12
votes
1answer
826 views

Does electricity cause damage on a cellular level?

As I understand it the mechanism of death when a mammal is electrocuted is that the current disrupts the SAN/AVN in the heart causing it to fibrilate or arrest. That's on a macro scale, however. ...
12
votes
2answers
610 views

Could an “overactive” brain increase the chances of Alzheimer's Disease?

From Raichle ME. 2010. Two views of brain function. Trends in cognitive sciences 14: 180–90: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of progressive cognitive decline and dementia in ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Why cancer is not a communicable disease?

I have seen this question where the author is asking a question about infectivity of virus. I wish to know why cancer is not a communicable disease?
11
votes
2answers
1k views

If human eyes watch an area, what's the shape of its capturing shape? Rectangular? Half spherical?

A normal camera can capture a rectangular image. If human eyes watch an area, what's the shape of the captured region? Rectangular? Half-spherical?
11
votes
2answers
675 views

List of np-hard problems in biology/bioinformatics

I'm not sure if this is the right place for this but... I am looking for a list of computationally "hard" problems such that if a problem from this list could be solved effectively, it would be ...
11
votes
1answer
4k 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? ...
11
votes
3answers
406 views

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

When food is scarce, the body slows its metabolic rate to conserve energy. Are there any other systems or processes that prioritize which organs receive nutrients?
11
votes
1answer
797 views

How do CpG islands remain unmethylated?

In most of the genome CpG sites are pretty much always methylated, but CpG islands are instead often unmethylated. This has been linked to the fact that they often are associated to transcripted ...
10
votes
1answer
12k views

Will a bone marrow transplant change one's blood type?

Will a bone marrow transplant change one's blood type? Or is the donor blood type matched with the person before transplant?
10
votes
1answer
115 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 - ...
10
votes
1answer
527 views

What is the modern state of the theory of evolution?

When I studied biology at my medical school we used to learn things about a century old: the famous Darwin's voyage on "Beagle" to the Galapagos Islands, the classical triad of his Theory of ...
9
votes
3answers
371 views

Do biological phenomena follow Gaussian statistics?

I have recently entered the life sciences (from physics). I am concerned about the use of p values in the life sciences literature. For example, in this article, they test 9 - 12 rats in a control ...
9
votes
3answers
326 views

Splice in with CRISPR/Cas

I need to splice a gene into a human cell genome, with highest rate possible. I mean, doesn't really matter where the gene enters, nor does it matter if some cells die as a result of this. CRISPR ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Did the eugenics program in Nazi Germany have a measurable effect? [closed]

Did the killing or sterilisation of people considered as living a "life unworthy of life" in Nazi Germany have any measurable effect on the "average health" of Germany? Is there any statistical ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Does a blood transfusion cure disease?

Does transferring blood between two people also transfer all the white blood cells? Why can't AIDS victims with low t-cell count just get blood transfusions till they have more t-cells? Why can't ...
9
votes
2answers
420 views

How is human biological clock modelled in modern science?

Im an engineer by education and i program a lot, so the question sounds weird to people from other disciplines. Im trying to better understand the human biological clock. Yet i do not really know ...
8
votes
2answers
213 views

How was the resemblance between apes and humans explained in pre-Darwinian biology?

Humans and apes have somewhat obvious similarities, these must have been apparent to natural philosophers before the possibility of a common ancestry was first proposed in the mid-1800's. These ...
8
votes
4answers
644 views

Looking for a DNA sequence

I am not a biologist. Please pardon me, if my question does not make sense. I am trying to obtain a DNA sequence for pattern analysis in Matlab. I used to generate random sequence ...
8
votes
1answer
246 views

Genetic Drift: Models, assumptions and empirical observations

There two main mathematical models to describe the process of genetic drift are Moran model and Wright-Fisher model. My questions concern the assumptions of these models, the existence of other ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

How do Benzodiazepines induce Rewarding (Euphoric) effects?

Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs that serve as positive allosteric modulators of the GABAA receptor by binding to their own "site" on the aforementioned receptor. By doing this they produce ...
8
votes
4answers
556 views

Why people like to see pornographic scenes, but do not feel the same about eating scenes? [closed]

This question may seem funny, but I think biology must have good answers. I think no more explanation is needed. I really thought about this and searched for an answer, but there is nothing yet. If ...
8
votes
1answer
486 views

Has any large-scale origin-of-life simulation/experiment been done?

I have been thinking a little about the origins of life, and was further inspired by this question: How did the first self replicating organism come into existence? I can accept that we don't quite ...
8
votes
1answer
136 views

What happens when we know that there is something that we forgot but we can't remember what it was?

I think it happens for everyone that sometimes we go to a room and forget why we went there. Is there any research or article on this?
8
votes
1answer
464 views

How do the pharmacodynamics of the NSAIDs differ and are there “resistant” COX phenotypes?

I know that the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen) affect the enzymes cyclooxygenase (types I and II). Is there any difference in the degree to which these ...
8
votes
1answer
70 views

Downloadable worldwide database of disease statistics?

I am looking for a downloadable database of disease statistics. I have emailed the good folks over at HealthMap, but they haven't gotten back to me yet. As far as I can tell, their data relevant to ...
8
votes
1answer
7k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
100 views

Why does the intensity of an action potential once generated at the trigger zone remain undistured throught the axon?

