1
vote
2answers
163 views

Can someone identify this bird?

We recently found a nest in the back garden and a little bird inside. Can you help us identify it? The nest is quite small like the bird so we are wondering whether this is the parent or a baby chick. ...
5
votes
3answers
492 views

When to measure resting heart rate and blood pressure for following day-to-day trend?

I'd like monitor my resting heart rate and blood pressure to see how they are affected by regular cardiovascular training and other events in life. When should I take the measurements in order to ...
5
votes
4answers
429 views

Could someone recommend an introductory book on epidemiology? [closed]

I'm hoping to learn the basics of epidemiological methods, terminology, etc. I come from a background in statistical economics, and I'm moving into the economics of public health. I don't know if ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What happens to snakes that swallow rodents as a whole?

As we all know, a few species of snakes swallow rodents as a whole. My question is what happens to the teeth and bones of these animals? Won't they cut into the flesh of the snake and hurt it? Are the ...
10
votes
1answer
127 views

What advantage would the initial 'donor' in horizontal gene transfer by conjugation have received?

I am struggling to think why horizontal gene transfer between bacteria would have persisted during the course of evolution as surely it puts the 'donor' at a disadvantage? For example, consider a ...
11
votes
4answers
639 views

Has there ever been an attempt to create nutritionally tailored food for adult human consumption?

For all domestic animals, and for all animals kept in laboratory, complete and precise composition of perfect food is figured out (cat food, dog food, cattle, rats, laboratory monkeys and apes) -- ...
8
votes
2answers
198 views

Solution based measurement of Solvent-Accessible Surface Area of macromolecules

The Solvent-Accessible Surface Area (SASA) is a valuable metric for looking at protein folding and protein-protein interactions. However, this measurement is typically done by calculating the SASA ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Measuring the density of surface antigens

I'm trying to get a sense of the variety of methods used for determining the number of cell surface antigens and receptors. This is notably different from determining the affinity of these surface ...
5
votes
2answers
91 views

How extensive is CD47?

CD47 aka the "don't eat me" signal has recently been claimed to be expressed on all tumor cells. This doesn't seem to corroborate with other cell-biology experiments. On what other cells is CD47 ...
8
votes
2answers
171 views

Is there a dominant gene for right-handedness?

Has there been any definitive research about handedness being genetic? Also, why is right-handedness clearly dominant in humans? I'm interested in evolutionary theories, as well as any molecular ...
9
votes
3answers
380 views

Source of DNA sequences

I'm working on a project where I am taking DNA sequences and translating the codons into musical notes. I have some good ideas of how to do this, I'm just not sure what sequences to work with. My case ...
4
votes
2answers
100 views

Is it possible to grow any kind of plant soilless (hydroponics)?

Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture and is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. [wikipedia] My question is if is it possible to grow any kind of ...
10
votes
2answers
297 views

What is the highest competency possible for E coli?

I am looking to find a highly competent E coli strain. I am making a library of a ~6.6kb plasmid and I am not getting high enough efficiency. Does anyone have a suggestion of a strain/protocol with ...
6
votes
3answers
338 views

What's the use of DNA sequencing results?

Suppose I sequence DNA of some organism (a human perhaphs) and now I have the entire DNA "string" - the sequence of nucleotides. What's the use of that? It's just a "string" where nucleotides encode ...
13
votes
2answers
12k views

Possible? When a pregnant woman suffers an organ damage, fetus would send stem cells to the damage organ to help repair it?

I am quite sure that there is this blood-placental barrier between the mother and the baby so that nothing (except a type of antibody) can pass through it. But I remember reading somewhere that when ...
11
votes
3answers
117 views

How do baby animals that primarily subsist on cellulose get their initial gut flora?

In the case of mammals like giraffes and koalas, is that bacteria common on the plants they eat so when a baby starts to try to stick something besides its mother's milk in its mouth, it can't digest ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

How do trees manage to grow equally in all directions?

