36 votes
Accepted

Specific mechanism behind lethality of yellow coat color in mice

Really interesting question: The lethal yellow mutation (also abbreviated Ay) affects the agouti signalling protein which plays a major role in pigmentation. Heterozygous expression of it leads to the ...
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  • 49.2k
23 votes
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How much energy does a lion contain?

Wow, as an astrophysicist who has just logged into biology SE for the first time, I didn't think I'd have a question I could immediately answer. You are correct about the Sun's output, so what about ...
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  • 428
14 votes
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Can DNA be considered as a fractal antenna?

I looked at the original paper, Blank and Goodman "DNA is a fractal antenna in electromagnetic fields" Int J Radiation Biology, 87:4, 409-415, DOI:10.3109/09553002.2011.538130. To be honest I can't ...
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  • 4,846
13 votes
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How to decipher references in natural history works of the late Renaissance and early Modernity?

I have found what may be the holy grail. It is a book known as "A Botanical Materia Medica" by Jonathan Stokes. This has several volumes, but the one you want is volume 1, which has no ...
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  • 6,918
11 votes
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Did not understand a small excerpt from a research paper

The paper's description is poor, but they seem to be describing an encoding where each of 20 possible amino acids are associated with a position within a string of 20 bits, e.g. alanine with offset 0, ...
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  • 8,719
9 votes
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Start studying mathematical biology from basics

There is one book that will perfectly suits your needs: A biologist's guide to Mathematical Modeling in Ecology and Evolution, by Sally Otto It is a very good book that is very easy to understand ...
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  • 67.5k
9 votes
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How does membrane potential vary between intraceullar membranes and the cellular membrane?

Yes, various intracellular membranes do have potential differences, but as you can imagine they are more difficult to measure experimentally, so in general data on this is scarce. Summary ...
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  • 5,595
9 votes
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Questions on mid-2019 Covid-19 Spread in Spain

To judge about this assay, it is important to see how they worked. They used different sets of primers to analyze for SARS-CoV-2. Namely targets IP2 und IP4 from Institute Pasteur in Paris (see ...
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  • 49.2k
8 votes
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Will sperm cells exhibit chemotaxis towards sucrose?

If you google "sperm chemotaxis sucrose" you learn some things of interest. Notably, wikipedia's article on sperm chemotaxis indicates that the important chemoattractants for sperm (the things that ...
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8 votes

A biological system to measure time

There are lots of biological clocks, or clocks made of biological components. The circadian clock is an important, though complicated, example. There are excellent engineered clocks that form some of ...
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7 votes
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Resources of all known biochemical pathways?

You can find biochemical pathways on KEGG pathway for example. KEGG PATHWAY is a collection of manually drawn pathway maps representing our knowledge on the molecular interaction and reaction ...
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  • 757
7 votes
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Is Insulin-Glucose dynamic Lotka-Volterra?

Is the standard Lotka-Volterra (LV) model an exact fit for insulin-glucose (IG) dynamics? No. Can a similar model built on the same principles capture most of the essential features of the IG dynamics?...
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  • 3,741
7 votes
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Which Darwin book (and today edition) is illustrated by his own drawings?

I believe that there is only one drawing in the first edition of On the Origin of Species, and it is Darwin's. Any good edition such as the fascimile edition with an introduction by Ernst Mayr, will ...
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  • 280
7 votes
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What is the preferred way to abbreviate amino acids?

In my experience neither is preferred. When simply presenting a protein sequence, e.g. in the context of a database of proteins encoded by a genome, then the one-letter code tends to be used. When ...
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  • 22.7k
6 votes

Modern immunology textbooks

I am surprised Janeway's Immunobiology is not listed here: Murphy K. Janeway's Immunobiology. 8th ed. New York: Garland Science; 2011. It is very comprehensive, accessible and goes beyond any ...
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  • 171
6 votes
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How can I text-mine full-text articles from PubMed?

Below is a Python script that might help you to get started (apologies if it fails the Pythonic test - it works!). It uses the Entrez part of the Biopython library. The script sets up a query, in ...
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  • 22.7k
6 votes
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Book/source for learning bioinformatics, focused on genomics?

Unix and Perl to the Rescue by Keith Bradnam and Ian Korf is an excellent introductory book and guide for bioinformatics (Linux and Perl) in genomics. It includes exercises and starts with the very ...
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  • 2,863
6 votes
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Evolution of diversity and extinction resistance

The topic you describe is very interesting and known as "species selection." Some traits exist that not only affect the reproductive success of individuals, but also affect the diversification rate of ...
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  • 2,374
6 votes

How can I search for and find specific biology topics in scientific journals?

There are two possibilities for searching for scientific articles: The first one is to use PubMed, a database which has been set up by the National Institute of Health in the US. It contains about 25 ...
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  • 49.2k
6 votes

How does species diversity vs Earth total biomass relate?

I don't work in ecology, but my first thought is that I would not expect any relationship whatsoever between diversity and biomass. Biomass simply means the combined mass of all life on the planet. If ...
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  • 12.7k
6 votes

Why did Rivers replace Koch's postulates?

If you read his 1937 article, Rivers himself makes a case for why Koch's postulates are too restrictive and that all the postulates need not be satisfied to confidently associate a pathogen with a ...
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  • 7,564
5 votes

How much energy does a lion contain?

The sun will win until you have enough lions to form a star sized mass. Assuming that your lions have an average mass of 200kg, which is probably pretty close, 1 trillion lions has a mass of 2×1014 ...
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  • 5,288
5 votes
Accepted

How long does it take for a cell to synthesize an enzyme?

In human cells it takes about 20 s to make a 20,000 dalton enzyme. Assuming that the cells concerned are already making mRNA for the enzyme, there will be two main factors: (1) The time taken to ...
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  • 22.7k
5 votes
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Alfred Jost's rabbit experiment: how did he actually do it?

Check out Fig. 7 in the document at http://ipubli-inserm.inist.fr/bitstream/handle/10608/4343/MS_1991_3_263.pdf . The caption says: "Castration of a 23 day fetus. [Mother's] womb is open, the rear end ...
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  • 1,120
5 votes
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What is a good identification key for European mushrooms?

There are various types of Mushroom identification Sites. you can take help from: Mushroomexpert Rogersmushrooms MycoKey 4.0 Source: MycoKey 4.0
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5 votes

Books for biology,popular but rigorous?

Where I studied, every undergrad read Campbell Biology. You can start it as a non-specialist but you will not be one at the end..
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  • 476
5 votes

Book/source for learning bioinformatics, focused on genomics?

Beginning Perl for Bioinformatics by Jim Tisdall http://shop.oreilly.com is quite good, in my opinion, and his sequel, Mastering Perl for Bioinformatics is also great. The focus is largely, but not ...
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  • 3,407
5 votes
Accepted

How did the endoplasmic reticulum come to be?

Found the following on wikipedia. Seems pretty self explanatory: The Golgi, ER, and lysosomes are likely to have evolved as a result of the plasma membrane going through invagination. An increase ...
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  • 439
5 votes
Accepted

Is it "easier" for researchers to detect evolutionary ancestry than distance in the evolutionary tree?

If you take two modern species (let's denote them with A and B) you can't really say that A is an ancestor of B or vice-versa, but you can say that they are related to some extent, that is they have a ...
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  • 1,007
5 votes
Accepted

How does paracetamol work?

What are the most popular theories in a nutshell? To date, the mechanism of action of paracetamol is not fully understood. There are some experimental evidences, but it is difficult to put things ...
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