The biological process by which new individuals are formed.

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66
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1answer
6k views

Do bacteria die of old age?

I know that the cells of mammals at least stop dividing when they are old, and then die a programmed cell death. Then other cells have to replace them. But in a bacterial colony, each cell ...
18
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3answers
487 views

Are human fetuses more likely to be male? [duplicate]

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 ...
17
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5answers
5k views

Why are not all species hermaphrodites?

If a hermaphrodite animal (like slug, snail, etc) finds a partner they can mate immediately. If another animal with "normal" reproduction (lets say a mouse) finds a partner they can only mate if they ...
14
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1answer
2k 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 ...
13
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2answers
352 views

Have we ever observed two drosophila lineages that evolved reproductive isolation in labs?

Background The standard definition of species refers to the concept of reproductive isolation. If two lineages are found to be reproductively isolated, then we consider these two lineages to belong ...
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2answers
2k views

How was birth control realized in ancient days? [closed]

In ancient days, there were no birth control methods like condoms or contraceptive pills available. How did they control pregnancy?
11
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314 views

Why, specifically, does each generation, on average, improve upon the design of the species rather than degrade it?

In every non-life example I can envision, a copy of a copy is always a degraded or less pure version of the original unless some outside influence acts to correct the copy back toward the ideal ...
11
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1answer
163 views

Beginning of the urogenital system

Are any invertebrate nephridia (proto/meta) homologous with vertebrate kidneys in the sense that embryologically they also begin together with the genital system? When did the embryologic association ...
10
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3answers
2k views

Species with reproduction barriers that can both reproduce with a third species

To start with, I do not have a sound knowledge in biology or any formal education in the area. I was told that one of the definition of a species is a reproductive barrier, which means that if two ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Which sex has higher variance of reproductive rate in modern societies - male or females?

Who has a more varied reproduction rate in modern western societies - men or women? The average rate is the same of course, but I wonder which sex have higher variance - higher variance means that ...
9
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1answer
256 views

Why does the sex of the parent species determines the species of a hybrid offspring

I've read a little about hybrid animals, and have been amazed by the fact that the sex of the parent species determine the species of the offspring, in some hybrids. A male horse and a female donkey ...
9
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2answers
234 views

Why does the chance of having a baby with Down's syndrome increase with the age of the mother?

Down's syndrome occurs when either the egg or the sperm cell contain on extra chromosome 21. To my understanding, women are born with all the egg cells in place already, so there's no further cell ...
9
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1answer
792 views

Could humans and chimpanzees hybridize?

In some cases two species can hybridize. For example, Tigers and lions can hybridize to produce "Ligers". Would it also be possible for humans and chimpanzees (or any other species) to hybridize ? ...
9
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474 views

Do twins “run in the family”?

My wife and I recently found out that we are going to have twins and so nearly everyone asks if we have a family history of twins. Now I know that the answer for me is that it doesn't matter—as ...
9
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1answer
72 views

What bacteria do unborn babies contain?

This Scientific American article states that "[human] infestation [by bacteria] begins at birth". This would suggest that unborn babies are free from any bacteria. However, if the mother catches a ...
9
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2answers
876 views

Do hormone drugs affect whether a person feels sexual attraction to males or females?

I know that ingesting testosterone and other hormonal drugs may stimulate libido and increase sexual desire. But I wonder, if a man ingests female hormones such as estrogen, will he experience sexual ...
8
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1answer
408 views

Is sexual reproduction outside the same biological family possible? Has it ever occured successfully?

Are there any examples of two species taxonomically classified in different biological families that have successfully hybridized and produced viable offspring? If not, is there an example of where ...
8
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1answer
710 views

A timeline of the odds for survival for fertilized eggs and fetuses

I'm looking for data to build a timeline of the odds for survival of a fertilized egg, i.e., What are the odds it'll last a week? What are the odds it'll last a month? 2 months? (and so on ...
8
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1answer
121 views

Neuroendocrinal mechanism of parturition

My book reads, "The fetus signals that it is mature by secreting certain hormones that diffuse across the placenta into mother's blood and cause the secretion of oxytocin from her posterior ...
8
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0answers
47 views

How is centriole number maintained during meiosis?

I've found a website (Pearson's BioCoach) that claims centrioles duplicate in Prophase II. Is this accurate? Does it depend on the species in question? Looking at three textbook illustrations of ...
7
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1answer
5k views

Why is fructose not glucose the main energy source of sperm?

The seminal fluid contains fructose as the main energy source for the sperm and not glucose. Why is fructose and not glucose the primary energy source for these sperm, since glucose is the ...
7
votes
1answer
516 views

When do most mammals mate?

Is one part of the day more prevalent then other when it comes to mammal animals mating? Is there an aggregating study that has been done to see if these living beings in nature mate mostly during day ...
7
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1answer
273 views

Cytoplasmic determinants - protostomes and deuterostomes

Cytoplasmic determinants are spread unevenly in the egg, and so when embryo starts forming (cells start dividing), the determinants are also unequally divided between cell. This unequal distribution ...
7
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1answer
609 views

Do egg laying animals experience a pregnancy?

Does a female animal that lays eggs experience a pregnancy-like period of time, where she will feel and behave differently as if she were fertilized and her body is prepared to lay a fertile egg, not ...
6
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3answers
764 views

Does our eyeball increase in size as we grow?

Does the size of the eye increase as we develop from the stage the complete eye first forms to infancy and then to adulthood ?
6
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2answers
15k views

Can positive and negative blood type of a couple lead to miscarriage?

I want to know can $+ve$ and $-ve$ blood group of a couple could be a cause of miscarriage in pregnancy?
6
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2answers
62 views

Do the eggs for larger litters come from the same meiosis events, or different ones?

