Questions tagged [biology]

Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Use this tag for general biology questions, but also use more specific life science tags to accompany this one if applicable.

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2
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4answers
705 views

Has SARS-CoV-2 been purified in a lab? If not, does this imply that the PCR test for it is not specific?

Dr. Sam Bailey gives a number of references in her YouTube video on PCR tests stating the virus has never been purified as in actually separated from the infected cells. I'm curious if this is ...
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3answers
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Has HIV ever been isolated?

In particular I am interested with one specific claim made by Jody Wells Memorial Prize. Is his claim true and reasonable? I'll explain what I mean by reasonable latter. The organisers of the Jody ...
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1answer
751 views

Do lipid droplets in our skin create a laser?

The home page of Dr Jack Kruse, who claims to be a neurosurgeon and "optimal health educator" contains the following paragraph: There is a deep connection between thermodynamics in biology and the ...
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1answer
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Are sardines farmed?

I've been trying to find out if sardines are farmed or if they are all wild and are only fished. Most of the sources I find, like this page, say that they cannot be farmed: They are not farmed, as ...
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How likely is that the SARS-CoV-2 spike is the result of site‐directed mutagenesis (a broad family of lab techniques)?

Rossana Segreto and Yuri Deigin write in a (peer-reviewed, I think) article in BioEssays that Might genetic manipulations have been performed in order to evaluate pangolins as possible intermediate ...
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1answer
453 views

Did Dr. Nikolay Chudinov revive Permian bacteria found in a potassium salt crystal in Perm, 1972?

I have heard of 3.5 million year old bacteria being revived, but 250 mya is much longer, and I can find no modern mention of this astonishing claim anywhere. However, it was mentioned in multiple ...
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344 views

Was Mary Schwietzer the first person to suspect the odor of dinosaur fossils might imply that they contain organic material

Discovery magazine interviewed Mary Schwietzer, the woman who discovered soft tissue in dinosaurs. She mentions that when she was working on a T rex skeleton she smelt something like a cadaver. When ...
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2answers
491 views

Did biologists till 1950 believe that before solving transmission of hereditary traits we should solve protein folding?

Patricia Churchland in her 1996 paper “The Hornswoggle Problem” published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies (scholar link, PDF) writes: Before 1953, many people believed, on rather good grounds ...
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1answer
8k views

Is Michelle Obama a transgender woman?

Many of my friends claim that the wife of Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, is a transgender woman. In 2014, comedian Joan Rivers made the claim in a street interview: Rivers: You know Michelle is a ...
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1answer
823 views

Does the average two-year-old pillow contain 17 different species of fungus?

In the New York City subway, I noticed a series of advertisements from a bedding company called Brooklinen. One advertisement had a surprising claim, which I found again on their website: The average ...
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1answer
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Can kangaroos walk backwards?

Source From Exploring Nature: They cannot jump backward because of their thick, muscular tail. Their long feet and heavy tail also make walking impossible, forward or backward. The ...
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2answers
11k views

Is phosphine evidence of life on Venus?

This news article came out about evidence tied to the possibility of life on Venus. The crux of the evidence is the detection of phosphine. The claim is that we only know of two ways to make this ...
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2answers
592 views

Does synthetic vitamin C contribute to the formation of genotoxins that can lead to cancer?

While researching Vitamin C supplements, I noticed dozens of people outraged about various companies slipping in "synthetic vitamin c" (ascorbic acid). From what I can tell this aversion ...
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Do humans share 50% of their DNA with bananas?

It's widely claimed that we share 50% of our DNA with bananas. Does this have actual basis or is it a myth? Example claims The Mirror (UK), NHGRI
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1answer
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Do studies show that viruses are contagious?

An acquaintance of mine has been very adamant that viruses can't be caught and continues to link me things like this Ickonic video, where Jaymie Icke interviews Dr. Andrew Kaufman M.D. who claims: I ...
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Are most humans infected with parasites that water fasting can eliminate?

So this is a new one for me... I came across a jaw dropping niche of health-woo today. Apparently tens of thousands of people (if not more) believe that almost all humans are infected with parasites ...
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2answers
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Has the synthetic bacteria Synthia become a rogue flesh-eating disease?

