6
votes
2answers
853 views

How does an inhibitory synapse communicate to the cell body of a neuron?

I picture a neuron as having multiple trees of dendrites attached to the cell body with a single axon leaving the cell body. I believe the cell body near the axon root makes the decision to fire or ...
6
votes
1answer
823 views

Examples of intracellular parasites of medical or economic importance?

What are examples of intracellular parasites of medical or economic importance? I have read that Xanthomonas oryzae is an intracellular parasite in rice that produces proteins able to cause changes in ...
8
votes
1answer
491 views

Do drugs always degrade after they have passed their expiration date?

I have been wondering for some time whether several drugs really have an expiration date. Let's narrow the scope and think about only "common" drugs, e.g NSAIDs, antibiotics etc. For example, would ...
3
votes
1answer
375 views

Can parents' learned traits be transmitted genetically?

I am wondering whether a behavioral trait (e.g. fear or stress experienced in the lifetime of the parent) can be transmitted genetically to its offspring? I understand that a behavioral tendency for ...
6
votes
1answer
625 views

Is there a biological basis to physical attraction?

Is there something encoded within us that makes us attracted to, e.g., someone taller or shorter with blonde or brunette hair with green or blue eyes? Or, is this phenomenon completely based on ...
4
votes
2answers
870 views

What is the effect of a pure-oxygen environment on a plant?

Just read What's the effect of oxygen deficit on plants? ; and wondered whether the opposite would have any effect on a plant. That is to say, if a potted plant were placed under a bell-jar and ...
6
votes
1answer
101 views

What is the biological mechanism linking temperature and probability to be infected with a virus?

It is common knowledge that when you're cold you could get a cold. What is the mechanism linking temperature and viral infection?
6
votes
1answer
169 views

How Do Large Ocean Viruses Form Their Own Organelles?

Several large viruses (Arslan 2011) form their own organelles within the amoebae they invade. How do these organelles form? Reference: Arslan, D., Legendre, M., Seltzer, V., Abergel, C., Claverie, ...
11
votes
2answers
207 views

Under what conditions do dendritic spines form?

I'm looking for resources or any information about the formation of dendritic spines and synaptogenesis, especially in relation to how new connections are formed on a daily basis. Does the ...
3
votes
2answers
214 views

Does body mass have a bearing on reflex speed?

A reflex is an unconscious action in response to some specific stimulus, e.g., blinking an eye, or pulling the hand away from a hot pin I know from school biology, and reading online that withdrawal ...
8
votes
2answers
7k views

Glomerular Filtration Rate

In practice, when you have vasoconstriction of the glomerular capillaries and subsequently an increase in blood pressure, glomerular filtration rate increases. However, this seems counterintuitive to ...
6
votes
1answer
59 views

On the effect of polluted air on health. Is it more gradual, or more immediate?

I've heard time and again that living in São Paulo (a large city in Brasil) takes 1.5 years from your life expectancy. The allegation is that this happens because of air pollution. I am just ...
10
votes
2answers
257 views

What can the timing of human urination tell about the human's physical condition and circadian rhythms?

I've noticed a peculiar phenomenon. A subject drinks 400 ml of water, then observes time until the urge to urinate is felt. The time is 15 minutes. The subject releases water. 14 minutes later another ...
3
votes
0answers
117 views

What controls the feeling of discomfort/comfort before and after sleep?

I'm interested in which biological systems or hormones are involved in the following phenomenon: Before sleep it may be difficult to find a comfortable position, and muscular aches and pains are more ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

Drosophila reference genome

Does anyone know the details about which line they are using to sequence as the Drosophila melanogaster reference genome?
9
votes
1answer
3k views

When running gels what is the difference between constant volts or constant amps?

In general, you want to be consistent with running your gels either at constant volts or constant amps. However, it is very clear that during the progression of both PAGE and agarose gels, the free ...
7
votes
1answer
72 views

How does one measure the length of telomeres?

