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

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Can carnivores survive on a (processed) vegetarian diet? Why or why not?

There are many differences in for example the digestive system between carnivores, herbivores and omnivores. It seems that in certain kinds of species adaptability with respect to diet is possible. ...
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191 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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91 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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656 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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1answer
44 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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1answer
51 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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1answer
407 views

Why do I breathe out of BOTH nostrils?

After reading the question why do I only breathe out of one nostril I realized that breathing out of both isn't common. I have always breathed out of both, and when I get a stuffy nose, or a runny ...
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65 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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38 views

What are those visual and auditory reflex controlled by the midbrain? [closed]

The midbrain is a centre for certain visual and auditory reflexes. But what are those reflexes exactly? My study book says that these reflexes are, e.g., responsible for moving the eyes to view ...
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39 views

Case Study and speculations of Edward Mordake

I am very interested in the case of the man named Edward Mordake who lived in the 19th century. In particular, he had two faces. If you have not heard of this man, please, search this up as there are ...
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467 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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114 views

Why can't we defibrillate the heart within 1 minute after ventricular fibrillation by electroshock?

We mostly can defibrillate the heart before 1 min of ventricular fibrillation by electroshock.Then we often can't do defibrillate it with electroshock. What's the reason and What's the best way to ...
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430 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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1answer
111 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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175 views

What is atrial fibrillation? [closed]

I am wondering exactly what a-fib is (causes and symptoms). I would really appreciate having a sample of an EKG with it (because in my limited research, I have found it nearly impossible to find just ...
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95 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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1answer
130 views

What is lack in sense of smell called?

People who lack the sense of hearing, vision and speaking are called Deaf, Blind and Mute. But what is the person called if he/she lacks the sense of smell? Is there any case like that?
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113 views

What’s the reason for isovolumic contraction and isovolumic relaxation?

During cardiac cycle, there are two periods in which the heart volume doesn’t change, but there is a change in tension/pressure. It takes about 0.25-0.35 second to achieve this change. I searched in ...
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144 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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1answer
86 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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4answers
226 views

Why do the humans become sleepy after meals?

I don't know about all the mankind, but I know enough people, who becomes sleepy after their meals. Also, I'm not sure, what kind of food do they consume, but I personally get sleepy almost from any ...
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1answer
30 views

How do cold conditions help organ transplants?

Body organs are kept cold in-between explanting them from the donor and implanting them in the new host. How do these cold conditions help organs to stay viable while they haven't fresh blood, energy ...
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1answer
30 views

Why do epithelial cells arrest in response to serum?

Primary epithelial cells, for example human mammary epithelium, fail to proliferate (arrest) in serum-containing medium. Therefore, a common growth medium for epithelium contains pituitary extract ...
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1answer
206 views

Hydrogen Peroxide on Open Wounds

I know that H2O2 is a chemical with high oxidative potential. It can deliver nascent oxygen which can destroy bacteria. I understand that open wounds have cells that are dividing at a fast rate to ...
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1answer
75 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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674 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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1answer
81 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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2answers
6k 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
68 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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1answer
69 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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1answer
2k views

What are the units of Q10 (temperature sensitivity)?

$Q_{10}$ is the increase in a rate (e.g. activity of an enzyme) observed with a 10° temperature increase. According to Wikipedia: ...
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53 views

Determining how much energy a plant takes in?

I asked a question on WorldBuilding.SE, "Are diamond berries possible?". This led to asking a question on Chemistry.SE about the amount of energy required to burn a 1 ct. diamond (−6.527kJ). The ...
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1answer
40 views

Liver - Regeneration in Cirrhosis

Liver is the most resilient of the human organ (on par with or next to skin). A very interesting experiment on liver regeneration is here. Even if two-thirds of the liver is removed, the remaining ...
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306 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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1answer
24 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
123 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
329 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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1answer
105 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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228 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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1answer
3k views

Slow-oxidative fibres vs fast-glycotic fibres

Why do slow oxidative muscle fibres contain more mitochondria compared to fast-glycolytic muscle fibres?
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1answer
107 views

Are ectopic beats considered sinus rhythm for pNN50 purposes?

One quantification of the heart rate variability of an ECG is pNNx, i.e. the proportion of consecutive NN distances that differ by at least 50 ms. When a premature beat occurs, the preceding and ...
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1answer
45 views

Why do the size of the phase 1 notch vary among cardiac cells?

The size of the phase 1 notch varies among cardiac cells. It is prominent in myocytes in the epicardial and midmyocardial regions of the left ventricular wall and in ventricular Purkinje fibers. ...
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1answer
59 views

Mechanisms of bone growth

The length of a bone is caused by growth of hyaline cartilage which is then replaced by bone tissue. How do cells know whether they should grow the hyaline cartilage? What are the key molecules that ...
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160 views

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigs), any health risks?

Background: An electronic cigarette (e-cig or e-cigarette) is a battery-powered device which simulates tobacco smoking patented in 1963 by Herbert A. Gilbert. It generally uses a heating element ...
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1answer
333 views

What are the highest and lowest possible pH, paCO2 and HCO3 in the blood of living human?

What are the highest and lowest possible values of pH, $paCO_2$, and $HCO_3$ in the (arterial or venous) blood of a living human being?
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263 views

Correlation between muscle size and absolute strength

Is there a linear connection between muscle size and the power it can produce? If not, why? And what is the true correlation if any, can it be described with an appropriate function? What other ...
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1answer
127 views

Attachment of muscles during molting in insects

Normally, insects' muscles are attached to their exoskeleton but what happens to this attachment when they are moulting? Sorry if this is an extremely silly question but I have wondered about it for ...