The human body have evolved to walk and stand on two feet to maximize survival. Earlier this morning, I couldn’t operate the microwave. Hooray for evolution.
This week’s Nerd’s Digest will be a little early since I had so much learning in one week, I had to rub a few topics off!
Intro: (drum roll)
In all of what could’ve evolved to help us survive life on Earth, it had to be the complex central nervous system. Sure, it’s an exciting way to evolve because more complex brains mean more thinking than doing everything by instincts.
But aside from encephalization, there are a few amazing things the human body has.
Let’s take a look at what I learned for the whole week!
IT’S HOME TO MILLIONS/BILLIONS OF MICROBES
Before you panic, take time to look at this: The Human Ecosystem
So, from our days as grade schoolers, we learned that life on Earth thrives through to a lot of factors which includes a gracefully designed interaction between preys and the ones that eat them – the ecosystem.
In a similar way, our bodies are home to microbes that are not, in most cases, harmful to us. In our stomachs, there’s a vast ecosystem where these microbes thrive and there’s an even larger one in your intestines.
You might have heard of Lactobacilli, right? That’s one of the many bacteria that occupy our system. This species of microbe help in digestion.
Moreover, the reason you have flatulence is due to microbes helping in breaking down the food you’ve eaten and their wastes include foul-smelling gas. So, be thankful(?)
WE ARE MADE OF 30 MILLION LETTERS OF INSTRUCTION
The human DNA contains pairs of molecules structured in a double helix and it contains the instructions for life.
That’s a given. We’ve been taught about it since elementary.
What we don’t know is that if we take into account all the instructions from the 46 chromosomes we each have ( a chromosome is like a luggage that’s basically carrying our DNA that’s 23 from dad paired with 23 from mum), it makes more than 30 million letters in analogy to the human alphabet in total.
That’s 30 multiplied to the sum of all the words found in all 7 of the Harry Potter books!
I bet even Voldemort’s eight Horcruxes (Harry included) has 30 million unique letters.
I bet you thought it would just be somewhere within a million letters. That’s what I thought.
WE BREATHE USING ONE NOSTRIL
It may not sound amazing and more like alarming, but breathing in air using mostly one nostril allows us to smell things and avoid respiratory problems.
You’ve probably felt this before: you got the colds that congests one airway of your nose so you can only breathe in the other nostril but an hour later, that previously “open” side gets clogged and the other is free to breathe.
The switching of nostrils is called the Nasal Cycle.
The amazing thing about this is because we use only one nostril with maximum airflow allows us to smell a wider range of smell.
On average, a human person can smell around 10, 000 kinds of smell.
Well, we have receptors inside our noses that binds with various molecules and transmits signals to the brain. Some molecules interact with these receptors quite rapidly, so even though air passes through a little quicker, we can still smell those quick-reacting molecules.
There are molecules, however, that will require longer interactions with the receptor. So slower air flow is a must. This is done by the “less open” nostril.
So by turning off a nostril, you smell more. A bit counter-intuitive, right? 😀
WE USE 100% OF OUR BRAIN
The notion that 90% of our brain is useless doesn’t seem to be logical.
Why bother evolve with encephalization, right? Why not surgically remove 90% that’s not used, like the appendix in our guts?
There’s a widespread myth about humans only using 10% of the brain and it’s pretty popular to uninformed Facebook users.
The human body uses a percentage of the brain at a time which is a little over 10%. Which means that when doing something, the brain uses a mesh of interconnected brain cells to perform whatever it is you’re trying to do.
Let’s say a human can use 100% of his brain at any time, you’d be dead. Imagine a circuit firing voltages all at once throughout all of its connections, it would explode like your Samsung phone.
So, to clarify, we use every single cell – 100% – in our brains but not all at once.
I had so much learning this week: DNA replication, retroviruses, 1Million SPF, a black hole’s event horizon, how Hitler came to power, and so much more!
I could only post four topics since it will be a bit draggy to read. Also, information overload is not a fun way to learn unless you’re really good at it. 🙂
Thanks for reading!