I was walking down a road with these beautifully huge trees when this question occurred to me. Large trees with many thick branches have to grow equally in all directions, or they would tip over. Is ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

On the genetics behind caste marriages

I am in India where it is typically a custom to marry within one's caste. Basically the caste system originated with roots in people's professions - Each of priests, carpenters, troupers, etc had a ...
25
votes
4answers
1k views

What exactly are computers used for in DNA sequencing?

I've thoroughly read the Wikipedia article on DNA sequencing and can't get one thing. There's some hardcore chemistry involved in the process that somehow splits the DNA and then isolates its parts. ...
13
votes
1answer
440 views

How fast will cells lyse under hypotonic conditions?

Routinely, lysis of cells with hypotonic solutions is carried out along with some physical (douncing) or enzymatic (lysozyme) method to break open the cells. If one were not to do any of these and ...
12
votes
1answer
6k views

What is the significance and method behind Ramachandran plots?

My PI showed a Ramachandran plot in class today with minimal explanation, but I'm interested in finding out more. I understand that the Ramachandran plot shows the relation between the omega phi and ...
5
votes
3answers
126 views

Measuring reverse transcriptase activity in E. coli

Goal: To quantify the HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) activity for a number of mutated RTs. Idea: Put RT into a vector in E.coli. Deliver GFP mRNA to E.coli. RT will process the mRNA. The ...
8
votes
1answer
270 views

Foveal ganglion cell density (Tay-Sachs Disease)

I’m currently reading on Tay-Sachs disease and have stumbled upon something regarding the typical “cherry red” macula symptom. On the one hand it is mentioned that the macula is almost devoid of ...
9
votes
1answer
114 views

What determines when a virus becomes a “new strain”?

The reason we cannot find a cure for the common cold is because viruses mutate rapidly. Where do the mutations occur in the DNA/mRNA of viruses and does this have any effect on the protein level? what ...
16
votes
1answer
445 views

How did viruses come to be?

My question is out of curiosity and got me thinking. How did viruses with the head, tail and tail fibres actually evolve? These viruses look more like machines than biological entities. Are there any ...
7
votes
1answer
112 views

Is it the sphincter that flexes when a human pushes a bowel movement?

Of course the sphincter muscle is at the exit point. To use a toothpaste tube analogy, if I want to squeeze out some toothpaste, it does me little to no good to jostle the nozzle; I need to squeeze ...
6
votes
4answers
955 views

What's the aim of genetically modifying of foods/organisms?

On news, articles etc. experts talking about Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms often mentions about their disadvantages like, their potential to harm human health allergies may become more ...
11
votes
3answers
223 views

How do we know that dinosaurs were related to lizards and/or birds?

Do we clearly know what the living closest relative of the dinosaurs are? And connected to the first question, in scientific manner how do we know these relationship between extinct species and living ...
4
votes
0answers
95 views

Dimensionless number for blood volume

Comments from the question How is the blood volume of a living organism measured without killing it? by @Nico discussed that the time of blood recirculation scales with the size of the organism. I was ...
11
votes
1answer
90 views

Does a theory exist for the formation of thylakoid structure?

I'm interested in how the structure of the thylakoid forms into its characteristic highly rugose stacks of grana. What causes the thylakoid to invaginate and self-associate, albeit with what appear to ...
12
votes
2answers
325 views

Why are there N's after Sanger sequencing?

After sending a DNA sample for sequencing, the resulting sequence had N's in the beginning and end of the sequence. I know the N's mean that the computer can't tell what the base pair is, but why is ...
-3
votes
1answer
316 views

How To Avoid Macro-Evolution Confusion? [closed]

I regularly encounter students who believe humans came from amoebas and when asked why they often say Macro-Evolution has been scientifically proven. Macro-evolution is defined as evolution at or ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Can all mammals swim?

