5
votes
1answer
154 views

Alternatives to CFU plating for measuring number of viable cells?

I am hoping to measure growth rates of a bacterial culture in several growth conditions. I am concerned that these growth conditions may cause cell death, which would lead to a decreased ...
5
votes
1answer
537 views

Why does the heart use lipids (and not glucose)?

Fetal hearts use glucose as their primary metabolic substrate. Adult hearts use free fatty acids, which are less efficient (require more $O_2$ to synthesize the same amount of ATP); however, during ...
5
votes
4answers
796 views

Why we have no enzyme to digest cellulose?

As we know, cellulose is the most abundant polysaccharide in nature. Why don't we have any enzyme to digest cellulose?
5
votes
2answers
108 views

Why is venom more common in fish and snakes than other vertebrates?

Reading this question, I wondered why is it that we associate vertebrate venoms so often with snakes and fish, and more rarely with lizards, amphibians, mammals, and birds (apparently never, in ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What causes the colors we see in eyes?

Genetics aside, what are the biochemical reasons the different colours of human irises? Also, related, how does eye colour change, particularly in childhood? (example: my eyes used to be blue, ...
5
votes
1answer
878 views

Why do neurons have a negative resting potential?

Neurons expend the majority of their energy powering ion pumps to maintain the chemical gradients that power their electrical activity. To have a negative resting potential, neurons leak potassium ...
5
votes
2answers
118 views

How is gene expression estimated?

I'm reading this fantastic article on estimating body time: Molecular-timetable methods for detection of body time and rhythm disorders from single-time-point genome-wide expression profiles and one ...
5
votes
2answers
332 views

Why does sexual selection evolve beautiful features?

First question here. I have a very raw understanding of sexual selection: Say a group of females of a certain species "likes" some feature of a certain groups of males; by "like" I mean some ...
5
votes
1answer
210 views

How to do western analysis to lung tissue?

I am working with lungs from mice, and I want to do a western blot analysis to my samples. I am having trouble with this because my images turn out very "messy", with a high background. Perhaps I ...
5
votes
1answer
145 views

What is a Mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam

I've read this question: What kind of event would cause the current Mitochondrial Eve to be replaced by a new one? And the values in Wikipedia about Mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam and I am ...
5
votes
1answer
124 views

How does skin healing work?

I stacked my bike and split my head right open. About three weeks later the scab falls off and the skin is sealed over, like magic! How does it all work? How does the brain know that part of the ...
5
votes
2answers
276 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
355 views

X chromosome “weight”?

According to Wikipedia, the X chromosome has approximately 153 million base pairs, while the Y chromosome has only 60 million base pairs. Thus, the difference is roughly 93 million base pairs. My ...
4
votes
1answer
181 views

Effect of single nucleotide deletion or insertion on primer annealing

How is primer annealing, and, consequently, PCR amplification affected by single nucleotide deletion or insertion inside the primer ? Imagine a primer like this: GCGTCATAAAGGGGACGTG (primer) and ...
4
votes
2answers
368 views

Is there any kind of immortality in plants?

I asked a question about immortality of hydra and leaned good things about senescence. Now I like to know about immortality signs in plants. If there is some kind of immortality in plants its process ...
4
votes
2answers
248 views

Extraretinal photoreception in mammals? [duplicate]

A Finnish firm Valkee sells light-ear-plugs against thing such as jetlag. I asked a researcher in Aalto university how do they really work and he responded ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does alcohol cause the hemolysis of RBC in a large proportion?

I had today an experiment that we put 95% alcohol to the blood which made it completely transparent so hemolysis must have occurred. I started to think about the reasons. I think that this is because ...
4
votes
1answer
85 views

What light intensity determines the start/end of a photoperiod in humans?

I'm reading this article, which discusses the influence of Long Photoperiod (LP) and Short Photoperiod (SP) on melatonin production: HIOMT drives the photoperiodic changes in the amplitude of the ...
4
votes
1answer
349 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
0answers
103 views

If D1 receptors stimulate adenylate cyclase (through GPCRs) and D2 receptors inhibit it, then why do mutations in both have similar effects?

D1 and D2 both refer to specific types of dopamine receptors. I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that the D1 receptors are in regions different from D2 receptors. I know that adenylate ...
3
votes
0answers
41 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
120 views

Is there a difference between pig and cow anatomy that makes religious slaughter of the latter less painful?

This question is not for the squeamish. I was told that non-Kosher animals like pigs have a different anatomy in their neck compared to kosher animals like cows such that the Shechita method of ...
3
votes
1answer
372 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? ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

What is the difference between vegetable and fruit?

Is there any exact definition of vegetable and fruit? How can new plant be classified?
3
votes
1answer
481 views

Chromosome 2 fusion?

I read this article by Jeffrey Tomkins and Jerry Bergman claiming to debunk chromosome 2 fusion. Is there anything wrong with these conclusions? " 1.The reputed fusion site is located in a ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

How many different smells can a human recognize?

How many different smells can a human recognize? If the space of smells is not discrete, how many dimensions it has (for example, the space of colors is three-dimensional).
2
votes
1answer
38 views

How can a respiratory infection lead to a skin infection?

