15
votes
0answers
167 views

Was the recent “conservation hunt” of a black rhino supported by science?

CNN recently covered a sanctioned black rhino hunt in Namibia by Texan Corey Knowlton, who bid US$350,000 for the license. In the story, he claims that the hunt was actually supporting conservation of ...
11
votes
0answers
127 views

Biopython - Big Discrepancy Calculating RNA melting Temperature over Literature

I experience big discrepancies when calculating melting temperature of RNA 7-mers with Biopython over values generated by a popular algorithm. I tried the nearest neighbour algorithm with RNA and ...
9
votes
0answers
63 views

How is centriole number maintained during meiosis?

I've found a website (Pearson's BioCoach) that claims centrioles duplicate in Prophase II. Is this accurate? Does it depend on the species in question? Looking at three textbook illustrations of ...
9
votes
0answers
154 views

Do mammals develop tolerance to anticholinergics?

I know that first generation H1 antagonists, commonly known as antihistamines have anticholinergic effects. Their sedative side effects go away due to tolerance, but as for their anticholinergic side ...
8
votes
0answers
42 views

What have the L-systems (Lindenmayer systems) been actually used for in biology?

Wikipedia: An L-system or Lindenmayer system is a parallel rewriting system and a type of formal grammar. L-systems were introduced and developed in 1968 by Aristid Lindenmayer, a Hungarian ...
8
votes
0answers
87 views

Expected time for a neutral allele to reach a frequency of $p_1$ when starting at frequency $p_0$

Kimura and Ohta (1968) showed that the expected time for a neutral allele to reach fixation (given that it will reach fixation) is $$\bar t(p_0)=-4N\left(\frac{1-p_0}{p_0}\right)\ln(1-p_0),$$ where ...
8
votes
0answers
122 views

At which step apply a detection filter when preprocessing microarray data? (Before/After normalization, batch effects removal)

I am trying to understand what is the best practice when preprocessing microarray data using a detection filter (on scanner p-value). Suppose I have a microarray dataset that I have to normalize with ...
7
votes
0answers
84 views

What is the percentage of people living in England in 1500 AD whose lineage is still alive?

This sounds a bit random but it stems from a lecture in statistical genetics which I attended a while ago. We were shown a population lineage graph from which it was clear that most lineages go ...
7
votes
0answers
78 views

What is the transmembrane 'Positive-Inside Rule' nowadays? Has the definition changed over time?

First definition. Two publications by von Heijne in 1989 and 1992 coined the 'Positive-Inside rule' and showed it's practical value in topology prediction of transmembrane helices. It was clearly ...
7
votes
0answers
69 views

Selection for less efficient egg transfer in Human Botfly life cycle

I have heard that the Human Botfly transfers its eggs through other invertebrates [1], and it strikes my curiosity that if an insect could simply land on its host directly to deposit its eggs, then ...
7
votes
0answers
77 views

What is the mechanism by which lamins regulate gene expression?

The heterochromatin is generally localized at the nuclear periphery (also near nuclear lamina), whereas active genes are preferentially found in the nuclear interior. Children with ...
7
votes
0answers
81 views

How to define “Quasifixation” in continuous approximation of finite population?

Background Many models including the famous very first models derived by Sir Ronald Fisher in his early career, assume infinite population size. In an infinite population, an allele can rise in ...
6
votes
0answers
39 views

What is the fate of micronucleus DNA?

Micronuclei are cellular structures that are formed as a by-product of, usually, defective mitosis. The piece of chromosome in a micronucleus may, or may not contain a centromere and the DNA is ...
6
votes
0answers
37 views

Following DNA replication during S-phase of the cell-cycle, are all genomic regions subjected to the same stringent level of DNA-Repair?

To my (limited) understanding, there are 2 main ways that mutations can occur in DNA: Environmental (UV, etc) and mistakes during cell division. I was wondering if there is a mechanism that can give ...
6
votes
0answers
43 views

What bacteria shed harvestable energy from root zone organic matter?

I recently heard of a successful effort that harvests energy from soil at plants' bases due to apparently bacterial breakdown of wastes from the plants: Via photosynthesis a plant produces organic ...
6
votes
0answers
50 views

Identity by descent among unrelated individuals

I was reading a couple of papers which talk about IBD (Identity by descent) among unrelated individuals (for eg. http://www.pnas.org/content/109/4/1193.long). However they do not seem to clearly ...
6
votes
0answers
69 views

DNA-DNA cross-linking with formaldehyde?

