8
votes
2answers
405 views

Do memories have mass?

If it were possible to live forever, would our brains grow infinitely with the number of memories that we store? Or would we remove old memories as we create new ones?
5
votes
1answer
95 views

Structures of cyclodextrin complexed with small ligands

For some structural study I am looking for cyclodextrin strucutures (in 3D format such as pdb, mol2, etc) complexed with small molecule ligands, such as cholesterol and even smaller. Right now I could ...
4
votes
1answer
132 views

How does ethanol interact with insulin?

I know that ethanol increases insulin secretion--could someone explain why? All I have found till now is experimental data analyses. I am interested in mechanism of alcohol consumption.
3
votes
1answer
72 views

What mechanisms do animals living in groups (herds, packs, swarms) have against spreading contagious diseases?

While for example a wolf pack provides protection to a sick wolf, increasing its chance of survival, there is a risk of infecting other members of the pack, decreasing their total chance of survival. ...
2
votes
1answer
112 views

How can I compare rates of evolution for two sets of proteins?

I have a list of candidate proteins as the result of my analysis. I am now trying to find various characteristics that they have in common. One of the things I would like to check is if my candidates ...
4
votes
1answer
182 views

Is the amount of phosphoric acid added to colas enough to disrupt the function of the kidney over the long term?

Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi add phosphoric acid $H_3PO_4$ to their colas to give them a signature "bite". The kidneys use a phosphoric acid/dihydrogen phosphate/hydrogen phosphate homeostasis as one ...
2
votes
2answers
43 views

Recommendation of a comprehensive book on the history of medicine

I was wondering if somebody could recommend a book on the history of medicine, be it comprehensive or an introduction to the history of medicine. I know there are a lot of medical books that cover ...
4
votes
2answers
119 views

Ultrasound during pregnancy

In a hospital I can see a long queue of pregnant women waiting for their turn for ultrasound. Is it safe to go through the ultrasound during pregnancy, especially during last few weeks? Is ...
7
votes
1answer
132 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

3D models of adult male brain in the Blender software? Any open-sourced version for research?

I am trying to find 3D model of brains. I am particularly interested in adult-male -brains in Blender-model. I could find such 3D models of brains for sale here but because I am researching I would ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Is nicotine toxic to humans?

More specifically, is nicotine in the concentrations that smokers receive when smoking cigarettes toxic? I know that in great enough concentrations it can be toxic (but then, so can just about ...
5
votes
1answer
94 views

What types of archaea have been found in animals?

I am curious as to the species or "types" of archaea that have been found to reside within animals symbiotically. One of the only ones I can think of off the top of my head are methanogens, which live ...
5
votes
1answer
459 views

How are lysosome membranes protected from the attack of hydrolases?

Lysosomes are a bit like the suicidal bags of cells. They help to clean cells, have an acidic pH and contain a large number of hydrolyzing enzymes. But why don't these hydrolyzing enzymes attack ...
4
votes
1answer
154 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
2answers
2k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using beta-galactosidase compared to luciferase as a reporter gene?

In the University labs, we have used Beta-galactosidase as a reporter gene to quantify the expression initiated by the stress-response promoter in yeast. This was done by exposing one of the two ...
3
votes
3answers
338 views

What is a good list of unsolved protein structures?

I'm trying to get a list of unique soluble structured proteins that don't have a solved structure. That is, they aren't the usual membrane proteins or some derivative of another protein. Things that ...
7
votes
1answer
79 views

Do antisense transcripts have different names than their sense strand transcripts?

I want to find which genes in the human genome can potentially be complementary to a transcript that could act as antisense transcript inhibtion? Are cis-NATs (naturally occuring anti-sense ...
7
votes
1answer
99 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?
4
votes
2answers
86 views

Low temperature PCR

We're trying to do emulsion PCR using HA-coated polystyrene beads and we're noticing that the beads are seeing drastic issues with thermal degradation above 90C. As PCR has an unfortunate requirement ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Colonial Cells Demonstrating Cell Specialization

Are there any living examples of cellular colonies demonstrating very primitive cellular specialization? If so, what do we know about how they assimilate? How independent are the individual cells ...
1
vote
1answer
190 views

Would two species of yeast with similar genome sizes have the same number of genes or chromosomes?

Similar organisms generally have similar genome sizes. Given this, would two species of yeast have the same number of genes and chromosomes? Edit: Fixed with thanks to @daniel-standage
6
votes
1answer
102 views

Bicoid regulation of hunchback

I'm learning about development via the example of Drosophila embryogenesis. I understand that bicoid regulates hunchback, among other genes. My question whether the regulation is direct or indirect? ...
1
vote
3answers
188 views

Action Potential Distribution On Synapses

This is a biology+physics question. Since there is no biology section, I am asking here. In brain, when a neuron reaches to threshold value, it fires an action potential. In most graphics, that is ...
4
votes
1answer
139 views

What is ear wax?

A human, at some time in life or the other, must clear the auditory canal. This is usually achieved using soft-cotton buds, or such similar device. Where does this wax come from? What purpose does ...
3
votes
2answers
199 views

Does the speed of electrical impulses through neurones decrease with age?

From what I read on the NatGeo app, it stated that the speed of the electrical impulses that are sent by a neurone will be approximately 332 kilometers per hour. Will the speed of this electrical ...
6
votes
2answers
399 views

Can female Drosophila melanogaster lay eggs without males?

