13
votes
1answer
253 views

How does herpes (HSV) infection suppress HIV?

HIV compromises the human body to defend against infection. Yet people who are infected with herpes are at less risk of developing AIDS. How does this work?
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do neurons die so quickly (relative to other cells) when deprived of oxygen?

This question could be considered a follow-up question to Why is a lack of oxygen fatal to cells?, although the top answer there does not address why damage starts to pop in. The answer says this: ...
11
votes
1answer
84 views

What limits chromosomal length?

What are the upper and lower limits for chromosome length? Are these limits different in different species or kingdoms? If there is any limit, which cellular or molecular factors are reasons?
11
votes
1answer
2k views

How does translational coupling work in prokaryotes?

Today I heard about a phenomenon called "translational coupling", where the translation of one protein influences the translation of another protein. The messenger RNA levels don't seem influenced. ...
10
votes
2answers
600 views

Why does sex last so long?

I wonder why (especially human) sex lasts longer than just a few seconds? My thought is that the shorter it takes a man to ejaculate, the lesser is the risk that he gets interrupted by a rival or a ...
10
votes
3answers
799 views

The evolutionary process in bird wings, especially with regard to winglets

In this answer on aviation.SE a comparison is made between the shapes of airplanes wings and the shapes of birds wings. It concludes with the following remark: After all, no bird has winglets. Not ...
10
votes
4answers
883 views

“Same” DNA vs genes

It is often cited that humans share 99% (or 98%) of their DNA with chimpanzees. On the other hand it is stated that siblings share only half of their genes. What (if any) is the difference between ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

How to obtain bacteria samples at home?

As the original question went from hold to closed, I thought I would write up a more appropriate question. How should one go about getting bacterial samples to look at under a microscope at home? ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

How are our senses dimmed during sleep?

Our senses are not as sensitive during sleep compared to wake. There is an arousal threshold during sleep that only when it is overcome will it wake a person up. My question is how is this arousal ...
10
votes
4answers
6k views

How does sodium in one's diet affect blood pressure?

Due to high blood pressure, my doctor has recommended I go on a low-sodium diet. So, that got me wondering what it is about sodium that drives this recommendation? What does sodium do to a body ...
10
votes
2answers
311 views

What can the timing of human urination tell about the human's physical condition and circadian rhythms?

I've noticed a peculiar phenomenon. A subject drinks 400 ml of water, then observes time until the urge to urinate is felt. The time is 15 minutes. The subject releases water. 14 minutes later another ...
10
votes
1answer
166 views

Were dinosaurs 'hot-blooded' or 'cold-blooded'?

Were dinosaurs hot-blooded or cold-blooded? NOTE: The popular term 'hot-blooded' means having an internally maintained average body temperature, which is generally more than that of the surroundings, ...
10
votes
1answer
4k views

Why does Rigor Mortis occur after death?

After someone dies they become stiff, this is termed Rigor Mortis and happens because the cells run out of ATP (I think). But why do the cells need it to remain flexible?
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Why can cones detect color but rods can't?

I don't know if this question applies to only humans but why can cones see much greater detail than rods? Is it possible to have a rod that can detect light intensity and color?
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Why would taking antibiotics increase stamina and energy?

I often hear that people who are taking antibiotics experience wild fluctuations between feeling full of energy and completely alert but soon after feeling impossibly fatigued and sick. Does this ...
9
votes
1answer
236 views

Why can you not tickle yourself?

It's the age old question, why can't we tickle ourselves? If you rub your fingers along your skin, sure there's sensation but you don't break down into a laughing fit (at least I don't :P), if someone ...
9
votes
2answers
111 views

Is mammalian vision processed as a sequence of frames?

I often read that people believe that human vision has an inherent frames-per-second rate (FPS) that causes stroboscopic effects - such as seeing the spokes of a rotating wheel apparently rotating at ...
9
votes
1answer
126 views

What are the costs associated with carrying lots of genetic material

What are the costs (if any) associated with carrying lots of genetic material (Big genome size)? energy for copying? raw material for copying? space in the cell? Maintenance cost (matter and ...
9
votes
1answer
261 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
votes
1answer
1k views

How does this illusion work?

I found this image on Google+ If you shake your head you can see a portrait of a person. Can anyone explain how the image is constructed in the brain?
9
votes
1answer
97 views

Relative Property of Alleles

If there are three different alleles to a gene, is it possible that the first is dominant to the second, but recessive to the third?
9
votes
1answer
109 views

Which brain regions are D1 dopamine receptors expressed, and which brain regions are D2 dopamine receptors expressed?

This is a follow-up question to If D1 receptors stimulate adenylate cyclase (through GPCRs) and D2 receptors inhibit it, then why do mutations in both have similar effects?. As a further question - ...
9
votes
1answer
122 views

Why is there an extended delay before G.M. liver cells are attacked by the immune system?

In this BBC article a trial is described where patients with B-Haemophillia are infected with modified Adeno-associated Virus 8 which contained the genes for Factor IX clotting protein. Trials seemed ...
8
votes
1answer
146 views

Model for fluctuating selection

Is there any mathematical model to predict the behaviour and long-term consequence of counter-acting selection at different time scale? For example, let's consider the bi-allelic gene A, with alleles ...
8
votes
2answers
382 views

What is the smallest molecule that can present as an antigen to the immune system in the context of allergies?

People often claim, in a colloquial sense, that they are "allergic to everything". Is it possible to have a full-fledged IgE mediated allergic response to very small molecules? I was always under ...
8
votes
3answers
314 views

What kind of event would cause the current Mitochondrial Eve to be replaced by a new one?