The 3C (chromosome conformation capture) technology for studying chromatin 3D organization starts by a cross-linking step using formaldehyde to find segments of DNA interacting. In my understanding ...
6
votes
0answers
71 views

How was the cama's life expectancy computed?

A cama is a hybrid between a male dromedary camel and a female llama. The first cama was born on January 14, 1998, yet on the Wikipedia page it is said that a cama's life span is 30–40 years. How was ...
6
votes
0answers
59 views

How to measure Na/K channel activation at the membrane level?

Assume that there are two different signals occurring on the ECG - during depolarization and repolarization in the standard ECG. I was advised not to use the standard ECG in measuring the exact ...
6
votes
0answers
47 views

Effect of Aging on SA node's sympathetic fibers

I am trying to understand the effect of aging on the sympathetic fibers of SA node. I know that aging shifts the vagal curve to left in frequency due to aging. However, I am interested if aging has ...
5
votes
0answers
70 views

What is basis of multifunctionality of “master glands” in the endocrine system?

I have just started reading about the endocrine system and I am having some difficulty understanding the basis of distribution of glands and associated hormones. I am using multifuntionality to ...
5
votes
0answers
45 views

How pronounced is the difference if we would change the running direction for runners?

I was jogging when I asked myself this question: In running contests the standard running direction is counterclockwise; I also believe to remember that the regulation is very old (right back to the ...
5
votes
0answers
43 views

Do blood glucose “spikes” contribute to insulin resistance, or is prolonged elevation required?

There's increasing public discussion about the health risks of chronic insulin resistance* (IR). In many cases there's a focus on high glycemic index foods that "spike" your blood sugar, which implies ...
5
votes
0answers
100 views

Contact Inhibition of Cell Division: Signaling Pathway

The following article refers to contact inhibition of cell division in epithelial cells, specifically MDCK cells: Collective and single cell behavior in epithelial contact inhibition. In their review ...
5
votes
0answers
55 views

What were the first neural systems like?

I'm curious about the origin of the neural network. I'm thinking perhaps once life evolved beyond the single cell organism, it needed a simple neural network to coordinate those cells, and cell ...
5
votes
0answers
57 views

Statistical method for characterizing the relationship between body mass and metabolic rate

There is a dataset that contains body mass ($x$) and metabolic rate ($y$) from many different organisms. It is common to fit the data to the model of the form $y=ax^b$ and estimate the parameters $a$ ...
5
votes
0answers
18 views

Would constant light or fading light be registered as more wakefulness promoting by the Supra Chiasmatic Nucleus?

During the fall and winter season, a number of people are experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder. One of the way it has traditionally been treated is with a dedicated lightbox - a very high ...
5
votes
0answers
86 views

Where can I get numerical data for the PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) curve?

I'm trying to do some rough figuring to calculating efficiencies of various light sources for growing plants. I'm hampered, however, by the lack of a curve to multiply by the spectrum of light ...
5
votes
0answers
241 views

Genetic expression in interspecific hybrids

Referring to interspecific hybrids, I have the following two questions:- Quoting from wikipedia:- The offspring of an interspecific cross are very often sterile; thus, hybrid sterility ...
5
votes
0answers
117 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
79 views

effect of background selection on promoter regions compared to distant enhancers?

Has anyone looked at the effect of background selection on the levels of conservation of promoter regions compared to distant enhancers? Do promoter regions have a higher conservation due to ...
4
votes
0answers
21 views

Can Biting Insects Detect Specific Places On A Host Body?

I'm gonna make a presumptive statement: It -seems- as though I get bitten by mosquitos and other biting insects in -exactly- the same places over and over. I mean within a few mm. Is that true? If ...
4
votes
0answers
35 views

Variance in Fst in the infinite island model

The most famous result in the study of structured populations come from Sewall Wright. He showed that in an island model, where each subpopulation is of size $N$ and the migration rate is $m$, then ...
4
votes
0answers
30 views

Understanding F-statistics in population genetics

I am reading a classical Weir and Cockerham 1984 paper about Fst estimation. At the beginning (first page, right column), they define 3 statistics. $F$ is the correlation of genes within individuals ...
4
votes
0answers
22 views

How does the Platypus grow before it eats?

