10
votes
2answers
226 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
5k views

How many genes do we share with our mother?

Somewhere I have read we share more than 99% of our genes with every other other person and 98% of our genes with chimpanzees. What does this mean? Don't we share 50% of our genes with our mother and ...
4
votes
1answer
168 views

From inflammation to sickness and depression: when the immune system subjugates the brain

Recently, some research, for example this article has proposed that inflammation can cause innate immune cells to produce pro-inflammatory cytokines that act on the brain to cause sickness behaviour. ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Why is Hydrofluoric Acid so dangerous if its a weak acid?

I've read that Hydrofluoric acid (HF) is extremely dangerous to touch, but what exactly makes it so toxic? It's weak acid ($K_a = 7.2 \times 10^{–4}$) and dissociates approximately 1/1000 as much as ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Does the use of “var”, “x”, and/or “ssp” in a scientific name provide specific information?

What exactly does it mean when a plant has a scientific name that specifies a vairety, for example Nothofagus solandri var. cliffortioides, or when the name includes an "x", as in Populus ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Do trees really get a large share of their mass from the carbon in the air?

I remember hearing that trees and other plants actually obtain a large amount of their mass from the carbon floating in the air, not the ground beneath them. Does the makeup of air actually contain ...
7
votes
0answers
70 views

Using the IMGT/GENE-DB service to find RSS

I'm trying to get the data for the Human and Mouse 12 and 23 Recomination Signal Sequences (RSS), to run a classification algorithm on it. I'm not a biologist, so I apologise in advance for my ...
7
votes
2answers
199 views

During famine, does the human body do anything to prioritize which organs receive nutrients?

When food is scarce, the body slows its metabolism. Are there any other systems or processes that encourage prioritization of organs?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Primer design for introduction of restriction sites flanking a gene of interest

I am wondering what the correct method for primer design to introduce restriction sites. Specifically between two methods. 1) Primer first partially hybridises to the gene, has a mis-match where the ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Majority of transcripts are from sense strand?

I am wondering whether majority of transcripts are transcribed from the 5'->3' strand? Because I encounter a lot of expressions like "anti-sense transcripts". Could anybody help clarify this? Thanks.
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Purpose of poly(A)+ RNA?

I am learning RNA-seq analysis. I always encounter this phase "poly(A)+ RNA". After searching, I got this: "Most messenger RNAs contain a poly(A) tail, while structural RNAs do not. Poly(A) selection ...
5
votes
1answer
53 views

Why are some plants frost tender?

Why do some plants have the ability to stand frost, while others can't? Does it have to do with the size of the water vacuoles in the plant cells?
2
votes
0answers
58 views

Are there examples of PTMs that add different chemical groups (and mass) to different amino acids?

I'm talking about this type of post-translational modifications. What I'm interested in is not whether some modifications can only occur on specific amino acids (that's clear), but if the nomenclature ...
3
votes
1answer
76 views

Is it harmful for someone to consume things full of bacteria if they don't get physically sick from the bacteria at all?

Or as another example - what if you touch a surface that's contaminated with potentially pathogenic bacteria (like the ones at ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

Difference between strand-specific and not strand-specific RNA-seq data

I would like to ask the difference between strand-specific and not strand-specific dataset. As far as I know, strand-specific data means that we know which strand the transcript is from. I do not ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

Generating custom human DNA sequences based on traits such as eye colour?

I'm wondering if it would be possible to create software (unless some already exists, but I couldn't find any) to generate human DNA (the base pairs on the double helix) containing genes representing ...
7
votes
1answer
184 views

Linkage and LD: quantitative or qualitative?

My understanding is that the concept "genetic linkage" can be expressed in quantitative form, like: A predisposing gene X was found in close genetic linkage to Y. ...
7
votes
2answers
273 views

What is the biology behind a skin “mole”?

Are the dark marks aka "moles" on our skin a patch of dead cells? If so, why is it not cleared over time? In a (probably) similar vein, why do scar marks from injuries remain long after new cells ...
2
votes
2answers
89 views

Consensus codon optimization by organism

Does a public database exist that contains this information? I'm trying to make a simple gene annotation program that will let me input a DNA sequence and then optimize it based on one of these tables ...
8
votes
1answer
804 views

Do any animals other than humans undergo menopause?

Do any animals other than humans undergo menopause? Also, is there any difference between animals in captivity and animals in the wild as regards menopause? For example, even if menopause has been ...
5
votes
1answer
724 views

What's the opposite of a thermophile?

Thermophiles, heat-loving organisms, have been a popular topic of research for decades due in large part to the utility of their enzymes in various chemical reactions (Taq Pol single-enzymedly made ...
2
votes
0answers
84 views

Mouse meta-globin mRNA problem

This is an mRNA strand of mouse meta-globin: 5'-ccccagauacggaauucgaau-3' A) Which small RNA (below) is most likely to regulate expression of meta-globin? ...
6
votes
1answer
80 views

number of RNA pol II molecules in a given human nucleus?

Does anybody have any estimate on the number of RNA pol II molecules in the nucleus of a given human cell? For example, how many RNA polymerase type II protein complexes would there be on average at a ...
7
votes
2answers
146 views

How was the guided daily amount (GDA) calculated?

We are constantly shown nutritional information on food packaging stating this food contains "x" amount of your guided daily amount. A linked to the values is here. How were these values calculated? ...
4
votes
2answers
60 views

Main methods used to predict functional annotations in GO

Can someone provide me some information about the main method used to predict the inferred electronic annotations in Gene Ontology?
7
votes
1answer
95 views

Can one dendrite pass through another?

