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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51 votes
3 answers
9k views

Is the O-type blood used as a universal donor?

In biology classes at school I was taught that O can be a donor to all blood types (given matching Rh group and other details), and AB can receive transfusion from any type. Quick googling seems to ...
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6 votes
1 answer
4k views

Does drinking coffee reduce breast size?

A study of 300 women done in the UK says that drinking 3 cups of coffee per day can cause a woman's breasts to shrink by an average of 17%. drinking three or more cups a day was enough to cause a ...
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10 votes
1 answer
10k views

Determining your ancestry through the shape of your feet?

This picture makes its rounds around blogs & forums recently: Does it have any scientific backing?
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23 votes
1 answer
2k views

Does sleeping naked in a sleeping bag keep you warmer?

The most popular question on outdoors.SE is Is it warmer to sleep naked in a sleeping bag? Now, all the answers over there are not properly researched and it was suggested in one of the comments ...
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21 votes
1 answer
2k views

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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15 votes
1 answer
10k views

Are humans the only species to have permanently enlarged breast?

According to this did you know? blog humans are the only species to have permanently enlarged breast. It quotes an article from the Guardian but the article does not contain that specific fact.
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9 votes
1 answer
9k views

Does sniffing rosemary improve memory?

A "meme" now circulating on Facebook claims that Scientists Find Sniffing Rosemary Can Increase memory by 75% The credited web site, www.herbs-info.com has this article on the topic, which ...
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8 votes
1 answer
14k views

Does drinking water after eating watermelon cause cholera?

This question is about a myth popular in India and Pakistan (as printed). The myth is that drinking water or milk after eating watermelon causes cholera. Have any experiments falsified/supported this ...
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8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Have scientists successfully cloned a dinosaur?

An article makes a claim that scientists have cloned a baby Apatosaurus. From Article: Scientists at Liverpool’s John Moore University have successfully cloned a dinosaur, a spokesman from the ...
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2 votes
0 answers
80 views

Do plastic bags of water deter flies? [duplicate]

Today I had lunch in a small Mexican taco place, and they had hanging, in the middle of the room, two clear plastic bags filled with water: I asked the reason for the hanging bags of water, and was ...
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3 votes
2 answers
690 views

Do roaches die (naturally) on their backs? [closed]

First, a major qualifier here; by naturally, I mean not forced to die on its "stomach" (like by being stepped on). Secondly, I live in the U.S., so maybe this applies to only American roaches. ...
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9 votes
1 answer
3k views

Do bananas last 3 to 5 days longer if you wrap plastic around their stem?

SweetFunnyCool : Here is a simple and easy way to make your bananas last longer. All you have to do is wrap plastic around the stem. Banana stems release ethylene which causes ripening and by blocking ...
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2 votes
1 answer
197 views

Is the chemical composition of genetically modified crops tested?

A February 2002 Harper's Magazine article, Unraveling the DNA Myth discusses the fact that the effect that genes have on plants is not always as simple as one gene coding for one protein, and that ...
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8 votes
0 answers
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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6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Are 75% of cells in the human body non-human? [duplicate]

A recent issue of the Swiss popular science magazine "Beobachter Natur" contains an article about microbes in which the following claims are made: 75% of the cells in our body are non-human, however ...
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18 votes
1 answer
2k views

Are tears structurally or chemically different depending on the reason for crying?

An artist named Rose-Lynn Fisher has made photos of human tear drops under a microscope, and shows them to be different in their structure depending on how those tears were generated. Sad tears have a ...
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2 votes
0 answers
253 views

What is the mainstream position of biologists and anthropologists on the issue of human race? [closed]

Race is perhaps one of the most controversial and sensitive issues in anthropology, biology, and other related fields. As a non-scientist, I've used google to probe the disparity between the positions ...
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4 votes
0 answers
224 views

Does stress make you age faster, biologically? [closed]

Excess cortisol can damage the hippocampus, and we also know that stress can reduce the length of telomeres, which can lead to a shortened lifespan. But does stress accelerate aging in other ways ...
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8 votes
1 answer
22k views

Is this Indian Man, Mûrasi, 179 years old?