I spotted this on Facebook: Cynthia [sic]: Flesh-Eating Synthetic Bacteria that has Gone Wild In 2011, Cynthia was unleashed in the Gulf of Mexico and in its initial stages of life it was ...
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2answers
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Did David Blaine hold his breath for 17 minutes?

David Blaine (born David Blaine White; April 4, 1973) is an American magician, illusionist and endurance artist. He is best known for his high-profile feats of endurance, and has made his name as a ...
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2answers
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Are there more mushrooms during full moon?

A couple of autumns back, I frequently went wild mushroom forraging, initially with my Basque father-in-law, who I think had been mushrooming pretty much all his life. He explained and showed how ...
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0answers
2k views

Is biochemical transmutations of elements possible?

According to a recent press conference Russian scientists have made a breakthrough so astounding it could change the universe as we know it in fundamental ways. The essence of this discovery and ...
4
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0answers
536 views

Will bacteria grow in filtered water?

Zero Water makes water filtration systems that they claim remove 99% of total dissolved solids from water. On the Water is the New Gold blog, a water-filter scientist warns against its use: More ...
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1answer
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Are men more likely to be LGBT than women?

According to this article gay men exceed lesbians as a proportion of the population, and this study suggests that there are more male-to-female transgenders than female to male transgenders. Yet, a ...
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2answers
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Does it take two weeks for a single man to produce enough sperm to impregnate every fertile woman on Earth?

Fact Slides has a slide that claims: A single human male produces enough sperm in two weeks to impregnate every fertile woman on the planet. It sources a book of random facts Is it true?
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Is “Islamic fasting” healthy?

I live in a mostly Muslim country (Morocco). Now we are in the month of Ramadan. First, I had to define Ramadan: Is 30 days (or 29) where practicing Muslims can neither eat or drink or having sex, ...
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1answer
446 views

Is climate change causing jellyfish to wash up on the beach?

The following article Thousands of Venomous Portuguese Man O’ Wars Wash Ashore in Australia: ‘It Was the Stuff Of Nightmares’ details an event where a large number of a jellyfish creatures washed up ...
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5answers
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Is some level of radiation “good for you”?

"With the terrible earthquake and resulting tsunami that have devastated Japan, the only good news is that anyone exposed to excess radiation from the nuclear power plants is now probably ...
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2answers
255 views

Was the yellow fever virus a past standardized biological weapon in the US Army?

Dany Shoham writes in a 2012 paper [full text, paywalled]: The yellow fever virus – a past standardized BW in the US Army, then carried by infected Aedes mosquitoes as vectors – was thus genetically ...
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2answers
585 views

Are there artificially created viruses that are both deadly like Ebola and transmissible like the common cold?

A popular YouTube personality, Dr. John Campbell, a retired nurse teacher, makes a claim in a May 4th video around the 4m27s mark: Now let's be quite clear. No-one is saying [SARS-CoV-2] is a ...
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0answers
250 views

Is there real scientific consensus linking bats to COVID-19? [closed]

I see a lot of articles in the media mentioning new bat species and adding references in the articles or the titles linking bats to coronavirus [The links in ref1 at the bottom are just some samples]. ...
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1answer
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Will homemade facemasks using vacuum bag filters cause lung irritation?

In this YouTube video A Doctor Explains How to Make the Safest Face Mask, a doctor, and then his wife, talk about 'the safest' home-made face mask. (He disclaims that it has been tested, but says he ...
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1answer
269 views

Are crocodiles more closely related to birds than lizards and snakes?

In this video Owl, The Best Pet Reptile? you can hear Clint say, Crocodiles are more closely related to birds than they are to lizards and snakes. Is this claim true?
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1answer
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Does rolled sod produce 40x as much oxygen as a pine forest?

From an advertisement for turf / rolled sod by a German company: 250 m² Rollrasen produzieren etwa so viel Sauerstoff wie 10.000 m² Kiefernwald oder etwa so viel, wie eine vierköpfige Familie zum ...
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2answers
352 views

Could the COVID-19 mortality rate be way lower than we think, implying vastly more cases? [closed]

I was analyzing some of the data surrounding COVID-19, and was looking at the vastly different mortality rates (calculated as deaths / total cases * 100). While there are probably many factors ...
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0answers
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Is rice water a good fertilizer?