While tracing dendrites on EyeWire I encountered the following situation. They belong to an Orientation Selective Ganglion Cell. It's the first dendrite I've noticed with such a clear 'hole' in it, ...
1
vote
2answers
193 views

Can someone identify this bird?

We recently found a nest in the back garden and a little bird inside. Can you help us identify it? The nest is quite small like the bird so we are wondering whether this is the parent or a baby chick. ...
5
votes
3answers
497 views

When to measure resting heart rate and blood pressure for following day-to-day trend?

I'd like monitor my resting heart rate and blood pressure to see how they are affected by regular cardiovascular training and other events in life. When should I take the measurements in order to ...
5
votes
4answers
446 views

Could someone recommend an introductory book on epidemiology? [closed]

I'm hoping to learn the basics of epidemiological methods, terminology, etc. I come from a background in statistical economics, and I'm moving into the economics of public health. I don't know if ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What happens to snakes that swallow rodents as a whole?

As we all know, a few species of snakes swallow rodents as a whole. My question is what happens to the teeth and bones of these animals? Won't they cut into the flesh of the snake and hurt it? Are the ...
10
votes
1answer
130 views

What advantage would the initial 'donor' in horizontal gene transfer by conjugation have received?

I am struggling to think why horizontal gene transfer between bacteria would have persisted during the course of evolution as surely it puts the 'donor' at a disadvantage? For example, consider a ...
11
votes
4answers
687 views

Has there ever been an attempt to create nutritionally tailored food for adult human consumption?

For all domestic animals, and for all animals kept in laboratory, complete and precise composition of perfect food is figured out (cat food, dog food, cattle, rats, laboratory monkeys and apes) -- ...
8
votes
2answers
199 views

Solution based measurement of Solvent-Accessible Surface Area of macromolecules

The Solvent-Accessible Surface Area (SASA) is a valuable metric for looking at protein folding and protein-protein interactions. However, this measurement is typically done by calculating the SASA ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Measuring the density of surface antigens

I'm trying to get a sense of the variety of methods used for determining the number of cell surface antigens and receptors. This is notably different from determining the affinity of these surface ...
5
votes
2answers
91 views

How extensive is CD47?

CD47 aka the "don't eat me" signal has recently been claimed to be expressed on all tumor cells. This doesn't seem to corroborate with other cell-biology experiments. On what other cells is CD47 ...
8
votes
2answers
174 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
384 views

Source of DNA sequences

I'm working on a project where I am taking DNA sequences and translating the codons into musical notes. I have some good ideas of how to do this, I'm just not sure what sequences to work with. My case ...
4
votes
2answers
101 views

Is it possible to grow any kind of plant soilless (hydroponics)?

Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture and is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. [wikipedia] My question is if is it possible to grow any kind of ...
10
votes
2answers
305 views

What is the highest competency possible for E coli?

I am looking to find a highly competent E coli strain. I am making a library of a ~6.6kb plasmid and I am not getting high enough efficiency. Does anyone have a suggestion of a strain/protocol with ...
6
votes
3answers
340 views

What's the use of DNA sequencing results?

Suppose I sequence DNA of some organism (a human perhaphs) and now I have the entire DNA "string" - the sequence of nucleotides. What's the use of that? It's just a "string" where nucleotides encode ...
13
votes
2answers
12k views

Possible? When a pregnant woman suffers an organ damage, fetus would send stem cells to the damage organ to help repair it?

I am quite sure that there is this blood-placental barrier between the mother and the baby so that nothing (except a type of antibody) can pass through it. But I remember reading somewhere that when ...
11
votes
3answers
119 views

How do baby animals that primarily subsist on cellulose get their initial gut flora?

In the case of mammals like giraffes and koalas, is that bacteria common on the plants they eat so when a baby starts to try to stick something besides its mother's milk in its mouth, it can't digest ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

How do trees manage to grow equally in all directions?

I was walking down a road with these beautifully huge trees when this question occurred to me. Large trees with many thick branches have to grow equally in all directions, or they would tip over. Is ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

On the genetics behind caste marriages

I am in India where it is typically a custom to marry within one's caste. Basically the caste system originated with roots in people's professions - Each of priests, carpenters, troupers, etc had a ...
26
votes
4answers
1k views

What exactly are computers used for in DNA sequencing?

I've thoroughly read the Wikipedia article on DNA sequencing and can't get one thing. There's some hardcore chemistry involved in the process that somehow splits the DNA and then isolates its parts. ...
13
votes
1answer
448 views

How fast will cells lyse under hypotonic conditions?

Routinely, lysis of cells with hypotonic solutions is carried out along with some physical (douncing) or enzymatic (lysozyme) method to break open the cells. If one were not to do any of these and ...
12
votes
1answer
6k views

What is the significance and method behind Ramachandran plots?

My PI showed a Ramachandran plot in class today with minimal explanation, but I'm interested in finding out more. I understand that the Ramachandran plot shows the relation between the omega phi and ...
5
votes
3answers
126 views

Measuring reverse transcriptase activity in E. coli

Goal: To quantify the HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) activity for a number of mutated RTs. Idea: Put RT into a vector in E.coli. Deliver GFP mRNA to E.coli. RT will process the mRNA. The ...
8
votes
1answer
272 views

Foveal ganglion cell density (Tay-Sachs Disease)

I’m currently reading on Tay-Sachs disease and have stumbled upon something regarding the typical “cherry red” macula symptom. On the one hand it is mentioned that the macula is almost devoid of ...
9
votes
1answer
115 views

What determines when a virus becomes a “new strain”?

The reason we cannot find a cure for the common cold is because viruses mutate rapidly. Where do the mutations occur in the DNA/mRNA of viruses and does this have any effect on the protein level? what ...

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