My questions are: What techniques are available for doing so? Are they destructive ? What is their accuracy ?
7
votes
2answers
250 views

What are key factors when evaluating and comparing miniprep columns?

I'm looking to comparing different protocols for minipreps for plasmid DNA purification. What factors should I be looking at? A few things come to mind: Cost Yield Time per step Replacement with ...
12
votes
2answers
353 views

Is there any reason for the variation in mitochondrial DNA size?

As my textbook An Introduction to Genetic Analysis points out, yeast mitochondrial DNA has approximately 78 kb of genetic data, while the human mitochondrial DNA contains 17 kb. Is there any evolution ...
8
votes
2answers
172 views

Electricity generated by the body and its applications?

I recently came across this article from Nature. In it, it states that the snails have "tiny biofuel cells that extract electrical power from the glucose and oxygen in the snail’s blood", and that the ...
3
votes
0answers
64 views

Are mature trees as susceptible to mutation from exposure to radiation as seedlings?

If a plant, say a ficus or a teak, as a sapling were exposed to radiation, and a tree of the same species were present at the same distance, which of the two would be more likely to mutate?
5
votes
1answer
175 views

Cell proliferation limit and senescence of embryonic stem cells and fibroblasts

I am trying to understand the importance of proliferation limits and cell senescence. In particular, I would like to compare the proliferation limit of Embryonic Stem cells (ES) and fibroblasts (which ...
4
votes
1answer
105 views

Is there a correlation between incidence of type 1 diabetes and vitiligo?

Does the data indicate that if you have one, the probability of you having the other is higher than that of someone who doesn't have the one?
9
votes
1answer
194 views

Black bumps on the cut surface of an avocado

I cut an underripe avocado in half and put half of it, without the pit but with the peel, in the refrigerator. A day later, I see very small black bumps along the cut surface. What are they? What ...
9
votes
1answer
422 views

Why does this illusion work?

This is another image I found on Google+ All lines are absolutely straight, parallel and perpendicular but why does it appear to have a curvature? Related: How does this illusion work?
1
vote
1answer
401 views

Is sperm contagious?

A person may have a cold or any other disease that is an airborne-infection. Is their sperm also contagious? Should the person take any precautions?
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the “lifecycle” of an average eschar and what types of cells are involved in each stage?

(after some deliberation in the comments, I've decided to make the question more general) An eschar or "dry scab" often forms at a site of injury over a large cut or sore. It seems as though the ...
3
votes
1answer
48 views

Is there such thing as “biological cycles” of activity/performance/etc in mammals?

I'm looking for some information about the cycles of increased/decreased activity, mental performance or endurance that are related to a mammal's age and the time of a season. First of all, I'm not ...
7
votes
2answers
320 views

How to compute properties of peptides ?

I have been tasked with writing a program for computing properties of a give set of peptides. These peptides are given as 1-letter amino acid sequences and I need to compute the following : Length ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Would a plant survive if it was watered using hard-water?

Hard water is water with high mineral/salt content. I'm told that a potted plant watered with a salt solution dries out sooner or later. Is this true? If so, would a plant survive if watered using ...
6
votes
1answer
289 views

Computational/mathematical models for predicting phenotype from genotype

Karr, Sanghvi, et al. (2012) propose a whole-cell computational model for predicting phenotype from genotype in Mycoplasma genitalium. Their model simulates myriad cell processes such as DNA ...
2
votes
1answer
621 views

Circulation through the liver in light of drug metabolism

I have a lingering question which stems from an answer that I gave to What hydrolyses aspirin within the digestive tract and blood stream? When a drug or any other substance is absorbed into the ...
6
votes
1answer
247 views

What are the white dots on the tree in this photo?

Today in Kongens Have, I noticed a lot of white dots on bark of trees. There are plenty of them, and they were usually on 'bottom' side of branches. Does anyone know what this could be? I took a ...
5
votes
2answers
625 views

Why insects are so energy-efficient while flying?

