The biological process by which new individuals are formed.

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81
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8k 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 ...
22
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5answers
7k 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 ...
22
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2answers
1k views

Why is menstruation in wild animals not a disadvantage to organismal survival?

When I watch wilderness specials for more than a few minutes, I notice a familiar pattern: predators are depicted as being alerted by the scent of blood. Wounded animals seem to make the best prey and ...
18
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3answers
520 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 ...
16
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2answers
2k views

What's the difference between male and female?

As long as we only look at humans the differences are clear: males have chromosomes XY, produce sperm and don't get pregnant. Females have chromosomes XX, produce egg cells and bear babies. But when ...
14
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2answers
493 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 ...
14
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1answer
3k 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
430 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 ...
13
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1answer
866 views

Can an organism exist as a single cell but come together as multi-cellular during certain times?

I am trying to remember a particular segment from a BBC special, in which there was single cellular species. However, at certain times all the individual cells came together to form a structure, not ...
12
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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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2answers
675 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 ...
11
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1answer
308 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
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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 ...
10
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2answers
336 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 ...
10
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1answer
1k 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 ? ...
10
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1answer
742 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 ...
9
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1answer
499 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 ...
9
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1answer
2k 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
379 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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1answer
168 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
1k 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 ...
9
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2answers
337 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 ...
8
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2answers
460 views

Why do we have more male infant born?

For every 104 male babies,we have 100 female babies and there is a Statistics which is more reliable (we have 997 female infant born per 1000 male infant born). what's the reason? why do we have male ...
8
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1answer
145 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 ...
8
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1answer
2k views

Can females be recreated from male DNA?

A chromosomal male is XY and a chromosomal female is XX. Now imagine if, one day, this world has only males - is it possible to "recreate" a female by using two X chromosomes from two different males? ...
8
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2answers
231 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 ...
8
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1answer
8k 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 ...
8
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1answer
1k 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
136 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 ...
7
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2answers
1k views

Is Mutation Theory still “valid” for complex organisms?

I'm afraid like most people I suffer from having learned "A History of Evolution" in school, rather than cutting to the chase and learning the actual "up to date" version of the subject. (Imagine if ...
7
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3answers
1k views

What exactly does adaptive mean?

This is a quote from Dey et al 2014: Hatching asynchrony is thought to be adaptive because... What exactly does adaptive mean here? Does it mean hatching asynchrony has fitness benefits? Or does ...
7
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2answers
157 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? ...
7
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1answer
353 views

What will happen if a foetus is Rh- and the mother is Rh+?

If a mother has Rh-negative blood and her foetus has Rh-positive blood it will result in rhesus incompatibility and lead to erythroblastosis fetalis. What will happen if the reverse occurs, when a ...
7
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3answers
2k 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 ?
7
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2answers
78 views

Do babies conceived naturally or artificially have any differences in long-term health?

Are there any long-term differences in children conceived via artificial insemination or sexual intercourse, pending that the mother successfully delivers the child?
7
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1answer
107 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 ...
7
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1answer
395 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' ...
7
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1answer
206 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 ...
7
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1answer
626 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
371 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
1k 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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1answer
2k 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 ...
6
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1answer
189 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 ...
6
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2answers
26k 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
116 views

What are possible health risks to women having large numbers of children?

What is the possible health issue the women would face in this record? The record for most children born to a single couple belongs to the first wife of Feodor Vassilyev of Russia. In 27 ...
6
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2answers
91 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
535 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
238 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
719 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
2k views

Why do we produce so many sperm?

So apparently we produce roughly 300 million sperm daily. Is there a reason why this is necessary? Wouldn't a much smaller (but still large) number be sufficient? Like, one million?