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

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3answers
3k views

What actually happens when my leg 'falls asleep'?

Most people have experienced the temporary loss of feeling and tingling in their leg resulting from sitting in an abnormal position for a short while. Usually you get a loss of feeling in your leg ...
4
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1answer
174 views

Body size, what are the evolutionary trade-offs?

Background Considering just the "Kingdom Animalia" branch of organisms. It is clear that bigger does not necessarily mean better - there is large variation in body size... From the 94 µm long ...
3
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1answer
79 views

Elevated position effect on recovery times from upper respiratory infections at rest?

In nursing school, they advice for people with upper respiratory infections to be in a slightly elevated position at the head region when sleeping. My intuition of the reason is that the lymphatic ...
14
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1answer
943 views

Why do we get runny noses in the cold?

The most annoying thing for me about being cold is a runny nose. Is there an advantage to having a runny nose when cold? What does having a runny nose achieve?
5
votes
1answer
839 views

The genetic and physiological origins of laughter?

This Wikipedia article defines laughter in many terms, such as... "a visual expression of happiness, or an inward feeling of joy" and "a part of human behavior regulated by the brain, ...
10
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1answer
176 views

Does stress physically age our body?

Going by the assumption that stress eventually triggers a flight/fight response, and the subsequent realization that flight/fight puts the body in a system of readiness to use it's available resources ...
29
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1answer
719 views

What is itching?

What exactly at the molecular level is itching? What physiological function does itching serve, if any? I cant remember the reference but a PLCb3 null mice lost the itch phenotype, so presumably it is ...
16
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3answers
301 views

How is the blood volume of a living organism measured without killing it?

How is the blood-volume of an organism measured without killing it? NOTE: The blood-volume of an organism is defined as the total volume of blood present inside that organism.
12
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3answers
158 views

How are long time periods measured in biological systems?

Biological systems are pretty good at measuring fairly long times, for example, menstrual cycles (month), or puberty (years). Counting days or years seems to be implausible, and chemical concentration ...
17
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3answers
1k views

Do animals exist with an uneven total number of digits?

I recently finished reading Contact by Carl Sagan. In the book they talk about a pattern in the transcendental number like pi or e, and comment that it is found in base 10 or however many fingers the ...
15
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3answers
400 views

Are human fetuses more likely to be male?

Question: From a physiological point of view, when sex is determined in a human fetus, is it equally likely to be male or female? Studies in this area typically measure age at birth, where the data ...
14
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1answer
1k views

Why do some mammals not have testes in a scrotum?

Coming from an evolutionary approach, Is the only purpose of a scrotum to regulate the temperature of the testes? Knowing all mammals are warm blooded, shouldn't all mammals have testes in a ...
3
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2answers
816 views

Ill effects of urea and NH₃ on metabolism

What exactly does urea do that harms our body? Does it interfere with our cellular processes or disturbs the colloidal onchotic pressure of our blood? I have heard that NH3 damages the brain. What ...
2
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1answer
63 views

Fast standing and the heart's insufficient accommodation of the increased venous return

Assume you are 45 minutes on the supine position. Furthermore: you stand all of a sudden and fast and without sympaticus activity. The venous return (smooth musculature of vessels) accommodates ...
0
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2answers
80 views

What is called the condition where no pacemaker cells are active in heart for short-time?

Assume that the heart is beating but no pacemaker cells is working for at least 15 seconds. This would be very long compensatory pause if extrasystole started it. There may be some low frequent ...
4
votes
2answers
312 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

What is the physiological difference between cortisone and cortisol?

There is only hydrogen bond different. Cortisol is synthesized by our body, while cortisone is given to the patient. Why you cannot give cortisol directly to the patient? I think the reason is ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

What happens during a Raynauds episode?

Raynaud's phenomenon can be a serious health issue, as the blood flow to the extremities, mainly the fingers is compromised, causing fingers to blanche, and then turn blue. Severe Raynaud's can cause ...
0
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0answers
31 views

Few innervations to blood sugar regulation

Assume you have a case of young female where the intake of 75 grams of pure sugar leads to a rapid peak of blood glucose level (within seconds) plateau phase with very steady blood glucose level ...
0
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1answer
15 views

Which ionic channels of Pacemakers can work in very low frequencies in extrasystole?

At frequency 0-3 Hz. Like computer processors which can work at low frequencies and controlling under- and overvoltage. Normal most significant channels are Ca2+ and K+ that are changing. However, I ...
0
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0answers
21 views

Laser surgery to stop damaged Sinus node from beating

I am trying to find any publication about laser surgery to stop the damaged sinus node which cannot anymore beat. I could only find publications which modifies SA node function. I am not sure if it ...
5
votes
1answer
137 views

What protocol does the nervous system use?

I just read How does an inhibitory synapse communicate to the cell body of a neuron? and found myself asking this question ... hopefully I'm not asking the same thing Any body possessed of a nervous ...
4
votes
1answer
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
184 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 ...
4
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1answer
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?
3
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2answers
330 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 ...
2
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1answer
43 views

Do Ants have a sense of Direction?

Do ants understand which way is up or down? Could they differentiate between uphill and downhill?
2
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2answers
161 views

Can the body of any organism on Earth live without impairment both in vacuum, and within Earth's atmosphere?

I know from reading that a human in vacuum needs a space-suit to survive. Is the body of any organism on Earth capable of living equally in vacuum, and on/below Earth's surface within the ...
1
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1answer
51 views

difference between ischemia and oxygen-glucose deprived medium

Ischemia is roughly defined as insufficient blood flow to a specific region of the body and in the literature it is generally considered as causing oxygen and glucose deprivation in the tissue and ...
0
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1answer
26 views

Are there any forms of heart failure where cell size decreases?

I think hypertrophy happens in most of the cases. However, I am not sure if hypertrophy always happens. I started to think about wet lungs (pulmonary reason for the left-sided heart failure). Can the ...
0
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2answers
400 views

Converting unit/mg or unit/ml into ng/ml, or vice-versa

I am working with the enzyme Cu/Zn Superoxide (SOD1) and i am quantifying them in ng/ml. However, most past studies has SOD1 quantified in unit/mg or unit/ml, and i need to compare the SOD1 level of ...