The study of the normal function of living organisms and the means by which it is achieved.

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118 views

What are some examples of scaling laws in biology?

I've seen that metabolic rate scales logarithmically as function of mass for many animals over an extremely large span of parameters. What other scaling laws exist at the individual level?
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183 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 ...
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141 views

What limits the size of fish compared to marine mammals?

The largest extant fish species is the whale shark (Rhincodon typus). With a length of 13 meters and a mass of about 20-30 metric tons, the whale shark is relatively small compared to the largest ...
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150 views

How does ethanol interact with insulin?

I know that ethanol increases insulin secretion--could someone explain why? All I have found till now is experimental data analyses. I am interested in mechanism of alcohol consumption.
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87 views

Are there any situations in which phenylephrine is preferred to pseudoephedrine?

In the mid 2000s in the US, due to issues of drug enforcement, pseudoephedrine containing medications were brought behind the pharmacy counter and in most cases require ID, and phenylephrine was ...
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78 views

How efficient is the human body at metabolizing food?

My friend and I were having a discussion over how "efficient" human digestion is. If a human ate a 1000 calorie hamburger, how many of those calories (how much energy) does the body process into ...
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310 views

Extraretinal photoreception in mammals? [duplicate]

A Finnish firm Valkee sells light-ear-plugs against thing such as jetlag. I asked a researcher in Aalto university how do they really work and he responded ...
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221 views

what are the mechanics of sweating?

The causes of sweating aside, i.e. I'm not interested in which and how nerve signals are transmitted to sweat glands. But I would like to read a detailed account on what a sweat gland consists of, ...
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332 views

What causes instinctive behaviour?

Some actions, almost behaviour, exist that are common across a species. For instance, based on personal observation, human babies try to taste anything new they encounter until they are a few score ...
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159 views

Is there a way for a 19th century scientist to prove that the octopus doesn't revive?

Say a sophiscated scientist in the 19th century noted that applying soy sauce on a dead octopus leads to movement of the legs, as a result of the voltage differences resulting from the salt in the soy ...
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156 views

Is a raised baseline between T and QRS normal in any ECG lead?

Here are excerpts from an unknown ECG lead. I find it weird that the "baseline" changes after the T wave and doesn't return until after the following QRS complex. Is that normal/expected for any lead? ...
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137 views

What happens to fecal matter if it's continually re-eaten?

After class today, the topic of eating one's one fecal matter came up. There was a sharp divide as to how people thought the defecations would change. I realize this is a bit of an odd question but ...
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121 views

Why mosquito bite is confined to a certain shape?

I think this problem should be asked in a physiology forum rather than biology@ stackex but I'll give it a try. So my question is simple - why a mosquito bite is usually confined to a certain shape ...
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78 views

Enlargement of thyroid gland

Why does thyroid gland enlarge both in hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism? Hypothyroid goitre is due to lack of iodine in diet and hyperthyroid goitre (Exopthalmic goitre, Grave's disease) is due to ...
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105 views

Counterintuitive action of Vitamin D?

Vitamin D acts in a way which to me is counterintuitive. It functionally supplemets Parathormone. It in the intestinal tract steps up calcium absorption by altering nuclear gene expression and also ...
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85 views

The mechanism of mechanoreception?

I am interested in knowing the molecular mechanism behind mechanoreception/mechanotransduction (i.e. mechanism behind receptor potential generation on mechanical stimulation). I know that most ...
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198 views

How is membrane capacitance related to the increased speed of saltatory conduction?

Here is the original question which inspired my question. As explained by the answers there, the reason saltatory conduction in myelinated neurons is faster than non-myelinated conduction is because ...
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42 views

What are the molecular mechanisms that make the turtle brain more resistant to hypoxia?

I know that turtle brains, particularly those of individual species that hibernate and burrow are particularly resilient to hypoxia and any tissue damage secondary to a hypoxic event. What are the ...
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47 views

Immunity during pregnancy

I have learnt that our immune system distinguishes self from non-self by using MHC. So a mother during pregnancy should also develop antibodies against the fetus as it is also a genetically different ...
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63 views

How is olfactory acuity rated/measured?

Acuity of one's sight is rated on the 20/20 scale. An online search appeared to indicate there is no comparable 'standard' to rate olfactory acuity. How is acuity of the olfactory system rated?
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90 views

Mechanism of Muscle Growth

According to this video (sorry for the poor reference but it represents my level of understanding in physiology), muscle grow as a consequence of repairing micro-lesions. How are these micro-lesions ...
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60 views

How much can you learn about species variation from a skeleton?

I just read about the discovery of the 1.8-million-year-old human skull in Georgia, and how it suggests that early humans were all one species instead of distinct ones. Would an archaeologist ...
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1k views

Conversion rate of topical Retinol to Retinoic Acid (Tretinoin)?

I'm wondering if someone out there has more information than me. Retinoids have well known metabolic pathways in vivo, and it's usually something like: ...
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101 views

Dimensionless number for blood volume

Comments from the question How is the blood volume of a living organism measured without killing it? by @Nico discussed that the time of blood recirculation scales with the size of the organism. I was ...
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411 views

Does Amphibian embryo's blastocoel become a primitive yolk sac without yolk?

The mammalian blastocoel becomes yolk sac without yolk according to my professor. I have not found any evidence that such a thing happens in amphibians like frog. I need to be able to compare and ...
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329 views

Why is the frog genome so much larger than a fish's?

As we have heard in the summaries of the human ENCODE project, 80 per cent of junk DNA appears to have an essential function. Many fish have a genome with only one tenth the size of a usual vertebrate ...
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774 views

The number of nipples (breasts) a species has?

