All Questions

3
votes
2answers
320 views

Why is the frog genome so much larger than a fish's?

As we have heard in the summaries of the human ENCODE project, 80 per cent of junk DNA appears to have an essential function. Many fish have a genome with only one tenth the size of a usual vertebrate ...
7
votes
2answers
471 views

What distinguishes “coding” and “noncoding” DNA from each other?

I've been reading a bit about "junk DNA" and how much of our genome consists of this "non coding DNA" in comparison to "coding DNA". I'm just an interested layperson but I thought all combinations of ...
0
votes
1answer
444 views

Is breathing in deodorant fumes dangerous for my brain?

I noticed that I sometimes get dizzy when I accidentaly breathe in too much Axe. Also, I find the smell of alchohol rich deodorants quite unpleasant. But, I was wondering, is it actually dangerous? ...
5
votes
1answer
121 views

Mutation-immunity in Luria-Delbruck experiment

If experiments like those of Luria and Delbruck on E. coli and T1 phage are the main source of our confidence in the mutation-immunity model, is it then highly unlikely that there are other types of ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there an advantage to linear chromosomes?

The DNA copying enzymes have a hard time working to the end of a chromosome. For circular chromosomes this is not a problem, since there is not a sharp 'end'. However, for a linear chromosome, without ...
4
votes
1answer
169 views

Is cell senescence in culture comparable to that in vivo?

A cell is 'senescent' when is has permanently left the cell-cycle. This can be caused by stresses, or by reaching the 'Hayflick limit' (the cell has reached its replicative lifespan, as defined by its ...
4
votes
1answer
140 views

How does “inheritance of methylation” of DNA and/or histones work?

What are the current models/ideas describing the mechanisms explaining inheritance of methylation on DNA resp. histone level? Is there evidance of this "setup" information being really ...
3
votes
0answers
94 views

Terminology question: the scope of an allele in an organism

Let us consider a gene FOO with novel type foo. If I were discussing an organism that has inherited foo in every cell during classical zygote formation, then I would ordinarily just say that the ...
10
votes
4answers
800 views

Why is it sometimes difficult to resuspend E. coli in P1?

It's a curiosity question. When I'm doing minipreps after pelleting the bacteria sometimes it's very easy to resuspend them in P1 (Qiagen kit), but sometimes they form a rubbery clump that is very ...
5
votes
1answer
64 views

on/off behavior of neural networks

What causes a group of disembodied neurons in a dish to fire after a silence? If there are no neurons providing a stimulus for more firing (as in a dish of disembodied rat neurons), then why don't ...
-1
votes
1answer
4k views

Ramifications and possibility of a diet consuming exclusively of human semen

Semen is a thick, nutritious liquid, rich in vitamins (such as C, B12), amino acids, lipids, monosaccharides (fructose), et cetera. Can semen's ability to fulfill the needs of human organism provide ...
5
votes
1answer
354 views

What are good practices with reusing desalting columns

At least according to a few sources Prozyme and Protocols-Online, it is possible to reuse desalting columns and since I'm cheap I would like to also. Key things seem to be washing with several column ...
0
votes
1answer
220 views

From which ancestor species did humans inherit orgasm?

From what ancestors did humans inherit orgasm? Do fish experience orgasm? Are the male and female orgasm the homologues that can be traced to the time when there was no difference in sex between ...
7
votes
0answers
456 views

Rosetta ab initio prediction and protein-protein interaction fitness help [closed]

I have designed several proteins which I predict have interactions with another protein using the sequence based Conjoint Triad Method. I would like to know which ones structurally are predicted to ...
3
votes
1answer
50 views

Literature about putative epigenetic state changes in mammal sequences after cloning steps in Escherichia coli

I would like you to point me out some literature about putative epigenetic state changes in mouse/mammal sequences after cloning steps in Escherichia coli. This are the last search details I used in ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

Difference between genetic engineering and synthetic biology

I've recently seen the term synthetic biology being used to describe research involving genetic modification of organisms. What is the difference between synthetic biology and genetic engineering? Is ...
7
votes
2answers
355 views

Why do stranded marine mammals die so quickly?

Mammals have lungs, so do marine mammals. Nevertheless some marine mammals seem to die rather quickly when they strand on a beach. As they have lungs and can breath while on land, why do they die so ...
6
votes
2answers
166 views

Why are some viruses not communicable person-to-person?

Below are two quotes from the CDC about Hantavirus: "Researchers believe that people may be able to get the virus if they touch something that has been contaminated with rodent urine, ...
3
votes
1answer
134 views

Which part of a female mantises's DNA causes her to be a few times larger than a male mantis?

Which part of a female mantises's DNA causes her to be a few times larger than a male mantis? Do other species have that part of DNA?
3
votes
3answers
384 views

Looking for Kelly Chibale's paper on Malaria cure

From National Geographic, there has been a lot of hype on Kelly Chibale's work from University of Cape Town on the aminopyridine MMV390048. Unfortunately, this was from an announcement from an ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What is a focal copy number variation?

Often, genetics studies, especially genome wide ones, talk about "focal copy number variations" in genes or regions of the chromosome. I know what a copy number variation is. What does "focal" mean, ...
5
votes
1answer
287 views

Where can I find the tissue-specific protein expression levels for hTERT (telomerase subunit)?

I find a number of contradictory sources regarding the tissues in which hTERT - the protein - is expressed. Does anybody know some resource that authoritatively (as authoritative or widely-accepted as ...
3
votes
2answers
90 views

What are the different, high-level programs along which a eukaryotic animal cell can follow?

