6
votes
2answers
2k views

Gene & Protein nomenclature: N-Myc, c-Myc, et. al

Can someone explain (or point me to an explanation of) exactly what is meant by all the different symbols I see used for writing genes and proteins? I think I know that for genes, we use an italic ...
3
votes
2answers
983 views

What is the evolutionary rationale for palm sweating?

Sweaty palms seems to be a reaction to stress, anxiety, etc. For our forest-inhabiting primate ancestors sweaty palms could cause unwanted side-effects such as slipping off tree branches under ...
6
votes
1answer
118 views

Why does getting certain chemicals in cuts hurt?

More specifically, shampoo. What are the mechanics of detecting a noxious chemical stimulus in terms of which receptors recognise what, how do they do it, and how is this information relayed to the ...
14
votes
4answers
852 views

Why does the cold make us sick?

From the moment we learn to communicate, we always get told, whether by our parents, or our teachers, or by anyone else, to avoid the cold, or to put a jacket on to avoid catching a cold, to dry our ...
4
votes
2answers
127 views

Are all known germs benign in small enough quantities? i.e. Why do we wash our hands?

We know that we wash our hands because germs can get into our body through the nose, the mouth, the eyes, cuts, etc. But I doubt we can completely clean our hands of germs every time we wash them, ...
3
votes
1answer
117 views

Can compounds be predicted from Polyketide synthases gene clusters?

I've seen a few talks on the subject. From a gene cluster, there is some decent ability to determine which domains contribute to certain functional groups in the final metabolites. It sounds like this ...
0
votes
1answer
8k views

Difference between Appendix and the Cecum?

What's the difference between an appendix and a cecum, and what are their functions?
3
votes
1answer
133 views

Eyelids interconnected?

I've seen a patient who had a Vitrectomy (eye surgery) done on a single eye manifest massive swelling on both eyelids. That seems like having my left hand swell after punching a wall with my right ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Can animals that rely heavily on sonar sense colour?

Apparently there're species around as rely heavily on sonar to sense the world around them. E.g. Bat, Dolphin, Whale ... The humans, and other terrestrial beings in a lighted world are capable of ...
1
vote
0answers
116 views

Can dry air make a person more prone to catching a cold?

I'm interested if there is a correlation between room air humidity and risk of catching a cold.
7
votes
1answer
5k views

How do prokaryotes perform cellular respiration without membrane-bound organelles?

In order to survive, prokaryotes such as bacteria need to produce energy from food such as glucose. In eukaryotic cells, respiration is performed by mitochondria, but prokaryotic cells do not have ...
2
votes
1answer
218 views

Insulin and monoclonal antibody production

When producing insulin, the gene for its production is inserted into the plasmid of a bacterium that is allowed to replicate freely. Why can't the same thing be done with antibodies (as I understand ...
3
votes
1answer
123 views

What is the length of anaerobic biodigestion stages?

I have built an experimental portable batch biodigester to process organic garbage. A 50L drum filled half with garbage, half with water and with some cow dung added for inoculation, is connected from ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Can a human smell through the ears?

The title does, prima facie, appear absurd. Performing a swallowing action whilst pinching the nostrils shut gives the impression of listening through a bucket filled with water around the head; ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the inlet/outlet speed of air going in/out of our mouth during inhalation/exhalation

During inhalation, your alveoli expand, creating a pressure difference between the atmosphereic pressure and our lung sacks and therefore air will flow into the repspiratory airways. I am trying to ...
10
votes
1answer
103 views

When running a gel, what could cause a standard to run “faster” than usual?

We are running a gel on the products of a restriction digest to determine the size of an insert. We know the vector backbone size should be ~2.9kb; however, the standard appears to be running too ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Where does the 'C' in exhaled CO2 mostly come from?

When a human being exhales $CO_2$, what is, by the numbers, the main source of carbon atoms exiting the body in this way? I mean what class of cells, or which tissues are the biggest on a pie chart of ...
5
votes
1answer
96 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
77 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. ...
8
votes
2answers
422 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?
3
votes
2answers
559 views

Does finite rate of increase depend on mortality of individuals in a population?

As written in my lecture handouts, there two main factors in the Geometric Growth Model of populations: $R_{0}$ is the expected lifetime reproductive output. This way, for unicellulars, for example, ...
4
votes
1answer
191 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
133 views

Will a completely removed cat whisker grow back?

I just accidentally pulled out, while playing, my cat's whisker entirely, follicle and all. I feel terribly as I know she is a kitten and whiskers are rooted deep in a place rich in nerves. I'm ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

How much energy does human body fat contain?

I have been reading the Wikipedia article about food energy, but as I'm not a biologist, I don't really understand it properly, so I came here to ask you guys. My question is: If a human body needs X ...
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
616 views

How much weight/volume do microbes occupy within the human body?

Microorganisms constitute the bulk of all the biomass on Earth. I weighed myself yesterday, and wondered how much less I would weigh if I were completely free of bacteria and microbes, inside and out. ...
5
votes
1answer
497 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
100 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?
5
votes
3answers
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
115 views

Is eating salt dangerous for the brain?

I read somewhere that eating a lot of salt will raise blood pressure, which will in turn damage brain tissue. This is because water molecules gather around salt ions, thus making it harder for the ...
1
vote
1answer
82 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
195 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
4
votes
1answer
137 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.
4
votes
1answer
151 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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
90 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
358 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
92 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
339 views

How are epigenetic marks transmitted during cell division?

As far as I know, this is one of the biggest questions in the epigenetic field: how are the epigenetic marks like histone modifications propagated through cell division? A lot is already known about ...
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
231 views

How does the body measure dehydration?

What, physically, does the body do to measure it? I assume it's measured by how how turgid or plasmolysed certain 'sample cells' are, or water concentration in the blood, What is the way they use to ...
2
votes
1answer
60 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
51 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 ...
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.
3
votes
1answer
32 views

Which part of oranges contain fiber?

I think it's pith, but here (non-english country) many chef suggest orange's vascular veins which look "fibrous" and have similar translated word with "fiber" itself. Please enlighten me which?
4
votes
3answers
54 views

Is territoriality only the domain of the male of a species?

Is territoriality (recognizing a geographic location, and challenging another member of the same species and gender) only in the domain of the male of a species? Are there any species out there where ...
8
votes
2answers
444 views

Would exposure to a strong magnetic field have deleterious effect on the human?

This article states of a 25T magnet, ".. If are ever caught in one of these devices, let’s just say you probably won’t live to tell the tale." Is the above statement in order? What effect would ...
4
votes
3answers
131 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, ...
7
votes
1answer
951 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. ...

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