The study of chemistry within the scope of biology: the compounds that occur and the reactions involving them in living organisms.

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What are the differences between carnitine forms?

I've heard of L-carnitine, acetyl L-carnitine and L-carnitine L-tartrate. What form(s) occur in meat? What form does the human body manufacture? Is L-carnitine just a shortened name for L-carnitine ...
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Permeability of Plasma Membrane

I’m having trouble grasping why small polar molecules can cross the hydrophobic region of the membrane and not ions. Won’t the polar molecules be attracted to the watery extracellular medium and not ...
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686 views

Photosynthesis: What Powers the Splitting of Water?

The splitting of water is an endergonic (non-spontaneous) reaction, and thus would require energy (chemical work to be done) in order to happen. In Photosystem II, an enzyme catalyzes this splitting, ...
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21 views

How do you calculate the charge on a polypeptide chain with changing pH?

I understand the charge placement on the N & C-terminus and also the utilization of the R-side groups in the amino acids. For example, What is the overall charge for a chain Glu-Cys-Arg-Asp with ...
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43 views

Why is there only 6 H2O produced in fatty acid synthesis (palmitate)

The equation for biosynthesis is 1 Acetyl-CoA + 7 Malonyl-CoA + 14 NADPH + 14H+ -> Palmitate + 7 CO2 + 14 NADP+ + 8HS-CoA + 6 H2O I really don't understand how there is only 6 H2O produced... and ...
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PCR that worked previously is now only showing primer dimers and a smear on gel

PCR amplification of a promoter sequence for gel extraction worked beautifully using Phusion HF enzyme with GC (higher error but less picky) buffer. However, DNA concentration from the gel extraction ...
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36 views

Nail polish toxicity studies?

Are there any well-founded studies that authoritatively demonstrate negative effects from the use of nail polish, particularly in children? I've been brought into the fray of a couple of folks who ...
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94 views

Why do mice have a higher metabolism?

Mice and other small animals have higher metabolic rate than humans. How does that happen on cellular level, if we look on one cell in the mouse body? What is it in this cell that will be ...
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26 views

What proportion of ingested food is exhaled as CO2? [closed]

Obviously the answer varies according to type of food, and maybe the efficiency of gut flora, but approximately how much of the food we eat ends up as carbon dioxide, as opposed to faeces or urine? ...
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52 views

How does membrane potential vary between intraceullar membranes and the cellular membrane?

Question Does each type of membrane have a different membrane potential? I'm especially interested in answers that can cite academic papers that have attempted to measure membrane potentials. ...
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171 views

Is it possible to stop yourself from going into shock?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shock_(circulatory) I was helping someone move a refrigerator down steps and it slipped while I was holding a sharp corner and it sliced my finger and there was ...
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229 views

What is the role of glycine in the running buffer for SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis

We used pH6.8 in stacking and pH8.8 in resolving gel. In the class, the professor explained that the glycine change is like: ...
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421 views

Can a living organism run on electricity?

Each time I'm too lazy too cook I think it'd be cool to be able to just plug myselt into an outlet. Yet I know it is not possible - I need amino acids and a lot of other stuff that electricity can't ...
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31 views

importance of cDNA sequencing of a specific gene in different plants

i want to know what if i made a sequence of cDNA of a specific gene in different plants - what is the important from the sequence and can if found difference between plants , and can i use this ...
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1answer
606 views

Why does gluconeogenesis need to exist - it seems pointless?

The gluconeogenesis pathway seems quite pointless to me. I don't understand why an organism would want to spend energy to create a molecule that can then be metabolized again for less energy? The ...
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60 views

Synthesis of Fatty Acids Longer than 16 Carbons

I understand that the human body when performing Fatty Acid Synthesis can synthesize only until C16 (palmitate). However the ER has desaturases and elongases. I know that desaturases are used to add ...
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16 views

Dispose off a medicinal substance

Is there a protocol or a set of guidelines to safely dispose off a batch of expired drugs (as a manufacturer)? I guess the process may vary for different drugs. My specific question regarding the safe ...
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1answer
38 views

Why would growth hormone (somatotropin) cause both lipid AND glucose release?

GH increases lipolysis (lipid breakdown) and the release of fatty acids from adipocytes into the blood. Fatty acids then can be used as energy sources to drive chemical reactions, including ...
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Why does depolarisation by high intracellular K+ trigger calcium channels opening?

I have learnt that in pancreatic beta cells, glucose being metabolised in the cell causes a high ATP level, which triggers ATP-dependent potassium channels to close. This means that potassium can't ...
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How much energy would it cost to synthesize all cholesterol requirements de novo?

Imagine a scenario in which some person is unable to absorb any dietary cholesterol because of some intestinal mutation (for example). Thus, they have no cholesterol available from their diet for ...
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1answer
16 views

What causes fruit taste enhancement?

I'm not sure if this is a biology or chemistry question, maybe both? Some fruits, such as quince and quondong, taste of nothing when raw but have an extremely strong flavour when cooked. Why?
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1answer
84 views

How is adrenaline a ligand?

I keep reading that adrenaline is a ligand, however from what I understand a ligand is a molecule or ion which donates a pair of electrons to a central transition metal ion in a complex. How then is ...
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41 views

Are there electron or proton receptors in our nose?

We can easily smell chlorine gas and its irritating odour, but we cannot smell oxygen gas. Do few protons and electrons make such difference to our olfactory receptors?
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Can RNases/DNases survive in strong acid/base solutions of around 10M?

This might be a very stupid question, but I am worried about RNase/DNase contamination of my samples. Since I use 37% HCl and 10M NaOH to pH almost all my buffers, this is a potential source. I have ...
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150 views

Why do bananas go brown quicker in the fridge?