When I checked it seemed trivial to answer: yes, all mammals can swim. But research on the internet provided different information. I found: people and primates cannot swim, but can be taught how to ...
12
votes
2answers
858 views

How does a tree trunk sprout and grow after being cut?

After I cut trees into logs and remove the branches in winter, they start growing. They sprout out and grow completely normal looking stems and leaves and maintain them all summer. The sprouts mostly ...
4
votes
1answer
156 views

PCR primer in highly repetitive region

Is there any way to design a PCR primer if region of interest is highly repetitive (tens of kilobases only SINE's & LINE's)?
6
votes
3answers
244 views

Weighing 2 vertical halves of the human body

I had this thought while bathing: Assume a perfectly developed physical human body and anatomy in terms of size, dimensions and proportions. In theory, if I cut the body vertically into two exact ...
6
votes
3answers
431 views

Protein Biology Cheat Sheet

I'm looking find a cheat sheet for protein biology to stick on my desk to remind of some of the key principles of protein biology. I seem to remember the specific and complex principles in protein ...
3
votes
3answers
12k views

Small worm living in some kind of cocoon, what are these animals?

I am curious what animal is this. It is/lives inside some kind of cocoon, about 1 cm in length. They are attached to walls and to the ceiling, but sometimes they fall off. Inside the structure there ...
14
votes
3answers
735 views

Do probiotics survive digestion?

Pretty much this. I've been wondering if any of the yogourt and other "health" foods containing living probiotic cultures survive digestion to populate our intestines? If so, is there peer-reviewed ...
5
votes
2answers
162 views

First pass protein structure prediction

I'm working with a protein that doesn't have any homology to other proteins so it will likely require ab initio structure prediction. However, since I don't work for a structure prediction lab and I ...
5
votes
1answer
132 views

Descendants of dinosaurs

It is commonly accepted that birds are descendants of dinosaurs. It is nice that not all dinosaurs died out. Are there other animals, descendants of dinosaurs, that survived ? (Maybe not till our ...
6
votes
3answers
260 views

Compressing structural information in PDB files

There seems to be a lot of redundancy in PDB files. These files can of course be compressed with general-purpose compression programs like gzip, but I can't help but imagine that these tools are ...
6
votes
1answer
96 views

Mechanics of going from DNA sequence to metabolic network

My apologies for possibly a naive question. I'm a statistics type and have been asked to assist with analysis of metabolic pathways (and networks). However, I would like to have at least a layman's ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

What actually happens when my leg 'falls asleep'?

Most people have experienced the temporary loss of feeling and tingling in their leg resulting from sitting in an abnormal position for a short while. Usually you get a loss of feeling in your leg ...
5
votes
1answer
106 views

How do I prepare a PDB for submission to the Protein Data Bank?

I have a couple structures that are nearly ready to be deposited in the PDB. Out of curiosity, I ran them through the ADIT's precheck tool and they failed with one error after another, as I lacked ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Altering the human genome

I recently had a conversation with a rather unusual gentleman who was, let's say, more than a little partial to conspiracy theories. He has this idea that governments are lowering "nanowires" from ...
19
votes
2answers
530 views

Why is rabies incurable?

I'm still not sure about the mechanics that lead to rabies being incurable. I know that it can be treated before any symptoms show up, but why is it that once symptoms show the person is a dead man ...
11
votes
4answers
223 views

What was the reason for some plant and animals to become giant in course of evolution?

The dinosaurs, mammoths, giant plants etc are known to be bigger than modern animals. I wonder why they had been lived and why they are not living now? I really don't know much but is it something ...
3
votes
2answers
296 views

Why do plants' leaves become enlarged in low light areas?

Why do almost all plants in shade have a smaller stem structure and larger leaf than that same species grown in a well lit, sunny area?
5
votes
1answer
67 views

How are the various classes of E coli genes determined?

Looking at some more detailed codon usage tables, genes may be further clustered into three gene classes: Metabolic genes, highly expressed genes during exponential growth, and horizontal gene ...

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