What causes this consistency? I read the previously asked questions on this site none of them carry an answer to this question.
7
votes
1answer
123 views

If so many different hormones/molecules work by activating adenylyl cyclase, how do they have different effects?

It seems that many hormones and molecules work by activating adenylyl cyclase to convert $\text{ATP}$ to $\text{cAMP}$, such as adrenaline and glucagon. Both of these seem to bind to $\text G$ protein ...
7
votes
1answer
112 views

How plasma cells switches secreting different Ig classes?

In Type 1 hypersensitivity how do B lymphocytes switch Ig classes, from synthesizing IgG to IgE? What is the mechanism? I studied multiple pathology books, it says the same as for IgG secreting ...
7
votes
2answers
181 views

Why did the Brain develop in the front in most organisms?

I was wondering: why most, well, pretty much all organism with a brain have it right in front of their bodies or at the top.
7
votes
2answers
225 views

What does pain look like in wave form?

I am interested in understanding what "pain" and "hot/cold" look like, as far as waves signatures (signal processing) go. My general understanding of how pain (nociceptive pathways) and hot/cold ...
7
votes
1answer
304 views

What kind of fly is this?

I found this dude hanging out in my sink, but he didn't fly away when I put a dish in the sink. Turned out it was dead. The front part looks exactly like a housefly. But, I've never seen the back end ...
7
votes
2answers
318 views

Can a single axon propagate multiple simultaneous action potentials?

I have not been able to locate any research that indicates whether a single axon of a neuron or nerve cell can conduct multiple simultaneous (i.e. spatially separate) action potentials. I am aware ...
7
votes
2answers
10k views

What determines if a gene is dominant or recessive?

Going back to my high school days we were taught about dominant and recessive genes. We were taught how to calculate the geneotype and pheneotype of potential offspring using a small table (forgotten ...
7
votes
3answers
573 views

How can you test what color different people perceive?

If I would show someone a yellow object and ask them, "is this object yellow?" That person would say "yes". But I could never know if my perception of the color yellow is the same as that other ...
6
votes
2answers
98 views

What level of cellular radiation is harmful for humans?

What level of radiation at the frequencies used by the cellular network(1-2 Ghz) is harmful for human health?
6
votes
3answers
325 views

Why are the fertility rates of large predators kept low?

Predators at the top of a food chain, like lions, seem to have a relatively low fertility rate, which fits well to the ecosystem and avoids overpredation. But what is the mechanism that keeps the ...
6
votes
2answers
605 views

Why are humans and almost every species on earth symmetrical?

I admit I'm not very learned on the subject of evolution, I just started researching it for myself about a week ago. One of the things that I don't understand is why humans and almost every other ...
5
votes
2answers
479 views

Evolution of endosymbionts?

Mitochondria and plastids in eukaryotes evolved through a process of endosymbiosis. How does an event like a eukaryote engulfing a bacteria, become a part of the genome? Some of these primitive ...
5
votes
1answer
120 views

How does a change in the potential across a neuron's membrane get turned into a signal that is sent down the axon?

I understand How a signal is propagated down the axon. How the membrane potential of a neuron changes during the course of it's "firing". But I don't understand how physically the change in ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does max heart rate decrease with age?

I have heard that max heart rate declines steadily with age, and can be approximated by the equation Max Rate = 220 - Age. What is the physiological reason for this decline, and how is it ...
5
votes
1answer
144 views

enzymes that stabilize DNA loops

As a follow-up of a previous question, I would like to know what enzymes or protein complexes have been used to manipulate DNA samples into stabilizing DNA loops. I have read that cohesin is one of ...
5
votes
4answers
967 views

Photosynthesis: What Powers the Splitting of Water?

The splitting of water is an endergonic (non-spontaneous) reaction, and thus would require energy (chemical work to be done) in order to happen. In Photosystem II, an enzyme catalyzes this splitting, ...
5
votes
2answers
221 views

Gas from bacteria that's not methane

Is gas produced by bacteria always mainly methane? Or, are there bacteria out there that produce some biogas composed mainly of hydrogen, natural gas, propane, butane?
5
votes
1answer
237 views

Is there such thing as Animal non-verbal body language?

Have there been any studies done on the animal use of their bodies to signal, communicate or express their emotions, particularly to members of other species (ex: humans)? I've been observing a very ...
4
votes
1answer
160 views

Why is ab initio protein secondary structure prediction less reliable than alternatives?

To predict secondary structure of proteins three types of Algorithms are used Ab initio, homology based and neural networks. Among these neural networks prove to be more accurate and give good results ...
4
votes
1answer
125 views

Visualising a subset of the tree of life

I understand that many curated trees of life already exist (eg http://tolweb.org/tree/) but is there any website that allows one to input a list of organisms, and then produce the current best guess ...
4
votes
1answer
162 views

How to calculate the effective population size ($N_e$) with overlapping generations?

From this Source: If generations are overlapping, then the effective population size $N_e$ does not equal the population size $N$. I know mathematical formulations in order to find the effective ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Death by exsanguination not painful?

Several places on the internet seem to purport that animal sacrifice is painless because exsanguination causes no pain. That sounds unscientific to me and an attempt to appease culture than than using ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Ill effects of urea and NH₃ on metabolism

What exactly does urea do that harms our body? Does it interfere with our cellular processes or disturbs the colloidal onchotic pressure of our blood? I have heard that NH3 damages the brain. What ...

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