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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23 votes
2 answers
5k views

Can people forget how to ride a bike?

I doubt that people never forget to ride a bicycle. If my grandfather, who hasn't ridden a bicycle in over 30 years, were to hop on one and start riding, I would be immensely surprised. Are there any ...
32 votes
6 answers
29k views

Do other animals have non-reproductive sex?

At about the 11:40 point in the class day 2009 lecture by Robert Sapolsky the claim is made that humans are the only species that engage in non-reproductive sex. Is there solid evidence for or against ...
24 votes
4 answers
1k views

Is reviving an extinct species possible?

With all the science of genetics, and genetic engineering, would reviving an extinct species possible? Yes, akin the story of "Jurassic Park". Would it be possible now, with the science we have today?...
9 votes
2 answers
754 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 ...
33 votes
2 answers
13k views

Can ants lift 50 times their weight?

I've encountered this one many times over the years, mostly in those "useless facts" books and sites such as the one here. In fact, it's been one of those bits of trivia I seem to have ...
19 votes
2 answers
1k views

Has there ever been documented human individual producing both kinds of sex cells?

UCSB Science Line (University of California, Santa Barbara, scientist q/a) claims that: Long before we are born, the same gonads either become testes, if the embryo has a Y chromosome, or ovaries if ...
7 votes
0 answers
346 views

Do introverts and extroverts respond to dopamine and acetylcholine differently?

This Mind Brain Ed blog article is an example of one that quotes the book Quiet kids: Help your introverted child succeed in an extroverted world. by Christine Fonseca in claiming that introverts and ...
6 votes
0 answers
388 views

Is dandruff an indicator of an "unhealthy scalp?" Can a shampoo cure the underlying problem?

In this video (sponsored by Head and Shoulders) by Veritasium entitled "What Actually Causes Dandruff?", you can hear Dr. Jim Schwartz a Research Fellow at Head & Shoulders say: The ...
38 votes
5 answers
4k views

Are humans the only species that hunts down competitors, denies and destroys food for others?

In the book Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, there's a passage that claims "Takers" (i.e. modern man) are the only thing in nature that hunt down competitors, destroy or otherwise deny someone else ...
3 votes
0 answers
113 views

Did a tree grow inside a man's lung after he inhaled a seed? [duplicate]

https://www.newshub.co.nz/world/fir-tree-in-lung-surgeon-stands-by-his-story-2009041623 The Russian surgeon who says he found a fir tree growing inside a patient’s lungs is standing by a claim that ...
8 votes
1 answer
797 views

Does a fetus taste the mother's food?

There seems to be two disconnected claims (1) whether or not babies can addicted to the nutrients they're exposed to, like an excess of fats., and (2) whether or not a fetus can taste things the ...
25 votes
1 answer
4k views

Does "stripping the skin's oils" with soap or shampoo cause the skin to produce more oil than normal?

A dubious Wikipedia article makes this claim, which I've seen numerous times before, in various forms: Using shampoo every day removes sebum, the oil produced by the scalp. This causes the ...
17 votes
1 answer
11k views

Has the Gympie Gympie tree driven humans to commit suicide because of the pain from its sting?

I often see the Gympie Gympie mentioned in fun facts or as an answer to "what are the scariest plants in the world?" or "What's the worst pain?" The plant is covered in stinging hairs that once ...
20 votes
2 answers
11k views

Is acid reflux ("heartburn") caused by having too little stomach acid?

According to a number of websites, "almost everything you have been told about heartburn, indigestion, and common stomach ailments are lies", and heartburn is actually caused by too little stomach ...
4 votes
0 answers
3k views

Is the Pintubi-1 skull representative of a modern Aboriginal?

The following image shows two skulls - the one on the left is known as Pintubi-1. The one on the right is a modern Caucasian. It is claimed by many people and sites to be representative of the modern ...
18 votes
2 answers
15k views

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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
3k views

Does the Yulan Magnolia flower bud look like a bird?

This GreaterGood article, Yulan Magnolia Flowers Look Like Beautiful Birds, shows pictures of flowers that look like birds, including these images from the planetsavioursuk Instagram account. They ...
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Did a 10 year old girl die from holding her breath?

Articles in the Daily Mail and the New York Post allege that Nyla Anderson, 10, died on December 12 after she took part in the dangerous Blackout Challenge which encourages participants to hold their ...
157 votes
2 answers
25k views

Do victims of rape have biological defenses that prevent pregnancy?

Pro life Rep. Todd Akin, who was running for Senate in Missouri, said: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Needless to say, this claim is ...
4 votes
1 answer
717 views

Does "Garbage Enzyme cleaner" contain enzymes?

There are many recipes which call for using fruit peel anaerobic fermentation process to make a concentrated enzyme cleaner solution. So the question arises that does this recipe really have those ...
27 votes
1 answer
9k views

Can "breatharians" live without food or water?

Much like the question here about reptilians hosting the news, I thought that there could not possibly be people who would make claims like this. However, some searching proved me wrong. While not ...
2 votes
0 answers
182 views

Does electrolyzed reduced water (ERW) extend the lifespan of animals (compared to regular water)?