Apparently all living humans are matrilineal descendants of a single woman who lived 200.000 years ago. She is called Mitochondrial Eve. But at the time she lived there was a different matrilineal ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How much weight/volume do microbes occupy within the human body?

Microorganisms constitute the bulk of all the biomass on Earth. I weighed myself yesterday, and wondered how much less I would weigh if I were completely free of bacteria and microbes, inside and out. ...
8
votes
2answers
32k views

Which shades/hues of color are easiest to distinguish for humans?

I'm trying to represent data graphically and am using a variation of hue/lightness to distinguish one data point from the next. I would like to use a color that would allow me to convey most ...
8
votes
2answers
217 views

Is there a dominant gene for right-handedness?

Has there been any definitive research about handedness being genetic? Also, why is right-handedness clearly dominant in humans? I'm interested in evolutionary theories, as well as any molecular ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

What hydrolyses aspirin within the digestive tract and blood stream?

I have had some further thoughts after my previous question regarding the buccal delivery of medication. The active compound in aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid or systematically 2-Acetoxybenzoic acid) ...
7
votes
0answers
86 views

What is the percentage of people living in England in 1500 AD whose lineage is still alive?

This sounds a bit random but it stems from a lecture in statistical genetics which I attended a while ago. We were shown a population lineage graph from which it was clear that most lineages go ...
7
votes
2answers
57 views

Is there a name for the evolutionary loss of vestigial structures?

Consider a biological structure which no longer benefits an organism, such as the eyes of an organism whose population now lives in total darkness. I can think of three reasons why such a structure ...
7
votes
1answer
73 views

Hamilton's derivation of direct fitness from his 1970 paper

In his 1970 paper "Selfish and Spiteful Behaviour in an Evolutionary Model", Hamilton uses Price's equation to derive his well-known rule $rb -c >0$. My question is about one of the steps in his ...
7
votes
3answers
995 views

What is the science behind the inaccurate perception of colors?

If I go into a green room (all walls are semitransparent and green) and spend some time - around 10+ min - in there, when I come out all my eyes see is white as pink. I see no (or very few other) ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does A pair with T and G with C?

DNA is made up of pairs on AT and GC base pairs. I know that A only pairs with T and G only with C. Does this apply just to humans, or are there animals where T will pair with G? Also, surely there ...
7
votes
2answers
427 views

Can we determine a person's age by dating methods or other means?

There are many sports restricted to players of a certain age (e.g. 16 and under, 18 and under, etc.) What if a person is older and fakes his birth certificate to say that he is younger? Is there any ...
7
votes
1answer
260 views

How do I read a sequence logo?

I'm looking at a paper that uses several sequence logos to illustrate the consensus sequence of certain sites. Here is the most important of the sequence logos I'm interested in: The explanations ...
7
votes
3answers
370 views

Can genes change as we age?

Let's say you're a 23 year old man who impregnates a woman. Will your genes be the same if you were to impregnate another woman at age 35? Will your genes in those 12 years have ...
7
votes
2answers
173 views

The Assumption of Weak Selection?

I was reading this question and I failed to fully understand the introductory part of it. The OP (@Artem Kaznatcheev) says: Most analytic models like to assume weak selection because it allows ...
7
votes
2answers
79 views

What features cause mechano sensory adaptation?

In relation to mechanoreceptors (e.g. pacinian corpuscles), what stops a constant stimulus from producing action potentials? I understand that adaption is used to filter out stimuli that aren't ...
7
votes
1answer
208 views

Can cancer cells in the same person, organ, and origin have different DNA?

Is it possible for cells from the same tumor to have different genetic material, and if so, to what degree is it possible (how fast do they mutate) ?
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does the heart use lipids (and not glucose)?

Fetal hearts use glucose as their primary metabolic substrate. Adult hearts use free fatty acids, which are less efficient (require more $O_2$ to synthesize the same amount of ATP); however, during ...
7
votes
2answers
225 views

Could cancer be in itself a evolutionary process?

Could cancer be in itself a evolutionary process? Maybe in some way could it be a process of variation? Or would this idea be completely without support, if so, why? I don't mean that each case ...
7
votes
1answer
597 views

How is the exogenous DNA protected from degradation during bacterial transformation?

During transformation, a bacterium can take up DNA from its environment. A small fraction of bacterial species are known to be naturally competent, meaning that they can engage in this sort of ...
7
votes
3answers
815 views

Finding proteins in DNA sequence

I have to do a task for a university task and I need to understand some things before figuring out how to do it. The task is the following: Find matches of known proteins (DNA-PolyI,II,III) to ...
7
votes
1answer
278 views

How does skin healing work?

I stacked my bike and split my head right open. About three weeks later the scab falls off and the skin is sealed over, like magic! How does it all work? How does the brain know that part of the ...
7
votes
1answer
294 views

Recombinant protein fraction in E. coli

If a protein is heterologously expressed in E. coli under the T7 promoter, what fraction of the total protein concentration in the cell is the heterologously expressed protein? What could be its ...
7
votes
2answers
260 views

Does becoming martyr have an evolutionary advantage?

This is related to How does "be altruist to those who are similar to you" evolve? Altruism that is Not reciprocal Not familiar has little explanation. One possible explanation is that ...
7
votes
1answer
198 views

Decreasing the alcohol proof and faster in hangover, why?

My russian friend says that the USSR agents used/use the trick that they offered the victim first vodka and then last wine. I have noted that this puts you faster to hangover: decreasing the alcohol ...
7
votes
1answer
663 views

X chromosome “weight”?

According to Wikipedia, the X chromosome has approximately 153 million base pairs, while the Y chromosome has only 60 million base pairs. Thus, the difference is roughly 93 million base pairs. My ...

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