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Everything posted by Swarfega

  1. My knowledge of respiration is incomplete, having just started the topic today in my Biology class -- however, it is mostly the intricacies of the biochemistry (e.g. oxidative phosphorylation, Krebs cycle, etc) that I have not got to grips with, rather than the general concepts of it and the simplified equation: glucose + oxygen = carbon dioxide + water + energy. As I understand it, anaerobic respiration shares the same initial steps with aerobic respiration. These steps occur in the cytoplasm, and in the presence of oxygen, the pathway is completed in the mitochondria, creating 30+ ATP in addition to the first two. Here is how my teacher put it: in mammals and plants, the product (beside carbon dioxide and water) is lactic acid, while in plants and yeast, it is ethanol. Here are my questions: Is ethanol produced in fungi other than yeast? (in anaerobic respiration) What is the product in protoctista? Are there any exceptions to the teacher's rules? i.e. mammals, bacteria or plants not producing ethanol as a product of anaerobic respiration Thank you for your time.
  2. I had my first lucid dream a while ago, and it was almost IDENTICAL to Inception. The second level was a lucid dream, and I could pretty much control everything as I saw it. The first level (after I "woke up") was out of my control, as I actually dreamt waking up. Then I woke up for real. I had my second lucid dream, which was much more vivid, while I was lying in hospital at night. I was on morphine at the time. It was actually quite scary, and I made a conscious effort to wake myself. This included throwing myself at the ground, which worked, although some sort weird physics went on when my face was inches away from the grass. Recently I have been trying to induce lucid dreams in myself, although I have found it difficult, and have had no success so far. I have felt myself slip into what seems to be the conscious dream state, but I then panic, my heart rate goes up, and the sensation goes away. I never try if I'm in a bad mood, because I imagine that will just cause terrifying dreams. I have had a few meaningful dreams in my time, the most vivid one happened when I was young, in a giant, multi-tiered play area. It basically told not to follow other people if I wasn't sure of myself (basically, I fell into an invisible pool with white plastic garden furniture in it after trying to follow my friends across a gap. Yes, it is weird. Yes, I still wonder to this day what the significance of the garden furniture was.) Most people who talk about the subject say that lucid dreams can potentially be very scary. I have not had enough to confirm this statement, but from my initial experience in hospital (it was a short dream) I think they're probably right.
  3. Obviously this is just a theory, but perhaps it was important that it was important that any signal of concession or defeat was non-vocal or at least low in volume. Anything vocal or loud might do even further to provoke the attacker, perhaps this is why crying in such a situation is often quiet and subdued. The tears were a physical change, that the attacker could observe and then identify as a signal of defeat. It is obvious to anyone that loud noises even now put us on edge.
  4. I see what you mean -- in a way you are saying it is futile to relate your singular existence to the entire progression of mankind -- it should be enough for one person to do what they can, and understand that people will build on their work in the future, and in the end this will all add up to something large and significant. That makes a lot of sense. To want to desire to do so much in the lifetime of one human being is overestimation of one's own abilities.
  5. I am at the stage in the life where I have not specialised and am thinking about a career in a scientific field, most likely in biology. However, I have always found thinking about future life choices difficult. I might describe myself as nihlistic, the fact that my lifespan is so short and how the human race will eventually die out is often on my mind. Truth be told, I dislike my existence as a human -- to live for such short a time and to be controlled by so many instincts and requirements is something I'd rather be without. During the course of my existentialist musings, I often think about ways in which I could provide a permanent assistance to mankind -- to me this seems to be the only way of achieving any form of fulfilment, but lately I have been questioning this. Current society is nothing to be proud of. I ask myself, what is the point of contributing to a society where everyone and everything is flawed? Even more important, what is the point of contributing to a society that will eventually be wiped out (as in, after millions of years)? At the moment, I would ideally like a career in genetics or neuroscience. The first of my problem is that I am worried I will become dissatisfied with this career choice, and will eventually look to activism or writing in order to change people's ways of thinking, if the aforementioned problems stay on my mind. Even then, changing society does nothing to the fact that it will eventually be destroyed. And even seeking knowledge -- what is the point of recording information about a universe, inside a universe that will eventually be destroyed? The second of my problem is that I'm worried about the depression this might cause me in later life if I cannot find a way to fulfill my existence, and it looks at the moment like I never will.
  6. A question that has been on my mind is what is the first type of tissue that the zygote forms after conception? As far as I know, and please correct me if I'm wrong, the sperm and the egg fuse to form the (or at least the origin of) embryonics stem cells. These stem cells are then capable of differentiating into any cell type in the body. I'm guessing that it doesn't form one organ, then moves on to the next one, and so on, but rather develops all or most of the organs at a gradual rate simultaneously. But I'm just wondering if there is a starting point, e.g. the brain or the heart, on which the other organs are developed around. Does the body of the mother have any role in controlling the fetus' development? Or is all development dependent on the machinations of the newly formed zygote (I'm guessing Hox genes are heavily involved at this point)? I hope this question doesn't seem too misinformed -- I have a vague understanding of stem cells and am seeking to broaden my knowledge in the field.
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