When rice is washed, the wash water becomes whitish due to the starchy powder in the skin of unwashed rice. I've often heard or read, usually in water-saving, money-saving, or gardening tips, that the ...
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1answer
524 views

Are pomegranate seeds edible? [closed]

My dad usually eats cherry seeds, which seemed dangerous to me, so I searched it online and indeed it can be dangerous. Today, I was about to eat a pomegranate but I wasn't sure if the seeds are ...
4
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2answers
880 views

Do colder temperatures increase our hunger?

I've heard this multiple times as an explanation to eating more in relation to being exposed to colder temperatures (restaurants that are colder, during the winter, etc.) but I have yet to be able to ...
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1answer
9k views

Do colour-blind people see through certain kinds of camouflage?

I found this claim in Unweaving the Rainbow by Richard Dawkins. This is the Google Books link to the relevant page. Nobody knows whether or how this benefits them, but it may be suggestive that ...
8
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1answer
765 views

Is there a species of locust-eating wasp that will check its burrow repeatedly if its food is moved?

The book Do Animals Think? by Clive D. L. Wynne claims that a biologist, Jean-Henri Fabre, conducted a number of experiments on the inflexibility on wasp behaviour. In particular: One species of ...
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4answers
17k views

Can social isolation kill babies?

According to the Wikipedia page for Language Deprivation Experiments, An experiment allegedly carried out by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in the 13th century saw young infants raised without human ...
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1answer
1k views

Is lactose intolerance an outdated diagnosis for discomfort after milk ingestion?

As a continuation of a question of most adults being lactose intolerant, the marketing of The a2 Milk Company in Australia House at SxSW 2018 suggested it may not be lactose-intolerance, after all, ...
3
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0answers
103 views

Does calcification of the pineal gland negatively affect normal bodily functions? [duplicate]

I received this link from an associate of mine. It smells like pseudo-scientific bull to me, but there are a LOT of claims made in the article that I can't really debunk all by myself. To quote from ...
78
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1answer
12k views

Does milk make your bones stronger?

It's a common notion that milk makes bones stronger; milk contains calcium and bones contain calcium. But obviously it's not the case that calcium ingested is immediately deposited into bones. In fact,...
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1answer
15k views

Do houseplants have any impact on oxygen levels?

I usually hear that plants should be placed in working areas to supplement the higher oxygen needs of working humans, or on the other hand, that should never be grown in bedrooms because they drain ...
10
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1answer
730 views

Are there records of girls born with enlarged clitoris mistaken - and raised - as boys?

In a popular-science Polish magazine Focus EKSTRA, special issue 5/2004*, page 39, there's a paragraph that says (in original Polish, emphasis mine:) Jak duża może być łechtaczka? Największe bywają ...
4
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1answer
67k views

Will a shark kept in a fish tank have stunted growth?

There is a widely recited saying that sharks kept in fish tanks won't grow to their full size. For example, author and motivational speaker Bob Harrison posted: A shark in a fish tank will grow 8 ...
154
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2answers
24k views

Do victims of rape have biological defenses that prevent pregnancy?

Pro life Rep. Todd Akin, who is running for Senate in Missouri, recently said: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Needless to say, this ...
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4answers
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Are some species of animals born pregnant?

I've heard of claims that aphids can be born pregnant, like tribbles in ''Star Trek''. However, doing a web search didn't provide very convincing evidence. The Straight Dope refers to being pregnant ...
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1answer
17k views

Is there a subgroup of Asians that have slanting vaginas?

I had heard somewhere that some women have horizontal vagina. I didn't think it was true. So I asked my biology teacher, "I've heard some women have horizontal vagina. Is it true?" He replied, "Yes,...
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2answers
10k views

Do predators tend to have vertical slit pupils versus horizontal for prey animals?

The picture above is taken from a Telegram channel and the text in Russian goes as follows. Prey has got a horizontally shaped pupil to better scan the horizon and a predator's pupil has a ...
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2answers
3k views

Do biological males who were castrated at birth and raised as females often behave like stereotypical men?

In "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber", James Damore wrote (emphasis added on claim): On average, men and women biologically differ in many ways. These differences aren’t just socially ...

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