Only mammals have mammaries and mammary glands. What evolutionary factors determines the number of mammaries (nipples/teats/breasts) a species has? Is it always an even number?
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76 views

Is vision a vestigial sense for deep ocean species?

Sunlight doesn't penetrate beyond a couple of hundred feet from the surface of the ocean. Species that exist at greater depth probably live in a state of perpetual night; yet from a quick google image ...
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15k views

Why are (some) cats attracted by bleach?

(Sorry if this question is only partly biological) I have noticed that several cats (including the one that keeps sleeping in my house), are fond of the odor of bleach (eau de Javel) and chlorine. ...
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128 views

What are the factors that control the speed of propagation of neuronal signals?

If we consider an analogy between a wire and a neuron there may be some resemblance between the factors controlling the data flow rate. For example the increased width of wire leads to decreased ...
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67 views

Do people with gout live longer?

Antioxidants reduce damage to tissue (by scavenging the free radicals) and thus may reduce ageing.It is known that Uric acid is a very good antioxidant. People with gout have excess accumulation of ...
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63 views

Do human visual functions degenerate due to genetic factors or by external factors?

Does eyesight primarily deteriorate 'naturally' due to genetics (genomic/epigenomic factors), or due to external factors such as normal wear and tear, or disease? By normal wear and tear I include ...
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61 views

NADH inhibits gluconeogenesis?

I was told in a physiology lecture that alcohol inhibits gluconeogenesis because 'NADH produced from ethanol catabolism leads to product inhibition'. But is NADH not a reactant coenzyme of ...
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413 views

Do women experience more bonding hormones than men after sex?

Does Oxytocin (or any other bonding hormone) increase more so for women than for men after sex? Someone told me that it increases 4-fold for men and 12-fold for women (unconfirmed). Is there any ...
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38 views

What is the reason behind more severe proteinuria in nephrotic syndrome than in nephritic syndrome?

Why is there less protein loss via urine in case of nephritic syndrome than in case of nephrotic syndrome?
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67 views

How does regurgitated food go to the 3rd stomach chamber instead of going to the 1st?

Ruminants are known for their regurgitation of food; the food goes through the 1st and 2nd stomach chambers, then returns to the oral cavity in cuds. The cuds then come back into the stomach, but this ...
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3k views

How does extracellular potassium ion concentration and calcium ion concentration affect the excitability of a cell?

When extracellular $K^+$ concentration increase by a certain amount, excitability of cells is higher because the resting potential shifts toward a higher equilibrium potential of $K^+$, therefore ...
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1answer
60 views

Alternating Ovulation

I have often heard that right and left ovaries alternate in releasing ovum. Is it always true? What controls this rhythm? Is it simply because the other ovary is unresponsive to LH or FSH? If so, ...
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65 views

Difference in reptile inner ear and otosclerosis

In reptiles, the sound is conducted from the tympanic membrane to the inner ear by a single bone. In the disease otosclerosis the stapes of humans become fused to the other middle ear bones( or to ...
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165 views

Negative feedback in the fructose metabolism in liver

What happens in liver when large amount of fructose is consumed? I vaguely remember my biochemistry lecturer telling us that the enzymes that process fructose in the liver does not have negative ...
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1k views

What are the units of Q10 (temperature sensitivity)?

Q10 is the increase in a rate (e.g. activity of an enzyme) observed with a 10 degree temperature increase. According to Wikipedia: It is apparent that the units of R (e.g. mol/g/s) cancel out, ...
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136 views

Antihistamine's effect on insulin secretion and tiredness

Antihistamines are known to cause tiredness. The essential hormones of the body are insulin (glucose), parathyroid hormone (calcium) and aldosterone (Na-K ATPase, sodium). I am thinking how this ...
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23 views

Polarized epithelium and localization of ion channels

I'm trying to learn more about polarized epithelial cells of the gut. I am familiar with classic brush border transporters localized to the apical memebrane to facilitate nutrient absorption. I am ...
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2answers
74 views

What are the physiological roles of Hydrogen sulfide?

I am thinking why hydrogen sulfide has its effects in the body. For instance, it is one Salmonella's virulence factor. I am not sure if such a balance equations holds H2O + H2S ←→ ... Actually, I ...
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1answer
216 views

Is there a maximum pain threshold?

Is there a maximum threshold of pain a Human can experience, beyond which point there is no noticeable difference? I ask this question in part to better understand the definition of pain and its ...
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80 views

Why does hypertension occur in obstructive sleep apnea?

What is the physiological mechanism behind systemic hypertension resulting from obstructive sleep apnea?
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146 views

How does Humira work when injected into patients with rheumatoid arthritis?

OK, I have rheumatoid arthritis and I've been injecting Humira 2 times a month for the last 8 months. As far as I know rheumatoid arthritis is simply an immune system disorder which makes the immune ...
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1answer
50 views

Effect of arteriole dilation on vein

If an arteriole leading to a capillary bed is dilated will the pressure in the vein coming out from the bed decrease ? Will the velocity of blood in the vein change ?
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2k views

What is the genetic basis of blood type (ABO) system?

What is the genetic basis of the A/B/B+/O/etc. blood type system? Are there definitive loci that correspond to each or can multiple different genotypes produce the same antigen profile? Also, is the ...
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2k views

Slow-oxidative fibres vs fast-glycotic fibres

Why do slow oxidative muscle fibres contain more mitochondria compared to fast-glycolytic muscle fibres?