5
votes
1answer
232 views

Which way to run BLAST?

I have a set of scaffolds from a genome assembly, and I want to align a collection of proteins from various species to it. I can do this using BLAST in two ways: Create a BLAST database of the ...
4
votes
2answers
72 views

How are there multiple varieties of the potato?

The potato appears to propagate by growing an 'eye'/'bud' which eventually grows into a new plant. So there would probably be single representative of the potato species in the world with all others ...
6
votes
2answers
466 views

How do cells “know” what “type” to differentiate into?

I have been reading about Townes and Holtfreter's work in 1955, in which cells are dissociated from a blastocyst in an alkaline solution then mixed together and spontaneously reaggregates based on ...
9
votes
1answer
608 views

Is trembling an advantageous response during periods of anxiety?

I originally had planned to ask about whether there was any biological truth in the popular phrase "shivering with fright". However, after doing a fair bit of googling it seems that there is a lot ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

methods for targetted deletion of genomic regions?

I would like to know what are currently used methods for targeted deletion of genomic regions in mammalian organisms or cell lines. I have heard of Zinc-Finger nucleases as a recent genetic ...
5
votes
1answer
148 views

Why was polyploidy not lethal in certain octodontid rodents?

As discussed in Why is polyploidy lethal for some organisms while for others is not?, polyploidy is normally lethal in mammals. However, two species of Octodontidae (South American rodents), are ...
16
votes
3answers
852 views

Are single-celled organisms capable of learning?

I've read that the amoeba is capable of learning. Since these protists have no nervous system, it's safe to assume that even highly simplified learning mechanisms of the Aplysia are miles off in the ...
8
votes
1answer
87 views

Which aspects of renal physiology are standing in the way of an artificial (mechanical) kidney?

Scientists have been able to create artificial organs with varying degrees of success. The mechanical heart (in its various forms, e.g. ventricular assist) is able to sustain life for some period of ...
8
votes
1answer
194 views

Does the oxygen concentration equilibrate between red blood cells in the liver sinusoids?

In the sinusoids of the liver, venous blood from the hepatic portal system mixes with arterial blood from the hepatic arteries. Do oxygen molecules move between oxygenated RBCs and non-oxygenated ...
4
votes
1answer
156 views

Is a raised baseline between T and QRS normal in any ECG lead?

Here are excerpts from an unknown ECG lead. I find it weird that the "baseline" changes after the T wave and doesn't return until after the following QRS complex. Is that normal/expected for any lead? ...
1
vote
3answers
86 views

Are all healthy animals more likely to defecate near the end of a rest-cycle?

Just what the title states. It stems from observation & personal experience that a person/dog/cat/monkey is more likely to relieve oneself immediately after it wakes up from the peak-sleep cycle ...
9
votes
1answer
190 views

What are the clotting factors' effect on avascular necrosis development?

Do clotting factors tpa and pai-1 lead to degenerative osteoarthritis in the same way that lupus anticoagulant and prothrombin might? Is one of these pathways particularly detrimental during formation ...
3
votes
2answers
207 views

Do Yeast Insertion constructs revert?

If I insert a new gene with a yeast integrating plasmid and select with a drop out culture once, can I assume that the newly integrated gene will stay in the strain without putting selective pressure ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Arabidopsis thaliana RCSB active site gene mutant

I'm looking for an Arabidopsis thaliana gene listed in RCSB with a clear mode of function and active site. In addition it needs to have an obvious phenotype when knocked out like severely retarded ...
18
votes
2answers
329 views

Can an adult without genetic lactase persistence still develop a tolerance for dairy foods?

While investigating the rise of adult lactose tolerance, I came across the news that China has been encouraging its citizens to drink more milk, even though most of the Asian population lacks the SNP ...
7
votes
1answer
68 views

How well does it actually work to surgically reroute the optical nerve?

Two publications, Roe et al, 1992[1] and Metin & Frost, 1989[2], describe results pertaining to the ability of a region of cortex to process information from a different sensory mode than the one ...
6
votes
1answer
457 views

What causes the characteristic 'gleam' in the eye of a living being?

