10
votes
2answers
27k views

How many human cells are there in our body, on average?

How many human cells are there in our body, on average? Wikipedia says 1013: Bacterial cells are much smaller than human cells, and there are at least ten times as many bacteria as human cells in ...
12
votes
1answer
807 views

What did Richard Feynman contribute to molecular biology?

Some time ago, I read James Gleick's "Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman", a wonderful biography of Feynman and, by extension, most of modern physics. In this book, the author mentions ...
3
votes
0answers
107 views

How does a plant decide when to grow a branch? [duplicate]

As a plant grows, at some point the first branch forms. As it continues, branches grow new branches, and so on, in a seemingly random way. Is it random, or is it driven by the environment (heat or ...
3
votes
2answers
149 views

Is it possible to correctly identify presence of Y chromosome with external physical test only?

I asked a question related to the third sex, and I came to know that its always possible to categorize a human to male or female with presence of Y chromosome. Now, I have another question. Is there ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Can the third sex be categorized as Male or Female?

Hijra are people who have a penis (not sure if sexually active) but look much like a female (perhaps for some feminine biological property). Wikipedia says they are "physiological males who have ...
3
votes
0answers
104 views

RMSD during conformational transition in proteins

When I was investigating the differences between protein structures obtained by X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy, I found the paper [1] compairing structures of several proteins resolved ...
1
vote
2answers
553 views

What is the most complex plant form?

At school we were told on scale of 0 through 1000 the animal kingdom ranges from amoeba the simplest/primitive being at 0, and Humans the most complex animals at 1000; what are the equivalent ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

Human evolution: Where *exactly* did the first human come from, whose parents were not?

Layman here. So I have never really quite understood this facet of human evolution, (or any other for that matter), in that, I understand the evolutionary process, but I get lost on the 'border' ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How did butterflies evolve to have eyes on their wings?

Some butterflies, such as the UK native Peacock butterfly (Google Image Search) have markings on their wings that look just like eyes, complete with a white fleck to imitate a convex, transparency ...
4
votes
2answers
456 views

Under what circumstances will a human neuron divide?

I read somewhere that a mature neuron loses its ability to divide, except for very specific situations. I was unable to find the description of those situations. What are they? (I'm sorry I'm not ...
7
votes
2answers
163 views

Is it possible for parasitic wasp to alter the behaviour of it's host after emerging from it?

I know that parasitic wasp larvae could live for a long time inside their alive host (eg. caterpillar), but I always thought that they kill the host when they eventually get out of it. But once I've ...
9
votes
1answer
115 views

E. coli values for [enzymes], [metabolites] and kinetic rates

In my attempt to create a metabolic model of E. coli, I have found a comprehensive list of metabolic reactions and their stoichiometry. The one I am currently using is E. coli model iJO1366 (more ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Are there verbs for “undergo mitosis” and “undergo meiosis”?

From my experience on SE sites, I believe this is the right site to ask this question under "terminology". I've been trying to find out whether English has one-word verbs for "undergo mitosis" and ...
4
votes
1answer
90 views

Determining if a Protein Model Contains a Backbone Clash

I have an ensemble of homology models of a protein, and I now wish to remove those models which have backbone clashes. I could obviously check by eye but this is subjective and probably will not be ...
8
votes
1answer
92 views

Predators faking to be not hungry?

I believe that there are predator/prey combinations where the prey can easily spot that the predator is not hungry and will not try to flee from it. I’m thinking, for example, of gazelles who will ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What would cause proteins to get stuck in the stacking layer of a SDS-Page gel

Typically when proteins aggregate, they will get stuck at the top of the well. However, we're seeing some protein aggregate in the stacking layer even when we're treating the loading volume with DTT. ...
18
votes
3answers
8k views

Why do cockroaches flip over when they die?

This question has always mystified me since young. For beetles, I can reason that they flip over because they have a higher centre of gravity causing them to be in unstable equilibrium when they tuck ...
5
votes
3answers
140 views

Do dogs have something different about their physiology that allows them to pant without hyperventilating?

I was wondering this as I considered how effective panting would be for humans as a means of cooling.
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Could silicon oil block Na+ ion channels in the membrane of an axon and prevent Na+ influx?

Could silicon oil block Na+ ion channels in the membrane of an axon and prevent Na+ influx? I have been wondering if Na+ influx could have been a diluting factor in anterograde fills. If so, could ...
8
votes
3answers
202 views

What would need to be discovered to prove there is extraterrestrial life?

Curiosity is on the Martian surface and is equipped with a slew of laboratory equipment. What would Curiosity need to discover to prove there is or has been life on Mars? Would it have to find DNA (or ...
7
votes
1answer
281 views

Do mosquitoes need to pump blood out of the host?

Many species of mosquitoes have bloodsucking females. When they bite a host, do they need to pump? Or does the sheer blood pressure combined with capillary action suffice to make the blood rush into ...
4
votes
1answer
91 views

Why isn't there any repulsive force between Na+ and K+ disrupting thier roles in transmembrane voltage/ action potentials

Pretty self explanatory question. I have a basic grasp on the "How" and "Why" of Reversal/Action Potential in and between neurons, but this question lingers.
5
votes
1answer
315 views

What are the units of enzyme activity?

I was looking at this graph of turnip peroxidase activity and I saw that they use units of 1/sec for enzyme activity. What does this unit intuitively represent and how is it calculated?
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is GTP gamma S non hydrolyzable?

GTP gamma S is routinely used in studies of G proteins to stably activate the G protein. Comparing the structures of GTP gamma S and GTP, the Sulphur atom replaces the Oxygen attached to the leaving ...
1
vote
0answers
68 views

When should endocytosis inhibitors be used in cell binding assays?