Why are insects so energy-efficient while flying? Is it because of their light weight and aerodynamics or due to very efficient biochemical transformations (food->energy)?
11
votes
1answer
784 views

Is there an evolutionary advantage to crying when sad?

It seems as though the act of crying when sad does nothing to relieve that sadness. Is there an advantage to crying from an evolutionary perspective, or is it the end result of a different process? ...
2
votes
2answers
166 views

Do the simplest bacteria have ribosomes and helicase?

I find it interesting that all life on earth use DNA. I've seen video on how helicase and ribosomes work together to copy DNA sequences (to RNA) with helicase then recreate them using ribosomes. Does ...
6
votes
1answer
422 views

How and when did a dedicated immune system evolve?

I have recently been doing a lot of research into the interplay between the innate and adaptive immune systems in humans, and mammalian laboratory models. This has led to my reading some interesting ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

Predictable microchimerism

I read in New Scientist recently that microchimerism occurs between previously born siblings and grandparents, not just the mother. Do we know which parts of the genome are likely to be transferred? ...
7
votes
1answer
67 views

Sequence of ribosomal RNA

Is it possible to sequence rRNA directly, that is, using the ribosome rather than the DNA from the nucleus? For example, this paper, Complete nucleotide sequence of a 16s rRNA gene from E. coli, ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Are open grounds in the vicinity of new construction more prone to waterlogging? [closed]

In my experience as open grounds are paved over by new concrete work other grounds yet open are proportionately more water-logged after heavy rain. Over time trees in such water logged grounds too die ...
7
votes
1answer
122 views

How does Yeast-two-hybrid detect interactions between several proteins in one experiment?

I am trying to understand the Y2H screening method. I can understand how we can check if two specific proteins interact with each other. For example, if we want to check whether protein A and protein ...
10
votes
1answer
92 views

Are rods/cones rejuvenated periodically?

Pretty much what the title states. Some cells/structures in the human body undergo rejuvenation periodically by flushing away older cells and growth of new ones. E.g Skin, Blood Does this (for want ...
10
votes
2answers
171 views

Is there an “evolutionary species similarity calculator”?

Is there a website where I can input pairs of species and get an "evolutionary similarity score"? E.g. (numbers are completely made up) Input: Chimp and Human, Output: 97% Input: Cat and Human, ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

What's in a Name: Statistical Genetics

The novice often performs population calculations using what is referred to as Mendelian Genetics. Soon after the publication of Mendel's results; Hardy and Weinberg presented their results after the ...
4
votes
0answers
55 views

Does a mydriatic drug neutralize the action of a miotic?

If a person were administered a mydriatic, would the subsequent application of a miotic neutralize the action of the former? If the sequence were reversed would a mydriatic neutralize the effect of a ...
17
votes
2answers
339 views

How does the microbial environment in your gut initiate?

Clearly, a zygote does not harbor any microbes. As it develops, and the alimentary canal tissue is differentiated, I logically assume that there is still no microbial activity in the fetus's gut. I'm ...
4
votes
1answer
80 views

What are possible health risks to women having large numbers of children?

What is the possible health issue the women would face in this record? The record for most children born to a single couple belongs to the first wife of Feodor Vassilyev of Russia. In 27 ...
3
votes
1answer
165 views

Negative feedback in the fructose metabolism in liver

What happens in liver when large amount of fructose is consumed? I vaguely remember my biochemistry lecturer telling us that the enzymes that process fructose in the liver does not have negative ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Does cockroach lay eggs in human flesh when they “bite”?

Recently, i have "bite" by cockroach, not only the "bitten" area red and swallowing, and more specificly, it have a big hole in that area, when i clean it with hydrogen peroxide solution, something is ...
5
votes
1answer
348 views

Aren't antibiotic resistant probiotics dangerous?

Multidrug resistant probiotics are often recommended by doctors in various cases. But since bacteriae can easily exchange genes by conjugation or other means they could promote the drug resistance of ...

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