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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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 ...
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45 views

How pronounced is the difference if we would change the running direction for runners?

I was jogging when I asked myself this question: In running contests the standard running direction is counterclockwise; I also believe to remember that the regulation is very old (right back to the ...
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43 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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18 views

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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33 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 ...
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43 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 ...
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62 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 ...
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48 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 ...
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36 views

Is there a mechanism by which mammals lose interest in a partner after mating?

I'm reading the book called "Cupid's poison arrow", which revolves around a rather simple assumption: most mammals, including humans have a genetic program that is responsible for ever increasing ...
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43 views

Can we artificially increase human growth using HGH?

Robert Pershing Wadlow was a man who lived in the early-mid 1900s and had hyperplasia of his pituitary gland, which caused him over-produce human growth hormone (HGH) and grow to nearly 9 feet ...
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131 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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56 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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130 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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85 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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294 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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51 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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266 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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103 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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105 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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218 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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132 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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25 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 ...
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37 views

Write the haplotypes of the family

I'm doing old exam assignments to prepare for my finals on Monday and I've stumbled on one assignment that I'm not sure how to tackle. A family with 2 children is examined for cataracts using PCR ...
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68 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 ...
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57 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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58 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 ...
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28 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, ...
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62 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 .
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49 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 ...
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58 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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131 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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109 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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179 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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63 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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46 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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67 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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350 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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60 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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40 views

Why do we turn darker in the sun?

I tried the all powerful google to answer this question - but I am not getting the answer I seek. I know we turn darker because the skin produces melanin. The question remains - why darker? I am a ...
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21 views

How late in a human pregnancy can a zygote split?

This page indicates that the first two days is "very early" for a zygote to split, and that conjoined twins are the result of an "extremely late" split: If the zygote splits very early (in the ...
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17 views

What is the lifetime of the vasopressin receptor V2?

I was looking at the production of vasopressin receptor 2, also known as V2R or ADH-R. What I found is that it is coded by the AVPR2 gene and degraded by the Alix protein (source). But I did not get ...
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112 views

Which of these methods is both effective and reliable in elongate muscle and tendon for use in humans: growth factors or stem cell technology

Which method is it the most effective, but also the most reliable for elongating muscle and tendons for clinical trial; using modern growth factor technology or using modern stem cell technology? ...
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30 views

Does Acromegaly cause actual expansion of the zygomatic(cheek) bone

Acromegaly is a disorder in adults involving excess growth hormone production. Since epiphyseal fusion has already taken place in most bones of adults , this does not cause an increase in stature. ...
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49 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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19 views

Does the use of a Thiazide diuretic affect the ability of a hair follicle to absorb substances?

Thiazide diuretics are on the World Anti Doping Agency's, as well as the International Olympic Committee, list of banned substances due to it ability to mask illegal substances in urine. The rapid ...
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25 views

Is this description of etiology of celiac disease correct?

There is a detailed and, to my inexpert eyes, plausible description of the etiology of celiac disease and other autoimmune disorders posted here: http://no-gluten.org/CeliacDisease.htm Is it is at ...
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478 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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27 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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47 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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214 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 ...