I'm beginning to do some cell-binding assays and I would like for my proteins to not be endocytosed by my mammalian cells. Typical suggestions are for the cells to be kept on ice and that the binding ...
4
votes
1answer
81 views

Is there an advantage to having cellulite

There are many ads nowadays advertising cellulite removal, and it causes me to wonder if there is an advantage to having cellulite or if it is just a result of too much fat unevenly spread? Is it ...
4
votes
2answers
420 views

Does making yogurt from non-pasteurized milk work against possible disease bacteria?

In the past, when there was no pasteurization, could making yogurt from milk lower the chance of getting infected by bovine tuberculosis (or other diseases from infected milk)? For example, would ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do DNA and RNA have the functions they have?

I know that there are two most important directions of genetic information transfer in living organisms: DNA->DNA and DNA->RNA. The first is replication, and the second is transcription. I wonder if ...
8
votes
1answer
665 views

Does every mitochondrion in a cell contain the same DNA?

I know that mitochondria of eukaryotes have their own DNA, more similar to that of bacteria than to the rest of the cell's DNA. I also know that a cell can have plenty of mitochondria, and I ...
5
votes
2answers
721 views

Isotype control antibodies in Flow Cytometry

In a Flow Cytrometry, one can add an Isotype Control Antibody to allow another antibody to bind more specific to the cells. My question is, how can the Isotype Control Antibody add specificity to the ...
8
votes
1answer
983 views

Disadvantages of unihemispheric sleep

Is is well known fact that marine mammals and some birds can sleep with one brain hemisphere at a time, since it's essential for their survival. However, at least in my opinion, such mechanism would ...
7
votes
1answer
63 views

Can an organism obtaining a part of its genome via horizontal gene transfer be called a “hybrid”?

Wikipedia definition of "hybrid" offers many competing definitions. But most seem to be centered on sexual-reproduction gene transfer. Is there an official (in a textbook or widely accepted peer ...
3
votes
0answers
54 views

Physiological or molecular difference before and after sleep?

I know that the details of the process of sleep aren't entirely known, but have always wondered why I feel rested after sleep. Biologically, what differences can be directly observed in the human ...
10
votes
2answers
162 views

What is the Edward O. Wilson fuss about?

I have just read this article on E. O. Wilson and I don't understand what the difference is between what he is arguing and "standard" natural selection. I read "the extended phenotype" some years ago ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Expression of an ancesteral gene

Why would the expression of an ancestral gene and comparing the product to a modern protein give misleading conclusions about heredity? Update: By ancestral gene I mean a gene which was used by an ...
7
votes
3answers
234 views

What alternatives are there to the amyloid hypothesis?

Given the recent failure of the Bapi clinical trial, there is a lot of questions that have arised from he amyloid hypothesis. However, I can't really think of many other mechanisms that don't involved ...
2
votes
2answers
44 views

Recommendation of a comprehensive book on the history of medicine

I was wondering if somebody could recommend a book on the history of medicine, be it comprehensive or an introduction to the history of medicine. I know there are a lot of medical books that cover ...
5
votes
3answers
196 views

Why don't flies avoid the motorway?

Flies have a short lifespan, therefore evolution should technically happen over a shorter period of time (years). Flies die all the time from getting hit by cars on the motorway. Those flies that ...
8
votes
1answer
125 views

How realistic is to use DNA for long term storage?

This is mainly a followup question to the recent paper Next-Generation Digital Information Storage in DNA. Personally, while I agree about the data density of the format, I can't help point out the ...
-2
votes
1answer
77 views

What causes mutations in regulatory genes? [closed]

In detail, what causes mutations in regulatory genes?
2
votes
1answer
118 views

In cancer, why do cells duplicate themselves?

In regards to cancer why do cells replicate themselves? If it's a mutation, what kind of mutation would this be classified as?
8
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the concentration of ATP in an average cell?

Can someone give me some references showing the average concentration of ATP in a cell?
5
votes
5answers
287 views

What is the lowest common denominator of cancer?

What is the lowest level attribute that all cancers share? Also, what is the highest level attributes that all cancers share?
4
votes
1answer
102 views

How to quantitatively measure work done by a biological system?

Thermodynamic efficiency can be expressed as the ratio of Work done(W) to Energy invested (Q). Thermodynamic efficiency= W/Q How can one measure work done by a ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

Is “computational biology” different from “bioinformatics”?

Are "computational biology" and "bioinformatics" simply different terms for the same thing or is there a real difference?
4
votes
1answer
416 views

Why do rod cells not recover after bleaching upon exposure to bright light?

I'm confused as to why, when exposed to bright light, rod cells cease to function. I understand that exposure to bright light bleaches all of the rhodopsin, but...so what? Why doesn't the bleached ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Given ATP synthase's structure, how can 3.33 protons ultimately synthesize one and only one ATP?

I am familiar with the structure and function of ATP synthase, but one small detail doesn't seem to make sense. It also happens to be a detail that seems very hard to express. Depending on the ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

Optimization of annealing temperature

I am trying to optimize annealing temperature for some primer pairs. I have tried optimization using cDNA, genomic DNA, Taq polymerase, phusion polymerase etc., but every time I am either getting ...
2
votes
3answers
285 views

Where can I find a list of diseases and their incidence?

Say I am studying a particular disease and I know that its incidence is 0.8 per 100000 children below the age of 18, how would I find the incidence of a whole bunch of other pediatric diseases (or ...
20
votes
5answers
941 views

Why did life not evolve to use radio?

We use electromagnetic communication everywhere these days. Cell phones, wifi, old-school radio transmissions, television, deep space communication, etc. I'm curious about some of the possible ...

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