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Apr
6
comment What evolutionary explanations are there for death?
@MartaCz-C: sure, but my question is about "helping his own granchildren". The fact of helping them in no way means you are spreading your own genes. The fact of having granchildren means you spread your own genes in the past which... well is the purpose of reproduction.
Apr
6
comment Why is maintaining a circadian rhythm important?
Note that this is probably tied to the fact that most, if not all, of the hormonal system in our body work in a pulsatile way, which is controlled by the circadian clock.
Apr
6
comment What evolutionary explanations are there for death?
@MartaCz-C: how does helping grandchildren spread genes? The only way for an old person to continue spreading his/her own gene is to have kids which would actually be bad.
Apr
6
comment Are cells really the basic unit of all life?
OK, I am not sure I necessarily agree with their views but your answer now deserves a +1.
Apr
5
comment What evolutionary mechanism caused felines to develop purring?
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purr#Reasons lists several other possible reasons for purring. I'm not a big fan of antropomorphisation of animal habits, but I guess a clear response is still elusive in this case
Apr
5
comment Soma-soma paired neurons
Just for completeness: not all neurons connect to another neuron :)
Apr
5
comment Are cells really the basic unit of all life?
sorry I had missed the sentence about viruses
Apr
5
revised Brain + ethanol experiment suggestions needed
fixed typos
Apr
5
comment Are cells really the basic unit of all life?
Also, please link to the sources of the papers that you mention and give relevant extracts of the authors conclusions about ribozymes being a life form (or otherwise clearly state that that is your personal interpretation of their results, which is absolutely fine, of course).
Apr
5
comment Are cells really the basic unit of all life?
I disagree with your conclusions. Otherwise should we say that a virus or a prion is alive?
Apr
5
comment Are cells really the basic unit of all life?
@LanceLafontaine: I do not think lack of a clear-cut answer is a problem per se. The impossibility of giving a proper scientific answer is, though (for questions on this website, that is). Calling on the possibility of undiscovered extraterrestrial life which is not cell based is like claiming you have an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire in your garage...
Apr
5
comment What evolutionary mechanism caused felines to develop purring?
I guess the first question to ask is: "Why do cats purr?". If I remember correctly it is not really clear, so I doubt an evolutionary mechanism for it is known. As for the roaring I suspect that size matters.
Apr
5
comment Why do the sick and unhealthy trees leaf out first in spring?
@jmusser: the market value of the wood of a tree has nothing to do with its leafing time. A 1 year old willow may be as good to its environment as a 300 years old oak tree: we may find it more valuable, but that is economy, not biology. I suspect that the pattern you are seeing there has to do with age rather than "wood quality".
Apr
4
comment Are cells really the basic unit of all life?
@bobthejoe: and what they would say it is then?
Apr
4
answered Brain + ethanol experiment suggestions needed
Apr
4
comment Why do the sick and unhealthy trees leaf out first in spring?
The question is not clear. How a species of tree would be better than another? Why would a willow be worst than a oak or a black walnut? I think you're mixing two things: sick vs non-sick trees and trees of different species with different leafing times.
Apr
4
comment Why is maintaining a circadian rhythm important?
Note that your body maintains a circadian rhythm whether you want it or not! You may perturb it (e.g. by not sleeping or flying in another time zone etc.), but the molecular basis of circadian rhythm is always there (although animal models where is not there anymore do exist).
Apr
4
comment Why do people dying of immune deficiency diseases appear sick?
@Dr.Dredel: Kaposi's sarcoma is a type of cancer, one can get it even without having an HIV infection. What you may be missing is that AIDS patients have a compromised immune system, but they still have an immune system.
Apr
4
comment Brain + ethanol experiment suggestions needed
@Harrold Cavendish: if you haven't done it before, forget about patching, it would be very technically challenging. I will try to write an answer later today, now I'm late for work!!! :D
Apr
3
comment Why do people dying of immune deficiency diseases appear sick?
@Dr.Dredel: Kaposi's Sarcoma gives cutaneous lesions, Pneumocystis Pneumonia gives fever, tachypnea, and respiratory distress in immunodeficient people.