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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638 views

Why is absorbance at 280 nm for protein solution going up when I measure repeatedly?

I have been measuring my protein solutions' concentrations by diluting them in water 20 fold with a final volume of 100 uL and then measuring the absorbances of these solutions in 96 well plates with ...
6
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1answer
267 views

$S_{0.5}$ vs $K_m$ values in enzyme kinetics

What is the difference between $S_{0.5}$ values and $K_m$ values in enzyme kinetics?
6
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1answer
120 views

Can jellyfish improve Black Sea environment?

According to this study, cited by many popular science magazines, jellyfish and other, smaller animals can contribute to the vertical ocean stir as much as currents do. Black Sea chemistry and ...
5
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2answers
451 views

Why insects are so energy-efficient while flying?

Why are insects so energy-efficient while flying? Is it because of their light weight and aerodynamics or due to very efficient biochemical transformations (food->energy)?
5
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1answer
602 views

The real definition of carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are often defined as compounds with only C, H, and O and the H and usually the O atoms are in a 2:1 ratio. Exceptions like deoxyribose exist, but why is it recognized as a carbohydrate? ...
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4answers
799 views

Why we have no enzyme to digest cellulose?

As we know, cellulose is the most abundant polysaccharide in nature. Why don't we have any enzyme to digest cellulose?
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2answers
153 views

Can PCR tubes be made of different materials than plastic?

Does it matter if I replace the PCR tube (usually made of plastic) with another material like aluminum, glass, or something similar?
5
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2answers
2k views

Does ethanol destroy RNase?

I've gotten conflicting advice on this: some people believe one can remove RNase contamination simply by spraying the bench, pipettes, gloves, etc. with ethanol. Others think ethanol does not destroy ...
5
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1answer
538 views

Why does the heart use lipids (and not glucose)?

Fetal hearts use glucose as their primary metabolic substrate. Adult hearts use free fatty acids, which are less efficient (require more $O_2$ to synthesize the same amount of ATP); however, during ...
5
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3answers
117 views

Finding a template/oligo combination for my first PCR experiment

I'm an information technology engineer. I love biology so I research biological topics and have an interest in PCR. That's why I have decided to create a PCR machine. Everything is done now and I ...
5
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3answers
134 views

What does it mean for a distribution to be “consistent with a two rate-limiting stochastic steps”?

I'm reading a study (full text here) that examine the dynamic of nuclear translocation of a transcription factor in budding yeast, in response of calcium stress. They found that it occurs in bursts, ...
5
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2answers
588 views

Isotype control antibodies in Flow Cytometry

In a Flow Cytrometry, one can add an Isotype Control Antibody to allow another antibody to bind more specific to the cells. My question is, how can the Isotype Control Antibody add specificity to the ...
5
votes
1answer
281 views

What are the units of enzyme activity?

I was looking at this graph of turnip peroxidase activity and I saw that they use units of 1/sec for enzyme activity. What does this unit intuitively represent and how is it calculated?
5
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1answer
76 views

Photosynthesis regulation

I read about the regulation of Calvin cycle by thioredoxin which activates key enzymes essentially by converting disulphide linkages on inactive enzymes into sulfhydryls. Another regulatory mechanism ...
5
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1answer
198 views

What causes humans to be sleepy?

Is there a hormone or group of hormones that regulates when we feel sleepy late at night, or in the morning? Or is sleepiness caused by some other non-hormonal mechanism? (e.g. pure psychological, ...
5
votes
1answer
78 views

In which way would the yeast cell cope with the excess amount of methionine in the growth media?

I guess that when there is surplus of methionine in the cell it is incorporated in the TCA cycle as a succinyl CoA, with cysteine as a by-product. But now the cell has the surplus of cysteine. What ...
5
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3answers
211 views

Biological Pathway of Lipid Hypothesis

I've read a lot on both sides of the debate of low carb vs low fat diets trying to make some sense of what is being proposed. The lipid hypothesis runs roughly along the lines that we have lots of ...
5
votes
1answer
161 views

Are quaternary protein monomers unique to a particular protein complex?

