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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.

Image result for microbes comics

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(?)

WATCH: YOU ARE YOUR MICROBES by TED ED


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!

Image result for harry potter meme

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.

WATCH: The Twisting Tale of DNA


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.

Image result for lord voldemort nose

On average, a human person can smell around 10, 000 kinds of smell.

How?

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? 😀

WATCH: The Nasal Cycle


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.

Image result for brain comics

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.

READ: How To Use 100 Percent Of Your Brain 


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!


What would you like the Nerd’s Digest to talk about next time? Comment them down below! 🙂

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30 thoughts on “Nerd’s Digest Week 40: The Amazing Human Body (Facts and Debunked Myths) [Learning Series]”

  1. I learned a lot as well. The 90% of my brain is probably affected because I got a big lag in my nasal cycle. Plus after learning from you, I also learned a lot of traveling and photography by reading some blog posts. I am not certain of all you are telling the truth but I am pretty happy reading and commenting on your posts. Keep it up and let the good times roll!

  2. I’m amazed with human DNA!!! Who invented it???? LOL. I get it with the nostrils part. It actually makes sense.

    People probably refer to 10% as the “thinking” role of the brain which is why most of them say only 10% is used because not all people are using their brain to think (if that makes sense). Thus the phrase “use your brain or gamita imo utok”.. Hahaha not sure if I’m making sense. 🙂

    1. Yes. You’re making sense. Subconscious and involuntary body processes are being performed by the brain all the time which means by the time you perform voluntary tasks, your brain will have to use more than what’s initially being used. 🙂

  3. Mag atang najud ko pirmi sa imogn Nerd’s Digest Totes! Ganahan kaayo ko magbasa. Daghan pa kaayo ko dapat ma learn. And I totally agree with the 10% brain usage nga myth. People these days should be informed about the truth, they could start by reading your Nerd’s Digest series! Haha!

    x, Kat of Nested Thoughts

  4. I recall way back in college when we discussed about human anatomy and physiology. Our topic way back then was about function of an external part of our physical structure. I was asked what is Nasal and how it works? I was smiling and just said, I’ll open my book afterwards and I’ll surely get back to you Ma’am. If only I’d learn about this one before, I should have discussed about Nasal Cycle. I truly salute you for being so smart knowing all these things and seeing you as an Engineer is confusing at some point. ( You know what I have in mind) I wish I possessed the patience of loving Science like you.

    1. I never considered myself as a smart guy. Perhaps the right term is “knowledgeable” or curious. My thirst for knowing things can sometimes be really over the top but I enjoy it at least. Everyone can enjoy learning, it’s a matter of how. 🙂

  5. Wow! This is such a refresher from my favorite Biology Subject from Highschool! Truly, human body systems is such a wonder and I still can’t believe every part has a purpose and they work inter-systemly. Looking forward for the next Nerd’s Digest and hopefully I don’t get spammed 😉 hahaha

  6. The drum roll from the intro was pretty much playing in my head the entire time reading this because you never signified an end to it such as a crash or whatever. Hahaha. But anyway, these are always a very interesting of random tidbits of somewhat obscure information that most I already am aware of, but would probably never write about, so it’s great there are people like you doing others the favor. You never know when you’re gonna learn something new and it’s always surprising and mildly pleasant at the same time.

    1. People just really spend more time reading nonsense on Facebook or gossip about celebrities than reading information like these. Unlike you, people need reminding. This series might just be a reminder, if whoever’s in-charge permits. 😀

  7. This weekly series is such an interesting read making me want to look forward for next week. I was like reading a reader’s digest while reading the post. Hehe! The fun facts made me remember the days when my life turned around nursing school.

  8. Our biochemestry professor told us that we only use 10% percent of our brain which brought me to a big doubt. I even researched if it is true that we only use 10% when our brain is divided into different hemisphere that points to our cognitive and motor functions. Well this is a great read!

  9. Wow, you never failed to amaze me everytime I read your nerds digest. This reminds me of my biology class. Lol
    But seriously, the human body is a simple
    vessel and can be a very complex system, no let’s not talk about DNA anymore you already tackled it. Lol

    How would you consider the human body? Is it an open system or a closed system?
    I always wonder why they consider our body as an open system.. due to the reason that our body has a constant exchange of matter and energy from the surrounding or external environment.

    But for me its both open an closed. What do you think sensei?

    1. I think it’s more than just simple thermodynamics. The body is so complex sometimes Teleological arguments fall on their own. Hahaha

  10. I’m sick right now and I have a cold. And learning about humans using one nostrils made me realize nga ahhhhh mao diay nay reason nganong magbalhin-balhin ang pag breath. Funny references from HP is a plus. Haha

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