You may have heard that male mosquitoes don't bite humans; only females do so. But have you ever thought about why it is so? Why do females need blood, but males don't. And even more so, what do males eat then? Let's find out! Female mosquitoes bite humans because they have to produce eggs and thus need better nutrition. And better nutrition, of course, is blood. How … [Read more...] about Why only female mosquitoes need blood
Have you ever heard that the human body has fewer cells than the number of bacteria that lives inside their guts? Thus you, a human being, are more bacteria than yourself. However, despite bacteria's tremendous impact on our lives, the statement isn't accurate. In this article, I will explain why. That is indeed true that our gut bacteria are more numerous than our own … [Read more...] about Are we really more bacteria than human?
We usually view cancer as a consequence of our poor lifestyle choices and unnatural living. However, wild animals don't smoke, eat burgers or stress about their work assignments. So it begs the question: do wild animals get cancer? The short answer is yes, wild animals do get cancer, and it isn't shocking news if you understand how cancers arise. After all, healthy … [Read more...] about Do wild animals get cancer?
Kissing supposedly shows the highest form of affection, so it may seem blasphemy trying to explain it by chemistry, natural selection, or even mathematics. But let's give it a try and answer a few intriguing questions: Are humans the only animals that kiss? How did kissing evolve, and what function does touching of lips serve? Do animals kiss? Oh yes, they do! Kissing … [Read more...] about Evolution of passion: Why humans and other animals kiss
While most of us recognize DNA as a blueprint to make life, not everyone knows that it also stores our genetic information and is a basis for inheritance. For offspring to inherit their parents' traits, the DNA must be copied in a process known as DNA replication. And that is not all. Your body must copy the whole DNA each time your cells divide. And that happens an … [Read more...] about How does DNA replication work?
You might have heard and been amazed about the fact that DNA is a long list of the letters A, C, G, and T, which make up our genes and those of other species. But what is DNA, and is it indeed made of letters? Of course they're not letters. DNA, also famous as DeoxyriboNucleic Acid, is a long chain of molecules--letters serve only as convenient abbreviations for parts of it, … [Read more...] about What is DNA and why is it made of letters?
You may have heard that the disease atherosclerosis, which is among the leading causes of death in the western world, is a consequence of high cholesterol. And not just any to them: specifically, bad cholesterol. But what does this actually mean? What are good and bad cholesterol, and how do they differ? Let's find out! Too long; didn't read: Bad cholesterol is a … [Read more...] about What is the difference between good and bad cholesterol?
I often mention in my articles how the body makes proteins, how proteins transport cholesterol, or how DNA codes for proteins. You also might know from food packaging and sports drink advertisements that proteins are an essential part of your diet and you need them badly. This is all true, but do you know what proteins actually are? Let's zoom in on them. In a … [Read more...] about What are proteins?
What is this "fitness" the evolutionary biologists often talk about? When something good occurs to a living being, it gains fitness -- like if it works out at the gym. Indeed, the meaning isn't far from that, because going to the gym undoubtedly can improve fitness. Or lose it if you don't know what you're doing and you injure yourself. But what is it? Loosely defined, … [Read more...] about What is fitness in evolutionary biology
It's easy to calculate how many genes you share with your parents, children, siblings, and other relatives. Given the fact that parents pass half of their genes to their children, and siblings share half of their genes, the rest is just math. To determine this, you just have to divide genetic relatedness each time you go up or down a step in a family tree, or sideways. For … [Read more...] about How many genes do you share with your relatives?