What are the different, high-level, disjunct (mutually exclusive at one particular point in time) programs or pathways along which a eukaryotic animal cell can follow? Examples of programs would ...
4
votes
1answer
139 views

Non-monotonic knock-out effects in prokaryotes

Typically, when performing gene-knockout, the experimenters select one gene to remove/replace-with-junk and then see if the prokaryote can still undergo fission. If it continues to reproduce then the ...
7
votes
1answer
136 views

Making penicillin using animals - specifically, a goat

In the scifi novel Lucifer's Hammer, one of the characters (a biologist, if I remember correctly) finds himself in a post-apocalyptic world and tries to make penicillin to save his own life. To do ...
3
votes
2answers
73 views

Is vision a vestigial sense for deep ocean species?

Sunlight doesn't penetrate beyond a couple of hundred feet from the surface of the ocean. Species that exist at greater depth probably live in a state of perpetual night; yet from a quick google image ...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

Evolutionarily speaking, why do humans have 46 chromosomes

In humans, each cell normally contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, for a total of 46. Monkeys, chimpanzees, and Apes have 24 pairs (twenty-four pairs), for a total of 48. What caused humans to have 46? ...
3
votes
0answers
106 views

Cheapest Way to Measure Germ Density

I would like to measure the surface density of Staphylococcus bacteria and Rhinoviruses (only those two, to be specific) within my home. What's the cheapest way? The textbook procedure is to: rub ...
6
votes
2answers
65 views

Predicting and identifying microbes and enzymes DNA sequence with metabolic prediction

Presently I am working on metagenomics of coal biomethenation by bacterial consortium. I have got the sequence result (Illumina). The sequence is huge and I can't predict anything from the sequence. ...
4
votes
1answer
354 views

What phenotypes can arise from gender-related aneuploidy?

Humans normally have 46 chromosomes (two copies - one from each parent - of each of the 24 chromosomes: [1:22] + [XX or XY]). Aneuploidy is an abnormal number of chromosomes - Down's syndromes is an ...
8
votes
2answers
295 views

Do antibiotics attenuate immune response on subsequent exposure to same bacteria?

A healthy immune response to a bacterial infection includes "memory" to permit the body to thwart subsequent exposure to same bacteria. What are the dynamics of using antibiotics on initial exposure ...
3
votes
3answers
173 views

What Defines a Food as Edible?

With many foods today containing chemicals, agents and preservatives etc... What biological criteria must a new food and its constituent components satisfy biologically, to be defined as edible? ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

How do trees use Adhesion and Cohesion to move water against gravity?

I have an AP Bio class where I have to name 3 properties of water and I chose adhesion and cohesion for one of them. I'm having trouble finding out how exactly trees use adhesion and cohesion to move ...
13
votes
2answers
378 views

What kind of fruit is this?

Just spotted this fruit while walking to school. It's the size of a small coin.The taste is almost sour and tangy and somewhat sweet (I only tried one of them and very little of it). I admit, ...
3
votes
1answer
696 views

How long can a unicellular organism live without nutrition? What happens after that? Does it depend on the domain?

Say I have three unicellular organisms: a eukariote, a bacterium and an archaeon. If I cut off nutrition from them at the same time, how long will it take for them to die? What will their death look ...
6
votes
1answer
233 views

Have there been attempts to identify Chomsky's “language mutation” in humans?

I'm not versed in either biology or linguistics so please forgive any naiveties I may commit. I've learned that Noam Chomsky thinks that language is a result of a single genetic mutation in humans. ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What does vitamin B6 and B12 absorption depend upon?

I'm looking at my question about homocysteine metabolism and am doing a followup inquiry into vitamins B6(Pyroxidine) and B12(Cyanocobalamin). I've found this interesting bit about vitamin B12 and am ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

In a vertebrate chimera, are particular organs homogenous genetically?

I have read that a chimera is an organism with two or more sets of DNA, with every cell having one of the sets. Is it possible and common for the two or more sets to be present in the cells of a ...
9
votes
2answers
318 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
245 views

Biological Pathway of Lipid Hypothesis

I've read a lot on both sides of the debate of low carb vs low fat diets trying to make some sense of what is being proposed. The lipid hypothesis runs roughly along the lines that we have lots of ...
5
votes
1answer
614 views

Are there any effects of elevated Cysteine levels on cognitive function?

I'm looking at this diagram of homocysteine metabolism and see two distinct pathways that the amino acid may get metabolized to: with vitamin B12 it gets converted back into methionine, while with B6 ...
4
votes
1answer
84 views

Bugs' love for light

Do bugs love light bulbs because they resemble the stars or is it the sun? How do they sense the bulb? What is the purpose of this "brightophilia" that has evolved in insects?
1
vote
1answer
57 views

What is the role of Homocysteine in cognitive function?

I'm looking at this link : Homocysteine and cognitive impairments and am looking for more information on specific cognitive impairments associated with elevated levels Homocysteine. That article is ...
3
votes
2answers
423 views

What is an organism?

The definition of an organism Wikipedia gives is An organism is any contiguous living system. I understand that these are not organisms according to this definition: A bird and a tree it's ...
4
votes
1answer
329 views

What causes instinctive behaviour?

Some actions, almost behaviour, exist that are common across a species. For instance, based on personal observation, human babies try to taste anything new they encounter until they are a few score ...
10
votes
2answers
28k 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
836 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 ...

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