tel
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3 answers
23 votes
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120-year-old gene regulation problem independently solved by a computer. How?
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20 votes

The fruit, sadly, does not hang so low. Short version Lobo et al (the work you refer to) is a nice and not especially novel application of basic Systems Biology modeling approaches to the wound ...

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1 answers
5 votes
479 views
Approximately how long do bacteria live for?
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16 votes

They're effectively immortal, albeit in a Phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes sort of way. In general, a bacterial cell will divide as soon as it's biochemically able to do so, leaving behind two daughter ...

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3 answers
11 votes
4k views
Do snakes get dizzy?
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14 votes

Probably don't do any experiments that involve shoving reptiles in a sack and swinging them around your head, as someone will surely call the ASPCA on you. The type of dizziness that is associated ...

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1 answers
11 votes
3k views
Cloning and Telomeres
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13 votes

No, it doesn't seem to be common practice. A telomerase treatment would probably do more harm than good, and may be completely unnecessary in the first place. Betts and coworkers published a study in ...

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1 answers
11 votes
258 views
Can plants grow under extreme (>1%) carbon dioxide concentrations?
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12 votes

Yes they can, but their normal growth is somewhat impaired. A study by Bugbee and collaborators showed that while the yield of rice and wheat increases with CO2 up to about 0.1% CO2, yield decreases ...

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3 answers
25 votes
6k views
Hot water and bacteria
10 votes

The goal of hand washing is to remove surface debris, including foreign pathogens. Most things that most people encounter on a daily basis dissolve more easily in hot water than in cold water. Thus, ...

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1 answers
4 votes
14k views
Why can't people talk while inhaling?
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10 votes

Via deep scientific analysis (i.e. trying it myself 5 seconds ago), I have determined that you can in fact speak while breathing in, it just sounds funny. Think of the vocal chords as being like the ...

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5 answers
18 votes
7k views
Has there ever been an attempt to create nutritionally tailored food for adult human consumption?
10 votes

Shortest answer: there's nothing special in human biology, you could totally make it Short answer: Bachelor chow! I would totally buy this stuff if they made it. The closest I have now to bland, ...

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4 answers
7 votes
768 views
Is Insulin-Glucose dynamic Lotka-Volterra?
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7 votes

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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2 answers
7 votes
385 views
Can the eye distinguish between pure and composite colours and how do we measure this?
7 votes

Yes, we do perceive a composite spectrum in a way which is analogous to how we perceive the corresponding single-peak spectrum. Human beings have trichromatic vision, meaning that there are 3 types of ...

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3 answers
12 votes
765 views
Is there any evolutionary advantage of selection of L-amino acid over D-amino acid?
7 votes

The current thinking amongst biophysicists is that if we all woke up tomorrow to find that someone had edited the book of life so as to exchange all of the L-'s and D-'s (and made similar mirroring ...

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2 answers
7 votes
2k views
Does soap kill human cells?
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6 votes

salamander is right about triclosan being the active ingredient in antibacterial soap, but the reason why it doesn't kill human cells doesn't have anything to do with the skin. From salamander's same ...

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3 answers
5 votes
747 views
How can a ligand be an integral membrane protein?
6 votes

A perfectly reasonable definition of a ligand from Wikipedia: In biochemistry and pharmacology, a ligand is a substance that forms a complex with a biomolecule to serve a biological purpose. A ...

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3 answers
9 votes
19k views
What makes DNA sticky-ends sticky?
6 votes

The "substance" is hydrogen bonds (H-bonds), or rather the potential to form them. Each of the unpaired A/T bases in the sticky ends have the potential to form 2 H-bonds with a complementary T/A, and ...

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1 answers
7 votes
728 views
Can a human cell live indefinetely in a controlled environment?
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6 votes

This question is at least two questions. Dividing cells In terms of a dividing human cell line, every time a division occurs the telomeres capping the ends of the chromosomes get a little bit ...