This guy claims that he is 179 years old. Is this true? Sources: eface India News Origin World News Daily Report
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25 votes
1 answer
19k views

Is this video of the Soviet Dog Revival Experiment real?

In this video a dog's head is brought back to life by artificially injecting blood and air. The dog's head reacted to sound and touch and used its tongue to taste. I am not skeptic about its ...
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2 votes
0 answers
2k views

Did Todd Standing video a sasquatch? [closed]

Recently on Survivorman, Les Stroud went on a Bigfoot expedition. Towards the end of the episode he showed footage provided by Todd Standing with a very clear picture of what appears to be a juvenile ...
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14 votes
2 answers
864 views

Does potassium deficiency cause cramps?

According to Ace Fitness, it is a myth that potassium deficiency causes cramps, since there isn't enough potassium in sweat to deplete potassium. Sodium deficiency is blamed instead. Is this true? ...
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11 votes
1 answer
3k views

Are birds magnetically repelled from high-voltage power lines?

There is a board game from the 90's called 'Mind Trap' in which players must solve tough riddles. One of the riddles goes like this: Sid Shady claimed that he developed a special insulation for ...
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7 votes
1 answer
553 views

Does carrageenan cause gastrointestinal inflammation and higher rates of intestinal lesions, ulcerations, and even malignant tumors in humans?

I came across this article on how to avoid carrageenan on a friend's facebook post. The "article" starts with this statement: Carrageenan is a common food additive extracted from red ...
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18 votes
2 answers
7k views

Is the inside of a field cucumber 20 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than its surroundings?

I've heard this claim before, but every time I dig deeper I am unable to find a reason for why cucumbers would be significantly colder than their surroundings. Is there any validity to this claim? ...
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5 votes
1 answer
740 views

Do pain killers "target" pain?

Everyday I hear advertisements that some painkiller directly targets the pain. e.g. Nurofen's UK web-site Targets pain fast. [...] Targets pain twice as fast as standard ibuprofen tablets. Is it ...
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20 votes
3 answers
1k views

Does red meat increase the risk of heart disease?

Conventional common wisdom has been that red meat consumption increases the risk of developing heart disease. There are a lot of studies indicating this may be true, but there are also a lot of ...
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6 votes
3 answers
533 views

Do vitamins improve memory abilities?

Some people claim that taking vitamin can improve your memory. For example, Memory Improvement Tips: Everyone has heard there are vitamins and supplements that can improve your memory and other brain ...
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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 ...
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  • 191
4 votes
1 answer
953 views

Are the origins of Rh- blood unexplained by science?

Researcher Daniel Wilks claims: Blood type O is a universal blood type. Blood types are further broken down into two groups, negative and positive. This is called the RH factor. The RH factor is the ...
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12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Did cows in Germany blow up their own barn by farting?

As reported by Reuters, Flatulent cows start fire at German dairy farm - police Methane gas from 90 flatulent cows exploded in a German farm shed on Monday, damaging the roof and injuring one of the ...
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  • 1,670
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Does everybody have almost same brain-waves while they're thinking about the same thing?

Do people have almost same brain-waves (Waves that captured by EEG) while they are thinking the same thing (For example thinking about an Apple)? To put it another way, are there patterns in measured ...
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6 votes
1 answer
912 views

Can humans "feel" the earth's magnetic field?

Someone told me that human cells can somehow feel the earth's magnetic field. The same guy thought that centrioles are probably involved. Is it true? If not, would it be true for stronger magnetic ...
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6 votes
1 answer
579 views

Do humans sleep better in darkness?