Among the research interests of Dr. Pablo Campra (of recent graphite-in-Covid-vaccines claim) is something called electrolyzed reduced water (ERW). One of the (Asian) groups studying this presents is ...
6 votes
0 answers
491 views

Does the mass of human made objects exceed the entire biomass on the planet?

An article in Nature, "Global human-made mass exceeds all living biomass" in 2020 has recently gained some attention on social media (see this Twitter thread) possibly because of a striking ...
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

What are the statistics of paternal discrepancy?

From the book The Red Queen by Matt Ridley: In an astonishing study recently undertaken in Western Europe, the following facts emerged: Married females choose to have affairs with males who are ...
26 votes
1 answer
4k views

Does the oral contraceptive pill "age" a woman's cervix prematurely?

Well, I heard an interesting one tonight. My wife passed on that on a blog discussing contraceptive use, someone posted a link to a site stating that taking Ortho Tri Cyclen, an oral contraceptive, &...
34 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is listening to lossy audio more tiring than lossless audio?

Multiple posts on Reddit (Ear fatigue and Audio quality, another comment) claim that it is more tiring to listen to music in a lossy format. The same claim is even repeated on the Wikipedia page for ...
12 votes
1 answer
5k views

Does the AstraZeneca vaccine not come in contact with any animal product during production?

In refuting an Indonesian Islamic council finding to the contrary, AstraZeneca Indonesia director Rizman Abudaeri said in a statement: “At all stages of the production process, this virus vector ...
45 votes
2 answers
14k views

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
1 vote
0 answers
369 views

Can someone die of hypothermia just from thinking they're in a cold place? [duplicate]

There's a legend about a guy named Nick Sitzman who was accidentally locked in an unplugged walk in freezer. It was during the summer so it was actually hot, but he thought the freezer was on, and he ...
7 votes
1 answer
24k 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,...
15 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is burning 1ha of grassland more environmentally damaging than 6000 cars?

In this video, around 10:50 Minutes, Allan Savory claims that: Now, if it does not decay biologically, it shifts to oxidation, which is a very slow process, and this smothers and kills grasses, ...
7 votes
0 answers
567 views

Is this study evidence that a fly falling into one's drink should be dipped?

About 9 years ago, a user inquired about a medical claim from an islamic text, a claim that a fly falling into your drink should be dipped in then thrown away (the claimed explanation being that ...
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is all disease caused by the electron spin of food?

Dr Elizete Kaffer is a Brazilian dermatologist. In a video (in Portuguese) she claims, starting from 0:54 (enphasis on the part that I translated): [After talking about hidden sources for pathologies,...
-7 votes
1 answer
432 views

Does this article make a valid claim that SARS-CoV-2 isolation hasn't been demonstrated yet? [duplicate]

This is the article: Lordchewy: "Exposing the Core Tenets of the Covid 1984 Regime, Part 2: Koch’s Postulates, Lack of Sars Cov 2 Isolation and of its Presence in Autopsy Reports", Medium, ...
13 votes
1 answer
1k views

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

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 ...
47 votes
3 answers
28k views

Is watering plants under a hot sun bad?

A couple of people have told me that it's a bad for plants to be watered in the middle of a sunny day, i.e. it's not just that you waste more water due to evaporation, but that there are actually bad ...
7 votes
1 answer
892 views

Do banana peels take 2 years to decompose?

A Google search for "banana peel decompose time" gives the result: 2 years. This claim is repeated in several reputable sources, such as: Popular Mechanics, The Guardian, and BBC. However, ...
1 vote
1 answer
313 views

Does a vaccine provide additional protection to a previously infected and recovered patient? [closed]

The change in literature I've observed during the covid-19 pandemic is certainly prompting this question, but I think the question can be answered broadly in terms of immunology, which does have ...
32 votes
1 answer
8k views

Is slime mold eaten in Mexico as a dish called "feces of the moon"?

Various web sites make the claim that slime mold is eaten as a dish called "caca de luna" -- feces of the moon -- in Mexico. Sometimes the claim is attached to Fuligo septica, "dog ...
53 votes
1 answer
15k views

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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
462 views

Has the US Air Force studied squid to improve aircraft camouflage?

The Hawaiian bobtail squid is known to have a close relationship with a particular species of bacteria that lives within the squid. The bacteria are naturally bioluminescent, which is hypothesized to ...
5 votes
0 answers
280 views

Are there as many hair follicles in your nose as on your head?

The Cleveland Clinic website on nose hair says, "The inner surface of your nose has as many hair follicles as your head.". That seems like a lot! From a few measurements (sample size N=1 ...
9 votes
0 answers
4k views

Do fleas jump lower after being covered by lid? If so, do their offspring adjust to this lower height?

This is one of the popular experiments mentioned in motivational books. Here is summary from a motivational webpage: At the beginning of the experiment a number of fleas are placed in a jar. The ...
6 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
20 votes
3 answers
6k views

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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
769 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 ...
8 votes
1 answer
4k views

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 ...
5 votes
0 answers
408 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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
502 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 ...
14 votes
1 answer
11k 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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