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1 answers
4 votes
700 views
What effects does being cryogenically frozen have on a person's body?
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5 votes

Short Answer Death! Longer Explanation In terms of the cellular and molecular level, many of the relatively weak interactions holding a person together are disrupted by cold temperatures. As a cell ...

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1 answers
3 votes
1k views
Do fish increase or decrease pH of aquarium water?
5 votes

Like a glass of beer going flat, any excess CO2 that your fish produce will quickly and irreversibly escape into the atmosphere. Thus, at least in terms of the pH battle between NH3 and CO2 that you ...

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1 answers
6 votes
655 views
Are There Exceptions to Animal Cells not Having Cell Walls?
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5 votes

Humans, as well as the rest of the metazoans (i.e. animals), absolutely do not have cell walls. What humans do have is extracellular matrix (ECM), which is the sort of fibrous, sort of gel-like ...

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1 answers
3 votes
48 views
Has any research lab done serious work to engineer new bacteria which assemble graphene wafers?
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5 votes

Surprisingly, the answer is yes. In 2012 Tanizawa et al published a paper titled Microorganism mediated synthesis of reduced graphene oxide films. The gist of it is that most of the steps (including ...

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1 answers
3 votes
31k views
Why do the major and minor groove exist in DNA?
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5 votes

Pitch is not a great word for this, as its meaning is ambiguous. It's hard to find a universal nomenclature for DNA geometry, but see the "Base pair geometry" section of this wikipedia page. The ...

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2 answers
7 votes
462 views
Use cases of RNA secondary structure prediction
5 votes

Short answer I can think of at least a dozen applications for which it would be useful to know the secondary structure of a given sequence of RNA off of the top of my head. In no particular order: ...

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2 answers
5 votes
38k views
What is the difference between a phosphotransferase, a phosphatase, a phosphorylase and a kinase?
5 votes

Don't get caught in the linguistic trap of attaching too much significance to the precise meaning of any one piece of scientific jargon. Nomenclature, the system of naming things, utterly sucks in ...

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1 answers
1 votes
438 views
What is the energy cost of an action potential?
4 votes

There's a few [1, 2, 3] sources that claim it's on the order of $10^8$ ATPs per action potential. The first paper (which is a review that cites the second paper) also has some equations for converting ...

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1 answers
4 votes
70 views
Why has malaria only now started to develop resistance against artemisinin?
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4 votes

Selection pressure (1, 2). One way or the other, there were few enough people taking the drug that it didn't really "matter" to P. falciparum (the deadliest of the malaria-causing parasites) on a ...

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1 answers
3 votes
8k views
What is heteroduplex?
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4 votes

What you've circled is not a heteroduplex. A better name for it would be "crossover" or "junction". Instead, the two duplexes at the bottom of your diagram are what should be labeled heteroduplexes. ...

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1 answers
3 votes
251 views
A good software for agent based modelling?
3 votes

My boss is a big fan of Repast HPC, but since Repast is a C++ framework it might not be the right choice for you. It takes a loooong time to write a good C++ program (even for someone who already ...

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2 answers
2 votes
62 views
Why "broad" instead of "large" cross-immunoreactivity?
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3 votes

In this context, "broad" is a buzzword, a piece of scientific jargon. It's a callback to Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies[1], bNAbs. The basic idea with bNAbs is that they target parts of ...

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3 answers
6 votes
7k views
How many different kinds of polypeptides, each composed of 12 amino acids, could be synthesized using the 20 common amino acids?
3 votes

The individual amino acids are not symmetrical. Thus, your two example peptides are not chemically equivalent, and the $20^{12}$ figure is correct.

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1 answers
3 votes
104 views
Is there any knowledge of physics can be applied in to evolution?
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3 votes

There's some. The basic idea is that entropy, as rigorously defined in statistical physics, can be equated to complexity. This is an idea that has been around since at least the 1957 paper by Jaynes. ...

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5 answers
4 votes
2k views
Are There Rules for How Proteins Are Formed?
3 votes

I'm going to assume that you mean "are there any rules for which amino acids can follow which amino acids in a protein?" The answer is no. In terms of a protein's chemistry, there is no restriction on ...

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