13
votes
2answers
388 views

Evolution in 37 years, is it possible?

I am confused, can evolution ( speciation ) really occur in such a short time ? In 1971, biologists moved five adult pairs of Italian wall lizards from their home island of Pod Kopiste, in the ...
5
votes
1answer
48 views

Can paper/plastic currency serve as a medium for pathogens?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/15/health/15real.html seems to indicate for a surface, to serve as a medium, the following properties are relevant animation humidity temperature The article ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

How many people are required to maintain genetic diversity?

Imagine humans were to colonize a distant planet and it was a single one-way trip. How many people would they need to bring? Obviously 2 is the minimum, but that would result in a lot of inbreeding. ...
2
votes
1answer
187 views

Can Taq polymerase be used instead of polymerase Vent exo (-)?

Instead of using polymerase Vent exo (-), can I go with the usual Taq polymerase? Do the PCR conditions change (the temperature and master mix concentrations ) in the these two conditions? Do the ...
1
vote
0answers
171 views

What are the tissues affected by thyroid hormone called?

I found this question and I wonder if it is asking some general name where both T3 and T4 have an effect. I cannot find any such single name. Is there any single name of tissues that are affected ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

Is there a term to quantify how spread a character is on a phylogenetic tree?

Is there a term which can quantify how 'spread out' a particular character is on a tree? I want to distinguish between a character which is only restricted to a particular clade vs. a character that ...
6
votes
2answers
150 views

Is warmth/temperature sensed linearly or on a different scale?

I understand that the atmospheric temperature is sensed relative to external body temperature. However, is the sensation of warmth registered linearly, or is it on a logarithmic scale, similar to ...
4
votes
1answer
59 views

How is olfactory acuity rated/measured?

Acuity of one's sight is rated on the 20/20 scale. An online search appeared to indicate there is no comparable 'standard' to rate olfactory acuity. How is acuity of the olfactory system rated?
4
votes
1answer
151 views

How does a tiger have stripes?

A vague question, but let me try to explain. My friend explained to me that in females, some cells use one X chromosome, while all others use the other X chromosome. This can result in some ...
2
votes
0answers
28 views

Where might I find a list of all recorded instincts by species? [closed]

Where might I find a list of all recorded instincts (possibly with all other attributes) by species? Thanks, Chenz
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Is it ok for Chili pepper plant's fruits to fall into its soil?

I wonder if Chili pepper's fruits which fall into the soil near the plant will harm it, since the peppers are so spicy for people.
4
votes
1answer
137 views

Conjugate secondary antibody

Why is the secondary antibody conjugated to the enzyme in ELISA, instead of the primary antibody? Wouldn't it be easier to conjugate the enzyme to the primary antibody?
13
votes
1answer
556 views

What light intensity starts melatonin release in humans?

I'm interested in whether any studies have determined the intensity of light at eye level that starts melatonin release in humans. I know that: melatonin release is suppressed by blue light with ...
6
votes
1answer
445 views

If re-boiling does not curdle the milk, can that be taken as an indicator that the milk hasn't developed the bacteria (and their toxins)?

Usually when left in hot temperature, the milk curdles (which I know when I boil it and it starts separating). If the re boiling does not curdle the milk, can that be taken as an indicator that the ...
2
votes
2answers
103 views

Will climate change affect flower population?

There is a flower population elevated 1000 meters above sea level. If climate change causes a 12⁰C increase in temperature over the next 10 years, what will happen to the flowers?
6
votes
1answer
94 views

Proteins that are strongly overproduced in E. coli and S. cerevisiae?

I'm looking for some pointers to proteins that produce at really gigantic levels in E. coli and yeast (S. cerevisiae). Can anyone point to some champion proteins? Even in inclusion bodies and non ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

What causes tree lines?

There is an area of where there is a distinct line of only trees on one side and only shrubs on the other (right next to each other). What could cause this? My attempt: I said there could be a ...
4
votes
2answers
247 views

Hershey and Chase experiment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QJ4CjFsflA This is a link to Hershey and Chase experiment. According to this experiment, we conclude that DNA is the genetic material. But how do we conclude that DNA ...
6
votes
3answers
673 views

How to map the Gene name to its Gene Symbol?

I am learning in Gene data lately so I apologize for the silly questions in advance. I read a paper for a cancer on human which found some important genes. For example, the paper listed one of genes ...
8
votes
3answers
269 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

High protein turnover rate and protease inhibitors?

I work with mice, and I want to see what happens to some specific proteins in the mouse brain after IL-1b injection (intracerebroventricular). I have a problem: when I measure the mRNA and protein ...
6
votes
2answers
18k views

What is the function of the RNA primer in DNA replication?

During DNA replication, RNA primase puts an RNA primer in the lagging strand. What is the function of this RNA primer? Why can't the enzymes put DNA fragments directly?
7
votes
2answers
947 views

Bacterial cell lysis - what solution to use?

I am trying to determine how quickly detergents act on bacterial cells (cell lysis). I would like to compare some detergents at difference concentrations for bacteriolytic activity. I don’t care about ...
4
votes
1answer
136 views

Are there oligocellular organisms in nature and, if so, what are they like?

I'd think protozoans can be oligocellular, but I haven't found any examples, and I'm curious to know what is the minimum number of cells an organism can have other than a single cell.
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Experiments in vitro vs those with dead organisms and fixated tissue

Does the term in vitro necessarily imply that the organism/organs/cells of study are dead? If not, is there an alternative latin term to refer to studies of dead biological matter ? (e.g. in ...
9
votes
3answers
361 views

What vegetation would thrive in the Martian atmosphere? [duplicate]

Most plants require carbon dioxide for their photosynthesis, which Mars has in overabundance. Would atmosphere composition (let's ignore temperatures for the purpose of this question) of Mars allow ...
4
votes
2answers
162 views

What to look for when buying a light microscope?

