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Oct
4
comment Does our DNA change during our lives?
A person who becomes schizophrenic because of drug use does not become any more prone to having schizophrenic kids than a person who doesnt do drugs. This is not that obvious. First, if drugs are taken during pregnancy/nursing they may as well influence the child. Second it is now well known that many drug can produce epigenetic modifications that, in certain situations, can be transmitted transgenerationally.
Oct
1
comment How do rodenticides with delayed effect work?
Not sure about the specifics of rodenticides but you should take into consideration that a drug may not be directly bioavailable. It may be given as an inactive form which is metabolized to the active form. It may be retained in adipose tissue and slowly released. Also, the effect which may be fairly rapid, but not immediately fatal. If I remember correctly rodenticides are often anticoaugulants, so the effect may not be immediatly obvious.
Oct
1
comment Is evolution true as Darwin said?
You may want to look at the excellent series of links reported here: skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/2057/…
Sep
29
comment What non invasive methods of estimating Body Time are there?
Don't forget cortisol/corticosterone!
Sep
28
comment Deducing synaptic strength from electron micrographs?
@WYSIWYG: I would be extremely wary of using such approach... you should really combine it with some ephys.
Sep
27
comment Changing the definition of life?
well, I do not know many people who think genes are alive...
Sep
23
comment Changing the definition of life?
it's not really the "parasite" part which is important, but rather the fact that they are obligate, i.e. they cannot reproduce by themselves, they need a host to do that.
Sep
22
comment Why does shaving dehydrate the skin? Is there an hormonal effect involved?
@Rustyn Yazdanpour: I would assume it is just a local reaction, otherwise all of your skin would be affected, which is not the case... My take (but I may be wrong) is that it is just a side effect of the inflammation (e.g. some interleukins can cause dry skin).
Sep
22
comment What is the chemical composition of an egg shell?
@Rustyn Yazdanpour: I doubt you'll get acetate from olive oil... it would rather come from the reaction terdon wrote (where he omitted acetate ions). In any case no worry about that either, although there are definitely much better uses for eggshell (composting for instance).
Sep
22
comment Why does shaving dehydrate the skin? Is there an hormonal effect involved?
Hmmmm... any special reason that makes you think hormones are involved?
Sep
22
comment What would life expectancy be in the western world in the absence of Ischemic heart disease?
You may want to play a little bit with this: theguardian.com/news/datablog/interactive/2012/dec/13/…
Sep
18
comment Changing the definition of life?
"They don't seem to qualify as parasites": they do, they are obligate intracellular parasites.
Sep
18
comment Changing the definition of life?
@MiguelÁngelNaranjoOrtiz: I disagree. The "classic" point against viruses being alive is that they are obligate intracellular parasites. That said, even if cellularity (whatever that means) was the "rule" for being alive that surely would not be because "we want to exclude viruses". There are definitions of life and virus may or may not fit into them, but to say (without bringing any proof whatsoever) that the definition is made specifically to exclude viruses sounds very unscientific to me...
Aug
29
comment When can a virus modify DNA in every cell of a living organism?
Note that in the type of experiments you are referring to (for instance look for "in vivo optogenetics") you generally do NOT want to infect all of the neurons in the brain, but rather a very specific subpopulation. This is achieved by using various strategies, which essentially depend on the presence of specific DNA sequences in the virus or in the target neurons. Also, if you do this in adult animals, the virus will only infect cells around the site at which it has been injected.
Aug
20
comment Why doesn't human consumption of plants cause infectious diseases the way consumption of animals can?
The classical example of fungal toxins are aflatoxins, which are very nasty.
Aug
14
comment Why do I always close my eyes when someone takes a photo of me using a flash?
@kmm: I added some more explanation
Aug
14
comment Why do I always close my eyes when someone takes a photo of me using a flash?
@kmm: it is definitely a good question. I am not sure how does the opthalmic branch of the trigeminal sense light... What is always reported is that the trigeminal is the afferent pathway and the facial nerve is the efferent pathway (which moves the eyelid), with some brainstem processing in the middle. Interestingly, the photic sneeze reflex (i.e. sneezing when looking at the Sun) is derived by activation of the same pathway. I am a bit busy at the moment, but I'll try to expand the answer later if I find a better explanation.
Aug
14
comment What happens if we continuously stimulate a mimosa plant?
Could you expand on the specific stimulus you are talking about? I am not familiar with the behaviour of mimosa plants...
Aug
13
comment Is there a realtime molecular clock within the genome to co-ordinate the developmental sequences in an embryo?
Ok, now I understand what you mean. In general when speaking about "molecular clock" one refers to a set of genes and their derived proteins that govern circadian rhythms and that indeed act as a "24h timer". See also my explanation here: biology.stackexchange.com/questions/2299/… . Now, although these genes are involved in circadian (~24h) rhythms, they possibly also have a role in shorter (<24h, ultradian) and longer (>24h infradian) rhythms, although this is still very much an unresolved question.
Aug
13
comment Is there a realtime molecular clock within the genome to co-ordinate the developmental sequences in an embryo?
You think it is difficult to believe that development is only timed by molecular events, but you are asking whether there is a molecular clock? Seems a bit contradicting... Anyway it has been shown that disruption of clock genes leads to developmental defects: for instance (these are just two random papers I found, but there is surely more) ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22884368 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17963275