The title is pretty much what I seek to know. Unless the other person is play-acting, one can often make out the eye of a living person has a shine-of-life to it; a cadaver does not. Similarly the ...
2
votes
1answer
482 views

Are there any multi-cellular organisms out there that do not sleep?

Looking around I see animals - ants, bees, birds, lizards, roaches all the way up to humans appear during a part of the day and not other parts. I would guess there is a sleep/recovery cycle involved. ...
3
votes
2answers
173 views

Why is most tissue cellular?

Most tissue is comprised of cells. Why? It would seem inefficient to have so many individual nucleus, membranes, etc.? Specifically: Not all tissue is cellular. Much tissue is extracellular matrix. ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

Does mixing alcoholic drinks really make you more drunk?

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence ("beer after wine and you'll feel fine, wine after beer will make you feel queer") that mixing alcoholic drink types leads to a stronger effect, but I can't find ...
1
vote
3answers
280 views

Do Viruses produce a biomagnetic field?

From wikipedia: Biomagnetism is the phenomenon of magnetic fields produced by living organisms. The present scientific definition took form in the 1970s, when an increasing number of researchers ...
10
votes
1answer
295 views

How can an albatross stay airborne for months?

Albatrosses, of the biological family Diomedeidae, are large seabirds allied to the procellariids, storm-petrels and diving-petrels in the order Procellariiformes. They range widely in the Southern ...
8
votes
3answers
685 views

Why is methylcellulose used in pharmaceuticals?

Why is methyl cellulose used as a pharmaceutical excipient? Is it due to certain chemical properties? What are the reasons for relying on the chemical properties of methyl cellulose?
4
votes
1answer
367 views

Why did mammals evolve to have two testes?

What makes mammals tend to evolve to have two testes?
3
votes
1answer
159 views

Can a person die instantaneously from internal damage to the brain?

Given the human heart is autonomous, can a person die instantly from internal damage to the head/brain? I would expect the heart to continue to pulse until it ran out of energy ... My contention is ...
8
votes
2answers
346 views

Where do the bacteria within the vagina originate from?

I understand that it's feasible the bacteria within the gastrointestinal tract originate from the food we eat and air we breath, but where does this population of microbes originate from?
9
votes
1answer
119 views

Have there been any positive public health effects due to UV lights?

Occasionally, in hospitals and in eating establishments in the US, they have industrial grade UV lights in sconces attached to the wall (though they seem to be less prominent as the years go by). I ...
0
votes
1answer
230 views

Is there sufficient evidence that human cells are not intelligent? [closed]

Being structurally composed of one or more cells, which are the basic units of life. Yet within a cell, there seems to be the same behaviors that define life: Regulation of the internal environment ...
3
votes
2answers
506 views

Is there a physiological difference between love and infatuation?

I find that people generally distinguish between love and infatuation. Is there a physiological difference between the two? Or are they biologically identical, and the difference is circumstantial?
3
votes
2answers
74 views

Microbiome Data

How is it possible to access microbiome data like that found here? I'd like to perform analyses on similar type of data, but cannot find OTU data like that at the Human Biome Project. Thanks for any ...
4
votes
1answer
144 views

Tool use by animals: research history

I was under impression that data about quite a lot different species using different tools is a fairly modern phenomenon, i.e., all of the research is fairly recent. Around 50 years ago it was ...
4
votes
1answer
291 views

Are there any intersections between the biochemical pathways of uracil biosynthesis (or metabolism) and methionine degradation in eukaryotes?

Is there any way in which uracil biosynthesis or metabolism could help cell in degradation of toxic levels of methionine?
1
vote
0answers
41 views

Can we make any judgements about sleep or readiness to sleep from a heart rate metric and/or pulse oxymetry?