I am a science lover and want to buy a microscope to explore things around me. Like studying cell structures, microorganisms, blood and plants. It would be great if there is way to photograph slides. ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Does the DNA sequence of a butterfly match that of the caterpillar it used to be?

Just had this thought occur to me. If one were to take a DNA sample(or is it RNA?) of a caterpillar before it became a chrysalis, and attempt to match the sample against one taken after the chrysalis ...
11
votes
1answer
105 views

Vaccination and population dynamics of an epidemic

I'm trying to figure out how should a vaccination model be built to correlate with population density, and I'm having problems to understand meanings of the results I receive when I apply theory on ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Gene & Protein nomenclature: N-Myc, c-Myc, et. al

Can someone explain (or point me to an explanation of) exactly what is meant by all the different symbols I see used for writing genes and proteins? I think I know that for genes, we use an italic ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the evolutionary rationale for palm sweating?

Sweaty palms seems to be a reaction to stress, anxiety, etc. For our forest-inhabiting primate ancestors sweaty palms could cause unwanted side-effects such as slipping off tree branches under ...
6
votes
1answer
122 views

Why does getting certain chemicals in cuts hurt?

More specifically, shampoo. What are the mechanics of detecting a noxious chemical stimulus in terms of which receptors recognise what, how do they do it, and how is this information relayed to the ...
15
votes
4answers
978 views

Why does the cold make us sick?

From the moment we learn to communicate, we always get told, whether by our parents, or our teachers, or by anyone else, to avoid the cold, or to put a jacket on to avoid catching a cold, to dry our ...
4
votes
2answers
132 views

Are all known germs benign in small enough quantities? i.e. Why do we wash our hands?

We know that we wash our hands because germs can get into our body through the nose, the mouth, the eyes, cuts, etc. But I doubt we can completely clean our hands of germs every time we wash them, ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

Can compounds be predicted from Polyketide synthases gene clusters?

I've seen a few talks on the subject. From a gene cluster, there is some decent ability to determine which domains contribute to certain functional groups in the final metabolites. It sounds like this ...
2
votes
1answer
9k views

Difference between Appendix and the Cecum?

What's the difference between an appendix and a cecum, and what are their functions?
3
votes
1answer
138 views

Eyelids interconnected?

I've seen a patient who had a Vitrectomy (eye surgery) done on a single eye manifest massive swelling on both eyelids. That seems like having my left hand swell after punching a wall with my right ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Can animals that rely heavily on sonar sense colour?

Apparently there're species around as rely heavily on sonar to sense the world around them. E.g. Bat, Dolphin, Whale ... The humans, and other terrestrial beings in a lighted world are capable of ...
1
vote
0answers
119 views

Can dry air make a person more prone to catching a cold?

I'm interested if there is a correlation between room air humidity and risk of catching a cold.
8
votes
1answer
7k views

How do prokaryotes perform cellular respiration without membrane-bound organelles?

In order to survive, prokaryotes such as bacteria need to produce energy from food such as glucose. In eukaryotic cells, respiration is performed by mitochondria, but prokaryotic cells do not have ...
2
votes
1answer
242 views

Insulin and monoclonal antibody production

When producing insulin, the gene for its production is inserted into the plasmid of a bacterium that is allowed to replicate freely. Why can't the same thing be done with antibodies (as I understand ...
3
votes
1answer
131 views

What is the length of anaerobic biodigestion stages?

I have built an experimental portable batch biodigester to process organic garbage. A 50L drum filled half with garbage, half with water and with some cow dung added for inoculation, is connected from ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Can a human smell through the ears?

The title does, prima facie, appear absurd. Performing a swallowing action whilst pinching the nostrils shut gives the impression of listening through a bucket filled with water around the head; ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the inlet/outlet speed of air going in/out of our mouth during inhalation/exhalation

During inhalation, your alveoli expand, creating a pressure difference between the atmosphereic pressure and our lung sacks and therefore air will flow into the repspiratory airways. I am trying to ...
10
votes
1answer
105 views

When running a gel, what could cause a standard to run “faster” than usual?

We are running a gel on the products of a restriction digest to determine the size of an insert. We know the vector backbone size should be ~2.9kb; however, the standard appears to be running too ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Where does the 'C' in exhaled CO₂ mostly come from?

When a human being exhales CO₂, what is, by the numbers, the main source of carbon atoms exiting the body in this way? I mean what class of cells, or which tissues are the biggest on a pie chart of ...
5
votes
1answer
103 views

Structures of cyclodextrin complexed with small ligands

For some structural study I am looking for cyclodextrin strucutures (in 3D format such as pdb, mol2, etc) complexed with small molecule ligands, such as cholesterol and even smaller. Right now I could ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

What mechanisms do animals living in groups (herds, packs, swarms) have against spreading contagious diseases?

While for example a wolf pack provides protection to a sick wolf, increasing its chance of survival, there is a risk of infecting other members of the pack, decreasing their total chance of survival. ...
8
votes
2answers
464 views

Do memories have mass?

If it were possible to live forever, would our brains grow infinitely with the number of memories that we store? Or would we remove old memories as we create new ones?
3
votes
2answers
647 views

Does finite rate of increase depend on mortality of individuals in a population?

As written in my lecture handouts, there two main factors in the Geometric Growth Model of populations: $R_{0}$ is the expected lifetime reproductive output. This way, for unicellulars, for example, ...

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