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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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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12 votes
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Wim Hof immune response techniques

Wim Hof practices several techniques which he claims lead to voluntarily influencing the immune system resulting in increased resistance to toxins and the cold. The techniques are categorised into ...
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9 votes
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Do fireworks kills birds, dogs and other animals?

Diwali is a Hindu festival of lights, celebrated with fireworks. My closest friend on Facebook shared this picture on my wall: Happy Diwali Thousands of birds, dogs & other animals die out of ...
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9 votes
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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 ...
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9 votes
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Does natural selection have less impact on modern humans?

This question is motivated by two other questions that hinged on this one but did not explicitly ask the question. Is intelligence declining due to the lack of selection pressure? Is human evolution ...
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9 votes
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Will putting peanut butter or butter on a cat's paws help them to not get lost?

It is a common wives' tale that putting peanut butter (or sometimes just butter) on a cat's paws will help a cat not get lost in a new environment. Advocates of this give many varying reasons why it'...
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8 votes
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Was there a molecular test of Lanciano and Buenos Aires Eucharistic miracles?

Some roman catholic sources like this March 2012 US Roman Catholic Journal article This Is My Body–This Is My Blood claim there was an investigation performed about the eucharistic miracles in ...
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8 votes
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329 views

Is it possible for ingested dsRNA (or other genetic materials) to affect human gene expression?

I am usually pretty skeptical about claims on the danger of genetically modified crops because the issue of health for me logically breaks down to: Do the genes altered produce toxic chemicals in a ...
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8 votes
0 answers
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Coca-cola and open water swimming

I've heard it claimed that Coke helps prevent infections. The Independent Some open-water swimmers drink Coke after racing, both for the sugar rush and because it is said to neutralise harmful ...
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7 votes
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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 ...
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7 votes
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565 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 ...
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7 votes
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Do people become resistant to stinging nettles?

The WikiHow page How to Touch Nettles Without Stinging Yourself claims: Although experienced nettle harvesters often go bare-handed, this isn't just because they know how to avoid stings. Many of ...
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6 votes
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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 ...
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6 votes
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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 ...
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6 votes
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Ancestry tracking DNA tests

Since the advent of cheap DNA tests, several companies have sprung up which will tell you ancestral origins according to your DNA. 23andMe claims, Where in the world are you from? Find out where your ...
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6 votes
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615 views

Does holding your stomach in prevent it from growling?

To save me from the embarrassment of a growling stomach my friend claimed that if I hold my stomach in, it restricts room for the stomach to move, and therefore cease its growling. Does this method ...
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5 votes
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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 ...
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5 votes
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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 ...
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5 votes
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549 views

Does watering plants with purified water yield better results?

I watched a commercial for the Aquaguard Enhance RO+UV water purifier recently. In that commercial, a science teacher assigns an experiment to students. The students bringing a plant to school, and ...
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5 votes
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365 views

Does area of the brain associated with the sense of self "shut down" when praying?

Is there any study done on the claim that the area of the brain associated with the sense of self "shuts down" when praying? In the NBC News article "What Happens to Your Brain When You Pray?", ...
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5 votes
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Can good smells boost our immune system?

According to aromatherapists and articles such as this, good smells boost our immune system, and conversely, bad smells deteriorate our bodies. Is there a plausible mechanism to explain why this ...
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5 votes
1 answer
521 views

Does fluoridation and chlorination in the US cause thyroid issues?

From an answer in Travel.SE with a net score of 10: Mains water is typically laced with chlorine and fluoride by law, to the point that you step out of the shower smelling [like] you just stepped ...
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4 votes
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589 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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4 votes
0 answers
263 views

Does rocking a child help their brain to grow?

Nature Play claim that a child's movement in the first two years helps them grow, specifically a rocking motion like in the womb. The link to the supposed scientific source is now dead. Is there any ...
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4 votes
0 answers
415 views

Do "Zombie bacteria" live for millions to tens-of-millions of years?

Sputnik News reports that researchers are finding a "subterranean Galapagos" including "creatures such as microbial life thriving at 121 degrees Celsius or 'zombie bacteria', which can ...
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4 votes
0 answers
914 views

Has anyone used yoga to live for supernatural lengths of time?

According to this commentary on the Bhagavata Purana by Swami Prabhupada: By controlling the breath, the perfect yogī can continue his life for as long as he likes. Sometimes we hear from the Vedic ...
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4 votes
0 answers
213 views

Can Bioimpedance be used to prescribe essential oils and supplements?

Bioimpedance (or Bioelectrical impedance analysis) has been used to measure body fat. However, there are products that claim to link the bioimpedance results to essential oils and supplements: this ...
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4 votes
0 answers
356 views

Do homemade pregnancy tests with sugar work?

There are a lot of claims on the internet (like this one) that it is possible to test for pregnancy by just putting sugar in a glass and urinating on it. The hormones in the urine supposedly cause the ...
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4 votes
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224 views

Are our gut microbes responsible for 50-90% of our behaviour-regulating neuro-transmittors?

I have always concidered this channel serious, but they are making very bold claims. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3Ftj5E90tY 50% of our dopamine and 90% of our serotonin is created by microbes ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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 ...
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4 votes
0 answers
685 views

Did Russian scientists manage to remove black skin from a man?

I noticed a clickbait article around facebook; A Russian Laboratory Has Invented A Way To Remove The Black Skin Layer Of Black People . Evidently these things have to be taken with a massive ammount ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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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 ...
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4 votes
0 answers
822 views

Explanation for regularly hearing music of no apparent source?

My grandfather considers himself a skeptic. His wife (my grandmother) recently passed away, and ever since, he swears that he can hear distant ethereal music late at night, every night, and only in ...
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4 votes
1 answer
230 views

Will tiger farming drive up demand for wild tigers and lead to them being hunted to extinction?

I'm watching a documentary on National Geographic on a case where they were tracking down a gang trading in tigers in Thailand. It was claimed that tiger farms, who has the purpose of breeding tigers ...
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3 votes
0 answers
518 views

Can this Indian teenager resist 11kV electric shocks without dying?

Many online sources report on the Indian teenager Deepak Jangra (Daily Mail, Mirror) who claims to be able to resist 11kV electric shocks. They include images of him touching an exposed mains wire ...
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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 ...
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2 votes
0 answers
493 views

Will plant-life on Earth end due to too little CO2?

According to a 2013 Daily Mail article : greater evaporation and chemical reactions with rainwater will take away more and more carbon dioxide. In less than a billion years, its levels will be too ...
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2 votes
0 answers
95 views

Do overpopulated rats have extremely high infant mortality rates caused by competition and stress?

Dr John B. Calhoun conducted a series of experiments in the 1960's on the effect of over-population on Norway rats. Wikipedia explains: The conclusions drawn from this experiment were that when ...
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2 votes
0 answers
1k views

Does chlorine in water harm soil bacteria?

This article claims that both chlorine, and chloramine, which are added to many municipal water supplies to kill harmful bacteria, can also harm the good bacteria in soil, necessary for a healthy ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Is it possible have a cell fusion by just injecting human sperm to an unfertilized chicken egg?

I stumbled upon these video documentation titled 'Humonculus' in Youtube (I know Youtube is not reliable source, but the video to me looks legit and well video documented) by channel named Planet ...
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1 vote
0 answers
178 views

Is the microorganism buildup in bedsheets harmful?

According to business insider, the New York University microbiologist Philip Tierno claims that bedsheets should be washed once a week and that mattresses should be changed more frequently because ...
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