Can female Drosophila melanogaster lay egg without males? I maintain our lab stock but find a line that seems to have all females (or all males). In the vial, I see some eggs laid, but the flies ...
12
votes
1answer
239 views

Can DNA act as a translation substrate?

I get conflicting answers. One would think if it was true, it would be rather seminal and widely known. There are papers from Khorana[1], Holland[2], and Bretscher[3] (late 60s) that suggest that it ...
9
votes
1answer
419 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

How and where, in the human brain, are memories stored?

Background I am a computer programmer who is fascinated by artificial intelligence and artificial neural networks, and I am becoming more curious about how biological neural networks work. Context ...
5
votes
2answers
146 views

Analysing the results of real-time PCR

I want to evaluate the level of gene expression by real-time PCR. I have five controls that are "clinically" the same. I calculated the "fold change" of the target gene regarding each control. What ...
3
votes
0answers
91 views

Comparative cost of RNA-seq vs sequencing full length cDNAs

I am in the process of assembling and annotating the genome of a non-model organism, using almost exclusively short read (paired-end Illumina) data. Throughput is one obvious benefit of these data ...
7
votes
2answers
153 views

What measures are commonly used for the complexity of an organism?

I'm aware of measures like number of distinct cell types being used as a measurement of complexity in biology, for example in the G-value paradox. But this doesn't really help for unicellular ...
5
votes
3answers
192 views

Is Leptin Stimulated by Insulin Alone?

What is the mechanism of insulin stimulation in the human body? Is leptin release stimulated by circulating insulin directly? Which other factors are involved in the level of insulin release? My goal ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there any complex organism that is both autotroph and heterotroph?

Possibility also include "adaptation mode" if such exist. I don't discern whether autotrophic/heterotrophic part play only minor role either.
4
votes
3answers
125 views

Good book on Origin of Life [closed]

What is a book that goes into reasonable detail (but isn't textbook-level technical) about the origin of earth and in particular the origin of life on earth? Something intended for a broad audience, ...
2
votes
1answer
35 views

Is a minimum size/complexity necessary for an organism to exhibit territoriality?

A follow-up to Is territoriality only the domain of the male of a species? I've seen a large butterfly chase a different kind of butterfly around - it may, or may not have been territoriality. Is ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

Can any protein be phosphorylated?

I am working with an Arabidopsis mutant with an F-box protein knocked out. It has been shown that F-box proteins targets must first be phosphorylated (Skowrya et al., 1997). I have heard of ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

HDL- and LDL-cholesterol

Why exactly are HDL-cholesterols good for us and LDL-cholesterols not. I know LDL-cholesterols cause Atherosclerosis and that HDL-cholesterols removes the excess of LDL-cholesterols, but from a ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Is it more likely to develop a throat-ache at night?

I have noticed that I rarely develop phlemmy throat-aches in the daytime, but often notice them after I have been sleeping. Is this a recognised phenomenon? Could it be because viruses or bacteria ...
5
votes
3answers
123 views

Does the entire surface of the earth contain organisms?

Does the entire surface of the earth contain organisms? My teacher mentioned that in some parts of the earth, there aren't any organism. Is this true? Thanks in advance.
2
votes
0answers
50 views

Do humans have chemosensors for nutrients or chemicals?

I'm reading about chemoreceptors on Wikipedia, and see that the typical ones are mentioned: taste, smell, co2. I would like to learn more about the other kinds of chemoreceptors that humans may ...
8
votes
1answer
170 views

Do antigens protrude through the capsule/slime layer in prokaryotic organisms where these features are present?

In prokaryotic organisms that have a slime layer or capsule, do intrinsic/extrinsic proteins and other molecules that could be used as antigens protrude through the capsule? I assume that they ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Why is Hydrofluoric Acid so dangerous if its a weak acid?

I've read that Hydrofluoric acid (HF) is extremely dangerous to touch, but what exactly makes it so toxic? It's weak acid ($K_a = 7.2 \times 10^{–4}$) and dissociates approximately 1/1000 as much as ...
3
votes
1answer
297 views

Troubleshooting bioconjugates migration in a SDS-PAGE gel?

We do a lot of bioconjugation chemistry (click chemistry in particular but also NHS and Maleimide chemistries). Our method to valid the conjugation reactions have been to use SDS-PAGE gels followed ...
7
votes
1answer
863 views

How does a single-stranded RNA bind to a double-stranded DNA to form a “triplex structure”?

If you have a single-stranded RNA that is complementary to a double-stranded DNA, how do they interact to form what my prof. calls a "triplex structure"? e.g. ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

In a human, what non-germline cells have the highest/lowest mass?

I'm just curious which cells are largest/smallest in the human body other than sperm/ova.
5
votes
1answer
660 views

How do neurons form new connections in brain plasticity?

I've been reading about brain plasticity and how the brain can "rewire" itself. One of the things that is not clear to me - how neurons can establish new connections. Does this rewiring mean that ...
8
votes
1answer
170 views

What are the “stars” we see after a bump on the head?

Sorry if this might appear funny. When I close my eyes for a longer time, and suddenly open it, I see some twinkling white small circles, and when i concentrate on anyone of them it disappears, as ...
3
votes
1answer
305 views

Do adipose cells divide in adults?

I have a dim recollection of having heard that when humans gain weight, adipose cells just get larger, rather than dividing. True?
2
votes
1answer
98 views

Where does an organism store reserves of amino acids?

Where does an organism store reserves of the amino acids it needs to build various proteins it needs -- in the liver ? in the blood ? in every cell ? Thanks

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