From this fascinating documentary on monotremes it is mentioned that the Platypus is born less than 1 cm in length, but has doubled its size by day three when it begins to nurse. How does the animal ...
4
votes
0answers
24 views

How do we know that ammonites are a kind of cephalopod rather than another type of mollusc?

On a recent fossil hunting trip, I found a small fossil that an expert identified for me as an ammonite beak. He told me such fossils are not uncommon, but are not normally found with their parent ...
4
votes
0answers
20 views

Non-cumbersome respiration sensor for sleep study?

I'm working on a project where I collect ECG signal from multiple volunteers, derive ECG derived respiration(EDR) from the timestamped ECG signal and calculate the cross correlation between EDR and ...
4
votes
0answers
33 views

Is it possible that the vapour form of propylene glycol could lower a humans blood oxygen saturation by the manner in which N2O does?

My understanding is that by inhaling nitrous oxide leads to the body not being able to take in as much oxygen as it usually would. Is it possible that a heavier soluble gas such as the vapour form of ...
4
votes
0answers
81 views

Do DNA supply houses maintain a watch list for dangerous oligos (Anthrax, Smallpox, etc.)?

The recent work by DeLoache, et al. on a synthetic opiate-precursor production pathway in yeast has generated a lot of scare stories in the media about people homebrewing heroin as easily as they ...
4
votes
0answers
43 views

Does anxiety about weight or eating cause people to become overweight?

A while ago I saw this TED talk about the futility of dieting. The speaker suggests that a body maintains a homeostatic weight point and returns to that weight after dieting has stopped: Turns out ...
4
votes
0answers
38 views

Evolution of Wheat

In the evolution of wheat, there are two instances of chromosomal doubling, when Emmer wheat Triticum turgidum was formed from Einkorn wheat, and when Triticum aestivum was formed from Emmer wheat. ...
4
votes
0answers
55 views

Horizontal gene transfer from humans

It is known that some viruses embed themselves in the human genome. Is there a mechanism by which human genes can be transferred to other animals or plants by means of viruses shuttling them from ...
4
votes
0answers
87 views

Does breath-holding cause permanent brain damage?

My question is: Does voluntarily holding your breath at atmospheric pressure for a few minutes can cause brain damage? I'm talking about periods of time around 3 minutes. I've read there are some ...
4
votes
0answers
39 views

Which sequence assemblers I can use to compare different paradigms?

I'm a high school student whose interested in bioinformatics. Therefore I chose a project which I study Sequence Assembly. My main goal is to compare different paradigms (Greedy, OLC, De Bruijn). I ...
4
votes
0answers
91 views

Phylogenetic method to detect shift in mean of continuous variable

I am currently working on a project where I study the change of a continuous morphological variable with body size (measured as body weight) across diverse taxa (insects, spiders, lizards, frogs). In ...
4
votes
0answers
84 views

Up to date, extensive documentary about dinosaurs?

I just finished reading the Wikipedia page about dinosaurs, and I very much enjoyed it. I knew that much of what I learned in the 80's as a child is (and was) incorrect, and now that I am a parent, I ...
4
votes
0answers
104 views

How did birds survive the KT impact?

As I understand it, the ejecta resulting from the K-T impact (also known as the end-Cretaceous or Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event) re-entered the atmosphere all over the world; the heat from ...
4
votes
0answers
188 views

How do duplicate brain regions (ex: left/right amygdaloid body) operate together?

I frequently hear talk about parts of the brain like "Amygdala" or "Hypothalamus", so I looked them up in an app called "essential anatomy". What I see is that there's mirror symmetry, and most of ...
4
votes
0answers
71 views

Does DHA increase the effects of clarithromycin?

I've read on this publication that every drug that induces CYP3A can reduce the effectiveness of clarithromycin. Clarithromycin inhibits CYP3A. But it does not say anything about the opposite ...
4
votes
0answers
100 views

Eye color genetics

I am trying to find a model to link the phenotype eye color to its genotypes. I know that there exists a simple model from Davenport, which explains {brown,blue} eyes. Further, there is an extended ...

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