Perhaps the title should be: Why do specifically bananas go brown quickly when left in the fridge? Bananas go brown over time because of the oxidation of phenol residues. Bananas go brown quicker ...
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Which are mobile and immobile elements in plants?

I am confused with this element or nutrient classification in the plants, since some authors set elements like $\ce{S}$ and $\ce{Ni}$ as mobile and other as immobile elements (Citation 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). ...
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1answer
47 views

All-trans-retinal being converted back to 11-cis-retinal or vitamin A

There are two pathways all-trans-retinal can take after detaching from the scotopsin: (1) it can convert back to 11-cis-retinal, or (2) it can convert to all-trans-retinol (form of vitamin A), which ...
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49 views

Why boiled starch is easy to digest?

I was reading about carbohydrate digestion and found information about starch digestion where the step wise digestion of starch starts with boiled starch and ends in isomaltose, maltose and alfa limit ...
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63 views

Giving life to a dead person [closed]

Could anyone please tell me whether we can conclude that no body of a dead human being can get life since all chemical reactions are irreversible in our human body?
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18 views

Will a metalloenzyme bind to its substrate in the absence of its metal ion cofactor?

A metalloenzyme is an enzyme using a specific metal ion as its cofactor. Their activity is dependent on this metal ion. For example, the T4 DNA ligase requires Mg2+ to ligate DNA strands; The ...
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15 views

What is the difference between cell, membrane and animal based assay?

I am reading a review about MRP1, discussing it's ability to extrude different compounds from cell interior. When describing the different experiments conducted to observe the MRP1's reaction to ...
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1answer
185 views

How to find the concentration of an enzyme?

I need to know the concentration of pectinase enzyme (sigma aldrich) which has stated 5KU, 5U/mg protein (lowry) and lot result 20U/mg protein in the label of the enzyme bottle. This is all it has ...
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1answer
38 views

Chemosynthesis in Bacteria

The light reactions, if seen as a whole, are basically the oxidation of water to provide energy (ATP) to fuel the Calvin Cycle. The photons provide the activation energy for the same. How then can ...
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210 views

Do plants have preference for the form of nitrogen as nutrient?

In the nitrogen cycle (ecology), it is usually described that plants can use nitrogen in the form of ammonium (NH4+) and nitrate (NO3-). Do plants prefer one form of nitrogen over the other?
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52 views

Do mitochondria digest fats?

I am a student and I'm currently using the IB biology Oxford textbook. A few weeks ago I had a test on biochemistry. I studied on my textbook and it stated the following: "Mitochondrion: (…) fat is ...
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23 views

Is pathlength correction vital to be included while quantifying protein

I am trying to quantify protein in serum/plasma samples. I have carried out biuret assay for my samples using microplate reader. While performing I encountered the doubt whether I should include ...
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171 views

Polysaccharide vs Macromolecule

I'm having trouble understanding the difference between Polysaccharide and Macromolecule. I know that polysaccharides are made of chains of monosaccharides. In addition, I know that ...
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40 views

Lipid-soluble vs. water-soluble substances through the membrane

It’s said that water-soluble substances can enter the cell membrane with less ease than lipid-soluble substances because the former encounters impedance in the hydrophobic region of the phospholipid ...
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4answers
187 views

Recommend good conversational books to learn about cell and developmental biology or biochemisty?

I'm an engineer by training and teaching myself the basics of cell and developmental biology. I'm using Scott F. Gilbert's Developmental Biology and Alberts' Essential Cell Biology right now, and they ...
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43 views

Proteases in the blood

I’m reading on hormones and the book talks about how peptide or amine hormones are easily broken down by proteases present in the blood plasma. This has led me to question the interactions between ...
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12 views

How much is the normal range of thiol/protein (mol/mol) concentration?

HSA(Human Serum Albumin) has just one free thiol group on Cys34. Using DTNB assay I obtained 0.4 thiol/protein (mol/mol) for this protein. I wonder if this value is a reliable number or not? does ...
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102 views

Non-ribosomal peptide synthesis: why Glutathione cannot be produced by the ribosome?

Case: I am writing a summary for a class in protein structure and function, and was asked to describe some different ways that peptides are synthesized (that does not involve the ribosome). I ...
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3answers
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Histidine aromaticity

I understand that the imidazole ring in histidine is aromatic. I also realize that it retains it's aromaticity when protonated. I am wondering why it is not mentioned at all in basic text books such ...
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90 views

Is there an evolutionary advantage for coconut oils to be rich in saturated fats?

I know that coconut oil is composed of multiple saturated fatty acids, but is there a reason why this would have increased the fitness of the coconut plant?
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1k views

Why is funnel web spider venom so lethal to humans and not so much for other mammals?

According to the information from this article, People and other primates are exquisitely sensitive to funnel web venom but, intriguingly, other mammals such as mice, rabbits, guineapigs, dogs ...
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1answer
26 views

Why would a bacterial population show initial growth when it is in unfavorable growth conditions?

This figure shows the anaerobe E. faecalis grown in aerobic conditions, E. coli grown in restricted conditions that are not specified. Why do they show an increase in abundance initially? The black ...
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1answer
94 views

Anomalous base pairing of nucleotide tautomers

What tautomers base pair with what bases? I know that adenine pairs with thymine and guanine pairs with cytosine normally. My question is what does the imino form of adenine base pair with? Regular ...
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1answer
40 views

Making positive charged polyacrylamide

I am interested in positive charged polyacrylamide to electrophorese molecules I am interested in. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2643323/ ...
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What exactly are polyphenols and what benefits do they provide to humans?

I say somewhere that they are antioxidants, but I was wondering if the two terms are synonymous or if that is just one of many things polyphenols can do.