I know that quaternary protein structures are formed exclusively via non-covalent bonds. My biochemistry professor discussed a viral capsid that is essentially one quaternary structure with 240 ...
5
votes
1answer
330 views

Why is ATP the preferred choice for energy carriers?

Why is ATP the most prevalent form of chemical energy storage and utilization in most cells?
5
votes
1answer
292 views

How to Design an siRNA Experiment?

I'm going to undertake an siRNA experiment soon, but I have only read about them. I want to address the role an enzyme plays in processing a protein. From what I understand, I will need to pick two ...
5
votes
1answer
614 views

How does water buffer a sudden drop in temperature?

A property of water is that it is slow to heat and cool. According to my biology book, some energy from an increase in temperature would spent breaking hydrogen bonds, so that temperature does not ...
5
votes
1answer
608 views

What causes adenosine build up in the brain when awake?

Adenosine is an important hormone in sleep regulation. It is postulated that when a person is awake, there is a build up of adenosine in the brain, which inhibits the neurons in the brain, and ...
5
votes
1answer
274 views

Using ion-exchange chromatography to purify DNA from a cell extract - Is DNA more negatively charged then RNA?

When applying this method we have a glass or plastic column of resin which is positively charged. Then we pour cell extract into the column in order to capture the negatively charged particles which ...
5
votes
0answers
98 views

Pharmacologically, can tricyclic antidepressants have a side-effect profile similar to neuroleptics?

Torticollis (wryneck, cervical dystonia) is a neurologic movement disorder causing involuntary muscle spasms in the neck. Often, neuroleptics can cause such a side effect. I'm wondering if this ...
4
votes
2answers
200 views

In biosynthesis of cysteine and methionine, where does the sulfur come from?

Methionine and Cysteine are the two amino acids containing sulfur. According to wikipedia, cysteine is built from methionine. However, the wikipedia also claims that methionine is synthesized from ...
4
votes
3answers
83 views

What makes a metal safe to use for an artificial joint?

What determines if a metal is suitable for transplantation such as in the hip? What I am most interested in however is why might some metals be toxic to animals once in the body?
4
votes
1answer
197 views

What is the molecular basis of hangovers?

Well, most of us have experienced the wonderful feeling of the dreaded hangover. How does it work exactly? I imagine it has something to do with dehydration but what are the underlying mechanisms? ...
4
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2answers
2k views

DNA as an acid? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does DNA react in all of the ways most other acids do? Even if DNA is made up of nucleotide bases, it is said to be an acid. Why is this?
4
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1answer
211 views

If proteins have an overall charge, how do membrane proteins traverse through the hydrophobic region of the plasma membrane?

These two concepts seem almost contradictory, proteins have a net negative charge due to the amino acids in them each having a small negative charge, yet membrane proteins are able to exist traversing ...
4
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1answer
88 views

Why isn't there any repulsive force between Na+ and K+ disrupting thier roles in transmembrane voltage/ action potentials

Pretty self explanatory question. I have a basic grasp on the "How" and "Why" of Reversal/Action Potential in and between neurons, but this question lingers.
4
votes
1answer
119 views

What exactly makes bananas go brown?

I know that often oxidation processes are mentioned when referring to the color change from yellow to brown in bananas (specifically: those that you get everywhere in supermarkets, with no seeds). ...
4
votes
1answer
75 views

Stability of helical strands of DNA?

The DNA molecules contain phosphate groups involved in $3'\rightarrow 5'$phosphodiester linkages. These groups, in the bonded state with deoxyribose, contain 1 negative charges ($\ce{3'-PO4^{-}-5'}$). ...
4
votes
2answers
89 views

Why don't amino acids get linked in the functional groups of acidic and basic amino acids?

There are 'acidic' and 'basic' amino acids like aspartate and histidine. When protein is synthesized with those amino acids, what ensures that the to-be-assembled amino acids will not bond to the ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Does mixing alcoholic drinks really make you more drunk?

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence ("beer after wine and you'll feel fine, wine after beer will make you feel queer") that mixing alcoholic drink types leads to a stronger effect, but I can't find ...
4
votes
1answer
58 views

What is an irreversible reaction?