Example of a case: 5 children develop a bright red rash on the face and turns violet after a few days and then disappears. Then maculopapular rash appears on the trunk, buttocks and extremities. It ...
2
votes
3answers
326 views

Are there any scientifically based predictions or theories of future human evolution?

Reading this question of the stack exchange got me thinking. I believe human evolution is an ongoing process and will not stop. Are there any predictions/theories about the phenotypes and genotypes of ...
2
votes
1answer
133 views

Is there an “Adam and Eve” for each new trait during (not just human) evolution? [duplicate]

Do new beneficial mutation evolve simultaneously and independently with several individuals of the same specie or only with one specimen who then transfers it to all of the specie? In other words, ...
2
votes
0answers
38 views

How much does a human brain's metabolic rate vary? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How does brain energy consumption depend on mental activity? Our brains consume about 20% of our energy when we're at rest. How variable is a human brain's energy ...
1
vote
2answers
56 views

Book recommendation on population/evolutionary genetics?

I have recently been involved in collaborations that require me to model the population genetics of eukaryotic populations. I fear I may either be "re-inventing the wheel" or making conceptual ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Does recombination increase the additive genetic variance for fitness?

On this article, first column, eighth line of the introduction: By bringing together favourable alleles from different chromosomes, sex and recombination increase the additive genetic variance for ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

On the definition of gDCW (gram dry cell weight)

I need some clarification on the concept of gram dry cell weight. The unit acronym gDCW stands for gram dry cell weight. My interpretation is that 1 gDCW is equivalent to 1 gram of dry cells, but I ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

What happens during a Raynauds episode?

Raynaud's phenomenon can be a serious health issue, as the blood flow to the extremities, mainly the fingers is compromised, causing fingers to blanche, and then turn blue. Severe Raynaud's can cause ...
1
vote
3answers
173 views

Has medical progress stopped human evolution?

We can cure many diseases nowadays, and thus the natural selection is very limited. Plus, mankind spent the whole beginning of its existence in almost the same hostile environment, and that's where he ...
1
vote
1answer
863 views

What would be the best design for spike-and-recovery and linearity-of-dilution validation experiments in one 96-well ELISA plate?

I have searched in the web for a detailed explanation of doing such validation experiment, but unfortunately couldn't find a satisfactory one. I came across the following sources: Thermo ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

How might IVF (and related technologies) alter epigenetic marks?

I was reading up on KCNQ1, which encodes a voltage-gated potassium channel, and I discovered that it happens to be only maternally expressed. This is regulated by KCNQ1OT1, a non-coding RNA, which is ...
1
vote
2answers
218 views

By what mechanism does penicillin resistance usually develop in Streptococcus pneumoniae?

There are three mechanisms: prevention of the interaction between antibiotic and the target PBP; modification of the binding of the antibiotic to the PBP; hydrolysis of the antibiotic by a ...
0
votes
1answer
6 views

Which ionic channels of Pacemakers can work in very low frequencies in extrasystole?

At frequency 0-3 Hz. Like computer processors which can work at low frequencies and controlling under- and overvoltage. Normal most significant channels are Ca2+ and K+ that are changing. However, I ...
0
votes
0answers
8 views

Laser surgery to stop damaged Sinus node from beating

I am trying to find any publication about laser surgery to stop the damaged sinus node which cannot anymore beat. I could only find publications which modifies SA node function. I am not sure if it ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

Manifestations of open foramen ovale in adults

I read that foramen ovale opens in 30% of adults. I do not know how much of these openings can then close again. Probably, none. It is not pathogenic if no symptoms. It allows blood to enter from ...
0
votes
1answer
19 views

Pathogenesis of Chronic Venous Congestion in Lungs?

I am thinking how CVC in lungs lead to the left-sided heart failure.
17
votes
1answer
7k views

How does laughing gas (N2O) work?

Laughing gas (N2O), well, makes people laugh. How does just a gas make us do that, there has to be some hormones at work... So, I wanted to know how this works? What is the mechanism?
17
votes
3answers
718 views

How long can I store extracted RNA?

If I extract RNA from a (leaf tissue) sample using a one-step phenol:chloroform extraction, how long can those samples be stored at -80°C? And how many times can I defrost and refreeze them before ...
16
votes
3answers
817 views

How does the immune system “learn” from a vaccine?

According to Wikipedia: A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism, and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins or one ...
14
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
746 views

Why is 'Grudger' an evolutionary stable strategy?

I am currently reading 'The Selfish Gene' by Richard Dawkins, which I am sure many here have read. The topic are evolutionary stable strategies (ESS) regarding cooperation. I apologise for the long ...
13
votes
2answers
694 views

Is the EC50 of an activating protein for an enzyme a good indicator for the binding affinity Kd?

We work with a membrane protein system where measuring the affinity between the enzyme and the upstream activating protein has been difficult, and when measured in detergent solution, it is almost 100 ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

What causes the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria?

I understand bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics due to selection pressures, but how do resistant bacteria process antibiotics when exposed to it, compared to non-resistant bacteria. Also, ...
12
votes
3answers
7k views

How many agarose gel bands are typical for circularised DNA

I am aware that circular DNA can be both relaxed and super coiled. However when running an agarose gel of the circular plasmid along with singly digested plasmid with BamHI and HindIII, I see 1 band ...

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