22 views

Did the number of rods changed from ancient time?

Correct me if I am wrong, but I know that rods work under limited light conditions only. But now we are in a world that always have lights everywhere unlike ancient time when humans had to deal with ...
2
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0answers
72 views

Can one eye affect the other eye's low-light adaption?

This previous question addresses how long eyes need to adapt to darkness and reach full contrast. My question is how does one eye affect the "transition" and/or efficacy of this "night vision" of the ...
2
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0answers
31 views

Are there fundamental differences between the adaptive immune systems of higher primates and other mammals?

I recently attended a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society lecture in which one of the lecturers indicated that there are fundamental differences between the adaptive immune systems of higher primates and ...
2
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0answers
77 views

Why does it take many sperm for one sperm to fertilize an egg?

Hundreds of acrosomes must undergo exocytosis to digest holes in the zona pellucida. This is one case that does not bear out the adage, “The early bird catches the worm.” A sperm that comes along ...
2
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0answers
41 views

Why do workouts cause your muscles to feel heavy?

I know that muscle activity causes your muscles to build up lactic acid. Is this the specific reason that your muscles begin to feel heavy? How does this relate to the healing or inflammation process ...
2
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0answers
75 views

Proteases in the blood

I’m reading on hormones and the book talks about how peptide or amine hormones are easily broken down by proteases present in the blood plasma. This has led me to question the interactions between ...
2
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0answers
41 views

Birth control hormones in the water? Or not?

This prior question talks about natural estrogen (TL;DR: Months to years): How quickly do estrogens break down in the environment? Ref: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/485441a A lot of media has said, "...
2
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0answers
1k views

What causes head hair to be different than body and face hair?

If you feel your head hair, it typically feels a lot softer and is easier to manage (comb, brush, fix) than a lot of other hair on your body - specifically I'm thinking about beard hair and pubic hair,...
2
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0answers
87 views

Can DNA test of my grandparent's brother reveal my heritage from that branch of the family?

I'm thinking about doing that DNA test on all my grandparents to know where their genes come from. They are getting very old and I don't want to let the opportunity pass to gather more knowledge about ...
2
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0answers
74 views

Is it possible that weak memory is due to interference between signals in the brain?

"Weak memory", as used in this question, refers to the inability to retrieve a memory that a person otherwise knows he has memorized earlier. An example of this is some fact snippet that the ...
2
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0answers
37 views

Neural correlates of the function of the cardiovascular system?

Are there any known neural correlates of the function of the cardiovascular system? I'm looking for research results that use standard brain imaging techniques (e.g. electroencephalography, ...
2
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0answers
78 views

Why does human hair grow and behave differently depending on its location?

Why does human hair behave differently depending on its location? For instance, head hair grows to an indefinite length, but eyebrows maintain a particular length and appearance. Head hair and ...
2
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0answers
2k 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 ...
2
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0answers
254 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 ...