There are reactions with large Delta G negative values. Why these reactions are irreversible? As in: out of 10 steps of Glycolysis, 3 are irreversible steps. I need an explanation for why they are ...
4
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1answer
116 views

How does ethanol interact with insulin?

I know that ethanol increases insulin secretion--could someone explain why? All I have found till now is experimental data analyses. I am interested in mechanism of alcohol consumption.
4
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2answers
53 views

Why isn't the phosphoglycerate kinase reaction of the glycolysis pathway irreversible?

Step 7 of the glycolysis pathway is the conversion of 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate into 3-phosphoglycerate by the action of the enzyme phosphoglycerate kinase, resulting in the production of 2 ATP ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Is there a difference between NADH and NADH2?

I've been reading a lot about the oxidative dissimilation etc, and often I see different sources use NADH and NADH2 in the same reactions. One source uses NADH and another uses NADH2 in the exact same ...
4
votes
2answers
294 views

Why are enzyme-catalysed reactions slower at lower substrate concentration?

Suppose I'm using 200 nmoles of enzyme and 2 mmoles of substrate. The enzyme should be saturated but if I use 50 mmoles of substrate, the reaction will be faster. Why? I just can't get it! Even at ...
4
votes
1answer
502 views

Why is second pKa value of phosphoric acid different across different sources?

Am I missing something very fundamental here for phosphoric acid's second pKa value? I check the Wikipedia page and these are the values: (1) 2.148, (2) 7.198, (3) 12.377 Then I check Sigma-Aldrich ...
4
votes
1answer
100 views

How is respiration an unbalanced equation

The equation for respiration is C6H12O6+6O2→6CO2+6H2O+36ATP. The chemical formula for ATP is C10H16N5O13P3. How is this possible, since it violates the law of conservation of mass because it is ...
4
votes
1answer
90 views

Why plants (eg. parsley) can keep vitamin C despite all the sun?

I have read that vitamin C is highly sensitive to light. So, how could parsley, for instance keep its vitamin C as it's flooded with sunlight?
4
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1answer
37 views

How do rodenticides with delayed effect work?

Most modern rodenticides are claimed to cause death no earlier than several days after ingestion. That's quite strange - once a chemical was ingested it will be absorbed in the digestive system and ...
4
votes
1answer
100 views

Are there any websites offering graphs for the light absorption of different enzymes?

I have found graphs for the light absorption of water, haemoglobin, lipids, melanin, etc., but I am having a hard time finding graphs about enzymes. Are there any websites or other reference sources ...
4
votes
1answer
397 views

Why are omega-3 fatty acids so easily oxidized when they're incorporated in cellular membranes?

Apparently, this has led to results with clinical significance, as we can see at http://extremelongevity.net/2011/10/03/daily-fish-oil-consumption-may-reduce-lifespan/... The researchers fed a ...
4
votes
1answer
73 views

What makes alcohol harmful to mammals?

During the alcohol metabolic pathway, harmful by-products are made like acetaldehyde, hydroxyethyl, superox­ide anions, and hydroxyl radicals. How do these toxic compounds harm our tissues? Many of ...
4
votes
1answer
125 views

Cloning two fluorescent proteins with different promoters in the same plasmid?

I want to clone two fluorescent proteins both driven by different promoters in a plasmid to be used to transform B. subtilis at the amyE locus. For this I want to use plasmid pSG1729 (Lewis and ...
4
votes
1answer
684 views

Conversion rate of topical Retinol to Retinoic Acid (Tretinoin)?

I'm wondering if someone out there has more information than me. Retinoids have well known metabolic pathways in vivo, and it's usually something like: ...
4
votes
1answer
211 views

Are there any intersections between the biochemical pathways of uracil biosynthesis (or metabolism) and methionine degradation in eukaryotes?

Is there any way in which uracil biosynthesis or metabolism could help cell in degradation of toxic levels of methionine?
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0answers
37 views

What are the lifetimes of cellular components on organelle or molecular level?

I was thinking that even though I know how generally the cell works, I don't really have a feeling of how volatile it is. I want to know what is the lifetime/turnover rate of different constituents of ...