I'm looking at inexpensive and un-intrusive ways to quantify the state of human body/mind . One of these is Actigraphy, which is a study of human motion over time. This can be done with an iPhone ...
2
votes
0answers
305 views

Can the sleep/wake cycle be influenced by non-visible spectrum electro-magnetic radiation?

I've been reading a few papers on Melanopsin and Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN), and see that the sleep/wake transition is ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

How to build S16 rRNAs phylogenetic trees?

Here is what I know so far: Multiple copies are present in prokaryotes, but according to a paper by Lukjancenko el al.[1] it is enough to select the most similar ones. There are stem regions in the ...
29
votes
1answer
719 views

What is itching?

What exactly at the molecular level is itching? What physiological function does itching serve, if any? I cant remember the reference but a PLCb3 null mice lost the itch phenotype, so presumably it is ...
8
votes
1answer
305 views

Does DNA contain information beyond protein synthesis?

It's well known that genetic information is stored in DNA. As far as I know, DNA only has information at the protein level. What about higher levels, such as organelles, cells, tissue, organs? Is ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

How can GMO contaminate biologic plants?

Let consider two use cases : I am the only farmer within a 200km radius. I first grow GMO plants. A few cycles later I decide to grow bio plants, so I uproot all of the GMO plants and plant fresh ...
5
votes
3answers
237 views

Are some non-coding RNA spliced?

Are some non-coding RNA spliced like mRNA? I tried to find some information but I don't find anything...
3
votes
2answers
897 views

Transcript(omics) terminology: cDNAs, ESTs, RNA-seq, etc

I've worked pretty frequently with genome and transcriptome data for several years now, but I'm still not 100% sure I understand the proper usage for certain terminology related to transcripts and ...
4
votes
1answer
308 views

In the vacuum of space would death be instantaneous?

I was arguing with my colleague about this matter (I'm not going to mention which side I fall on). Would death be immediate in the vacuum of space? For example, if I was suddenly teleported into the ...
4
votes
1answer
103 views

Does culling badgers restrict the spread of bovine tuberculosis?

The British government has announced that it plans a large-scale badger cull which they argue are implicated in the spread of Mycobacterium bovis - so-called bovine tuberculosis. Any cattle that ...
3
votes
1answer
296 views

How are melatonin levels measured in humans?

I'm wondering how it is possible to measure diurnal variations of melatonin levels in humans. I keep reading that there should be a large difference in amplitude between melatonin levels measured at ...
4
votes
1answer
171 views

What is the biological basis for the perception of time?

How is the "time axis" of memories encoded in the brain? I guess the time of the event could be "stored" with each event, but how is this translated into neurons etc.?
4
votes
1answer
49 views

Are there yearly variations in HIOMT (HydroxyIndole-O-MethylTransferase) availability?

I'm reading a booklet on melatonin published in 1996, titled "Melatonin and the Biological Clock". And see the following statement: HIOMT (HydroxyIndole-O-MethylTransferase), one of enzymes of ...
5
votes
2answers
400 views

Survival of E. coli on agar plate at -20 degree C without glycerol stock

If I kept E. coli transformed with plasmid at -20˚C without making glycerol stock, will it survive? Actually I have kept it this way for 18 hours. What will happen with it? Will it grow in fresh ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Salvaging a plasmid from a cell culture stored at the incorrect temperature

I have E. coli with transformed plasmid on agar in a vial. It has been stored at -20 degree C without glycerol stock for 18 hours. This is a continuation of: Survival of E. coli on agar plate at -20 ...
3
votes
0answers
51 views

Help with designing the analysis of radio telemetry study [closed]

I was wondering if there are any spatial ecologists out there who can provide some insight on the trouble I'm having with my Masters research. I am looking at the association a bat species to high ...
4
votes
1answer
565 views

Is there a relationship between Melatonin, Norepinephrine and depression in humans?

I'm reading a booklet on melatonin published in 1996, titled "Melatonin and the Biological Clock". This particular paragraph caught my attention and I would like to better understand what it means: ...
7
votes
2answers
493 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 ...

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