Do humans (and I guess also most creatures) sleep better in darkness?
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3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Are oranges actually green? [closed]

On an episode of Qi there was a 'fact' that claimed oranges aren't actually orange they are green and they lose their green colour in transport and become orange. Now I was indeed skeptical about ...
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12 votes
1 answer
832 views

Does animal experimentation delay results in medical research?

There is currently a vehement debate in the Italian media about animal rights activism and experimentation on animals. Caterina S., a person with four genetic diseases, publicly demonstrated her ...
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2 votes
0 answers
142 views

Is homosexuality primarily genetic? [duplicate]

It seems to me that, evolutionarily speaking, the fitness of a purely homosexual animal or human is much lower than that of a heterosexual one, and therefore would be strongly selected against. Thus I ...
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9 votes
0 answers
1k views

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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31 votes
1 answer
27k views

Are all the atoms in our bodies replaced on a regular basis?

In a related question, Are all cells of the human body completely replaced every seven to ten years?, it is explained that there are cells in the human body, like neurons, that are never replaced. ...
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  • 3,259
3 votes
0 answers
61 views

When and how does the consumption of fluoride cause health problems? [duplicate]

I have heard about orally consuming fluoride and rinsing with a solution containing fluoride to help prevent cavities, but I've also heard some claims that fluoride is bad for peoples' health. What ...
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8 votes
1 answer
2k views

Are these "necropants" trousers made from human skin?

The Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft in Holmavik allegedly holds a pair of 17th century Icelandic trousers, made from a corpse. Warning, the image in the article is not for the faint of ...
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2 votes
1 answer
990 views

Is scientific racism a pseudoscience? [duplicate]

In Wikipedia, in the list of pseudoscientific topics included the following "pseudosciences": Scientific racism, Aryanism and Melanin theory. While it is quite evident that Aryanism and Melanin ...
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  • 808
37 votes
1 answer
20k views

Can you punch someone's nose into their brain?

A persistent tale in martial arts is that one can strike an unfortunate other on the nose in such a way that you drive the cartilege up into their brain. Is this possible? I think some points to ...
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13 votes
1 answer
6k views

Does raw cows' milk contain lactase?

Raw milk advocates seem to claim one of two things regarding the lactase enzyme (not to be confused with the lactose sugar): That raw milk contains lactase which is destroyed in the pasteurisation ...
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  • 233
5 votes
1 answer
6k views

Does a full grown oak tree expel 7 tons of water from its leaves in a day?

There are a couple sites with this claim but I can't find any reliable sources... http://www.snapple.com/real-facts/cap-view/715 http://www.chacha.com/question/how-much-water-does-a-full-grown-oak-...
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  • 275
6 votes
1 answer
520 views

Will elephant dung paper infused with flower seeds grow when planted?

According to this article there is a paper that has been infused with elephant dung and flower seeds that, if planted and watered properly, will actually grow. I guess it sounds plausible but I feel ...
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  • 275
11 votes
4 answers
2k views

Are GMO crops to blame for farmer suicides in India?

Anyone who follows the genetically modified organism (GMO) debate has probably heard the claim that GMO crops, and specifically the inability to save seed and other associated production costs, have ...
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  • 15.4k
15 votes
2 answers
33k views

Is 70% of your immune system "located" in your gut?

A recent commercial for a particular brand of yogurt claims, among other things, that 70% of your immune system is located in your gut. I have seen this claim repeated here (the emphasis is mine): ...
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  • 2,140
32 votes
2 answers
3k views

Do cats and dogs only see in grayscale?

Ask most anybody about dogs or cats, and they will repeat the claim that these animals are colorblind. To most, it means greyscale. Is it true that cats (ref 2) and dogs (ref 2, ref 3) only see in ...
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9 votes
1 answer
3k views

Does KFC serve chicken?

There are rumors that the meat KFC serves is not permitted to be labelled as chicken. Kentucky Fried Chicken has become KFC. Does anybody know why? We thought the real reason was because of the "...
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