There are some species of animals that give birth to more than one pup at a time. In these species, are the fertilized eggs all from one or a limited group of meiosis processes, or are they from ...
6
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1answer
445 views

Is it purely the nervous system causing vaginal lubrication (arousal)?

My girlfriend was watching some documentary on TLC about a paralyzed woman getting pregnant. I believe that woman still has some feeling, as she spoke about feeling the effects of a bladder ...
6
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1answer
212 views

Effect of spaying on the female cat organism and health

Veterinarians often recommend spaying a female cat if the owner does not want her to have kittens. What does biology know about the effect of spaying on female cats' organism and health (apart from ...
6
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2answers
602 views

How are the gene sequences of individual sperm and egg cells “randomized”?

What I mean by "randomized" is, in the place where an egg cell or sperm cell is made, what is the mechanism by which each one is not made identically? Though I am a layman, I'm pretty sure that if the ...
6
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2answers
181 views

Why did women historically have such a high mortality rate during birth?

Historically women had a relatively high chance of dying while giving birth. At first thought it seems to me that this would be a disadvantage for the species for the obvious reason that a dead ...
6
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1answer
111 views

Reproduction and defecation

In mammals and birds the external reproductive organs and waste removal organs see to be the same. Is this always the case with other animals such as insects etc...? Are there any good reasons for it? ...
6
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1answer
321 views

How selfish is Dictyostelium slug formation?

Dictyostelium is a slime mold which is well known for having a single cell free living phase and other some conditions (e.g. when food is scarce) for forming communal piles of cells called 'slugs' ...
6
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1answer
456 views

Alfred Jost's rabbit experiment: how did he actually do it?

I was watching a Crash Course on Biology YouTube video by Hank Green: Great Glands - Your Endocrine System. Hank humorously describes a sex determination experiment by Alfred Jost as follows ...
6
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1answer
89 views

Gender and age-specific mutation rate in plants

Background General concept According to Cochran and Harpending (2013), mothers transmits on average a number $x$ of new mutations to their offspring. This number $x$ is independent of the age of the ...
6
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1answer
117 views

Isogametes and oogametes

I have found the following definitions of different types of gametes: isogametes: gametes looking and behaving the same; heterogametes: gametes different in size or in behaviour; oogametes: gametes ...
6
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1answer
84 views

What is most ancestral: isogamy or anisogamy?

Sexual reproduction can be feasible with anisogamy (gametes of different sizes i.e. genders) or isogamy (gametes of same size i.e. mating types) or with undifferentiated gametes (i.e. true random ...
6
votes
1answer
119 views

Macromolecule levels in daughter cells after fission

When a prokaryote undergoes binary fission, how are the non-DNA macromolecules distributed between the two daughter cells? This is motivated by comments on a previous question and a G+ discussion. I ...
6
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1answer
122 views

Why do women live longer than men?

According to Wikipedia and many other sources, women live substancially longer than men (over 5 years in the U.S.). Men can reproduce for much longer than women. So longer living men would have the ...
6
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1answer
975 views

Regulation in plants bearing cleistogamous and chasmogamous flowers

In most plants bearing cleistogamous flowers, chasmogamous flowers are also borne by the plants. For example, Viola, Oxalis and Commelina contain both these kinds of flowers.( I am unaware of a ...
5
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1answer
1k views

How does a sperm cell die?

What causes an animal sperm cell to die? Does it die somehow from being outside its original environment? I've studied the Wikipedia page on sperm and I see a lot of information on what makes up a ...
5
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2answers
81 views

Why are there no artificial wombs yet?

If the conditions within the womb are mimicked, and proper amniotic fluid with constantly recycling nutrients is maintained, is it not possible to obtain an artificial womb? Is there anything missing? ...
5
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1answer
266 views

How can the child and the mother have different blood types?

As far as I know the fetus is fed by the umbilical cord which basically connects his/her circulatory system with the mother's in order to supply oxygen and nutrients. But how is this possible if they ...
5
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1answer
92 views

Can androgen-insensitive genetic-males get pregnant?

According to the linked report, people with androgen insensitivity syndrome appear as male, but have both feminine and masculine outer genitalia. However, I was not able to find out whether their ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

The probability of indirect human fertilization?

What is the probability of conception in situations when sperm isn't directly ejaculated into the woman's vagina, like: The man's or the woman's hands come into contact with sperm, for example when ...
5
votes
2answers
125 views

Do changes in an organism's cell modify the genetic information it uses for reproduction?

What I'm actually interested about is whether a modification in one cell during the life of an asexually reproducing organism affects its genetic information? Which cell's genetic information is used ...
5
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1answer
227 views

What evolutionary pressures pushed Galápagos tortoises to mature so slowly and live so long?

I read that they take up to 40 years (in the wild) to reach the age of reproduction and are thought to live over 100 years, with one in captivity reaching over 170 years. Can someone explain in ...
5
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1answer
206 views

What is the maximum number of babies a human woman can have?

I know you could divide the female fertility period (~40 years, right?) by 9 months which would give something like ~50 kids (with no multiple kids per pregnancy). The limiting factor in this ...
5
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2answers
56 views

If the haploid prothallium of a fern fertilizes itself into a diploid sporophyte, does this make all ferns clones?

From what I understand in the alternation of generations in ferns, mature spores germinate into a haploid prothallium. But how does this gametophyte produce recombinant gametes if it itself develops ...
4
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3answers
174 views

Gametes of two different species

I always wondered why gametes from two different species dont fuse together to form an offspring. eg a donkey (sperm) and a female dog (egg) I know this is not possible but I'm just curious.