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59 votes
Accepted

Why can't we kill ourselves by holding our breath?

Short answer Healthy people cannot hold their breaths until unconsciousness sets in, let alone commit suicide. Background According to Parkes (2005), a normal person cannot even hold their breath to ...
AliceD's user avatar
  • 52.5k
35 votes

Why can't we kill ourselves by holding our breath?

Counterexample: At least some people can train themselves to hold their breath until they pass out, and if this occurs underwater they will almost certainly die by drowning. When I was in military ...
feetwet's user avatar
  • 795
12 votes

Do ants really dispose of their own dead, and how/why?

Eating the dead makes far more likely you will catch whatever killed them. They transport and dispose of the dead for the same reasons we do, to reduce disease vectors. They dispose of their garbage ...
John's user avatar
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7 votes
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Can rigor mortis change the anatomical position in which a person died?

Rigor mortis does not cause movement. It causes rigor (Latin for stiffness.) This is only a comparison, but think of it this way. Superglue doesn't shrink or change the shape of the connection of the ...
anongoodnurse's user avatar
6 votes

Why does fever above 102 herald a cancer patient's death?

I'm not sure I agree with that, but if I had to support that assertion, I would say that while patients with COPD, CHF and neurodegenerative diseases may die of hypoxia (no fever there), patients with ...
anongoodnurse's user avatar
6 votes

Why exactly does the immune system weaken with age?

We don't know. More precisely, we know of many, many different reasons why the immune system deteriorates with age, but we don't really know which are different measures of the same thing, which ...
iayork's user avatar
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5 votes
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At what point is a picked flower considered dead?

This is very much analogous to your "limb" suggestion, or, since the flower is a reproductive organ, one can ask, At exactly what point is the uterus considered dead after a hysterectomy? or, ...
anongoodnurse's user avatar
5 votes

Why are victims of Covid19 being wrapped in plastic?

The WHO guidelines for VHF victims (Ebola etc.) do say that they should be buried in body bags, and if those are not available, in plastic sheeting. If body bags are not available, wrap the body in ...
against very long user names's user avatar
5 votes

When is it viable to remove old graves?

8-10 years Keep in mind digging up bodies once they are nothing but bones was common practice at one time, look up the catacombs of Paris or just Ossuary. Human remains are not actually considered ...
John's user avatar
  • 14.7k
4 votes
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Will neurons die if they are inactive for a long time?

Short answer Yes. Background Postsynaptic neuronal degeneration after deafferentation are notorious in the peripheral sensory systems. There, marked degenerative processes are present when input to ...
AliceD's user avatar
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4 votes
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Why do living things go belly up as they die?

limbs are light weight compared to bodies, if you knock an animal around (and it has no active correction AKA is not alive) it will tend to end up on its back just due to where its center of gravity ...
John's user avatar
  • 14.7k
4 votes
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Immediate cause of death due to dehydration

The simple answer is dehydration kills you by causing the blood flow to become completely ineffective. Dehydration limits the amount of water in the bloodstream causing an increase in blood viscosity,...
user42909's user avatar
  • 535
3 votes

Is it possible for a human to live forever if he/she didn't catch any diseases?

No that is not possible ever. There is something called telomere which is present in the chromosomes of cell .These Telomere triggers the action of ageging and leads body towards death. When we are in ...
Abhishek's user avatar
3 votes

How to surpass cell death?

Yes; It is possible to inhibit cell death. There are several possibilities, of which many - as correctly recognized by you - involve changes in the activity of the cell death pathway (or related ones)...
tsttst's user avatar
  • 1,597
3 votes

When is a person declared to be dead?

In the United States there is the Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA) which defines death as either: 1.Irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions; or 2.Irreversible ...
wanderweeer's user avatar
  • 2,743
3 votes
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When is a person declared to be dead?

Although there exist some differing opinions mostly to do with brain function, the best answer is definitely the heartbeat. Here's why: In some ways the human body really does operate like a machine. ...
JNelsen's user avatar
  • 46
3 votes
Accepted

What would kill you first water or cola?

The LD 50 listed on the wikipedia page you link to is 90 mL/kg, which would be about 6 liters for a 68 kg (150 lb) person. This is consistent with at least one report, where someone died from drinking ...
Sean Johnson's user avatar
3 votes

Which are the last cells of the human body to die?

They found live skeletal muscle stem cells in human corpses 17 days after death (LiveScience, 2012). They isolated live stem cells from the bone marrow from human fingers 5 days after death and ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 8,079
3 votes
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Can tardigrades survive being eaten?

In there natural state no, tartigrade have absolutely no way to survive the acidic content of stomachs and are fragile. In their cryptobiosed form (extremely resilient form) there has been no ...
Dart Feld's user avatar
  • 868
3 votes

Cause of premature death in turtle eggs

Well, a real chance this is a genetic problem. How to test. For the next hatching, have some “normal” unrelated eggs nearby under the exact same conditions. If they also have higher mortality then ...
Polypipe Wrangler's user avatar
2 votes

For how long can a person drink sea water?

After drinking 1 liter of seawater with 3.5% salt your kidneys need to excrete at least 1.5 liters of urine in order to maintain normal blood sodium levels, which leaves you with 0.5 liter of negative ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 8,079
2 votes

Do animals suffer from "Human" mental disorders?

I know of at least one case, some social primates develop maladaptive behaviors similar to sociopathy if raised in isolation without the social contact with others of their species as they grow up. It ...
John's user avatar
  • 14.7k
2 votes

Can one die from pain?

The evolutionary functional answer here is probably not right. 'Expecting biology to behave a certain way is not a safe bet!' Its a common misconception that all living things are designed to endure ...
shigeta's user avatar
  • 28.3k
2 votes
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What causes drone bees to die?

The number of drones in a colony may be hundred-thousand , i.e 15 % of the total population. The drones lack wax glands, pollen collecting-appartus and sting which is present in worker bees which make ...
Tyto alba's user avatar
  • 8,782
2 votes

Does an increased reproduction/mortality rate provide an evolutionary advantage?

1) Reproduction is metabolically costly, so a high reproduction rate, such as that seen in fishes that lay thousands of eggs at a pop, is generally a strategy to compensate for a high mortality rate. ...
R. Gold's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes

Does an increased reproduction/mortality rate provide an evolutionary advantage?

The first part of the question is interesting. Does an increased reproduction/mortality rate provide an evolutionary advantage? The concept of evolutionary advantage for a species needs to be used ...
Remi.b's user avatar
  • 68.1k
2 votes

Which extinction event killed the highest proportion of organisms?

This is a great question. I decided to research it and here is what I found. For some reason the GOE is not on lists of the "big 5" mass extinctions. The question is why? I think it's due to the pace ...
futurebird's user avatar
2 votes

Decomposition of human body after death

Bacteria don't decompose the body while your alive (or even when your at the office) Because your immune system keeps the population safe, by eating them. Both autolysis and bacteria cause ...
4D Neuron's user avatar
  • 360
2 votes
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Does mechanical shock kill animals?

With a small projectile you will always get some sort of shearing forces: the tissues directly impacted will accelerate faster than adjacent tissues, and so on. This can cause tearing of many tissues, ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 45.9k

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