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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Is fluoride toxic, and how worried should I be about it?

A recent flurry of "fluoride is bad!" posts are appearing on my social network news feeds. Usually I can simply ignore them after a brief look, but this one, stemming from a recent article in The ...
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3answers
13k views

Differences Between Protein Motifs and Protein Domains?

I am in a 300-level molecular biology class and am unclear about this concept and how to delineate motifs versus domains of proteins. Any suggestions would be much obliged.
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3k views

HDL- and LDL-cholesterol

Why exactly are HDL-cholesterols good for us and LDL-cholesterols not. I know LDL-cholesterols cause Atherosclerosis and that HDL-cholesterols removes the excess of LDL-cholesterols, but from a ...
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2answers
692 views

For how long and how cold should I perform ethanol/isopropanol precipitations of RNA or DNA?

Precipitating nucleic acids using either isopropanol or ethanol is a very common operation, and I've read some very different protocols on the duration and temperature the precipitation should be ...
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165 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). ...
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193 views

Is there an enzyme for the transformation of the hydroxyl group?

I would like to know, is there any enzyme which does the transformation of hydroxyl group to any other functional group using the enzyme. The substrate is aromatic hydroxyl group. Product should not ...
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2answers
253 views

HIV and effectiveness of inhibitor cocktail over single inhibitor

I'm looking for clarification on the answer to this question. It's in my biochemistry class but I figured this is more Biology than Chemistry, so I'm asking it here. The question is: One of the ...
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72 views

Where do the electrons and protons formed from biological reactions go?

In a reaction like disulphide bond formation protons and electrons are released. These particles are presumably damaging in high levels. What systems are in place to prevent a build up of electrons ...
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452 views

Are the cytosol and extracellular fluids electrically neutral?

I've found several sources that state that overall, the cytosol of a cell is electrically neutral. The extracellular fluid is also purportedly electrically neutral. How can that be when we have ...
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176 views

What's the difference between Ki and IC50?

I have just read this post at researchgate: "How to calculate experimental binding free energy from the IC50 value" I am not be very sure about what the difference is between Ki and IC50. Could ...
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3k 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?
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134 views

Why does getting certain chemicals in cuts hurt?

More specifically, shampoo. What are the mechanics of detecting a noxious chemical stimulus in terms of which receptors recognise what, how do they do it, and how is this information relayed to the ...
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306 views

Determining if a specific proline is cis or trans in the protein?

While peptide bonds usually adopt the trans conformation, peptide bonds to proline can exist in either cis or trans conformation. The isomerization between cis and trans is slow, and has been shown to ...
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3k views

Molecularly, why can you straighten or perm hair?

I'm aware that hair can be curly because of the disulfide bond interactions in between cysteine amino acids in alpha-keratin filaments. However, I'm curious as to the biochemistry involved in ...
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230 views

What is the origin of “melting” in molecular genetics?

I'm reading some papers about prokaryotic transcription mechanisms, and I've come across a term I haven't heard before: DNA melting or promoter melting. After reading a bit, it's pretty clear that ...
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187 views

Decreasing the alcohol proof and faster in hangover, why?

My russian friend says that the USSR agents used/use the trick that they offered the victim first vodka and then last wine. I have noted that this puts you faster to hangover: decreasing the alcohol ...
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2answers
1k views

Basic Amino Acid Residue Binding Mechanism to DNA

I understand that many protein DNA binding domains bind to DNA via basic residues such as Arginine and Lysine. But what is the mechanism used to bind to DNA and where on the DNA would these residues ...
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1answer
36 views

Are there ways to speed up the growth of plants?

I'm interested in what humans can do to speed up the rate of growth in a plant. I'm interested in both the context of home gardening and large-scale, institution-backed projects. Obviously, optimal ...
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1answer
113 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 ...
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2answers
2k views

Very high 260/230 absorbance ratio of an RNA sample

After my most recent RNA extraction, the RNA samples had very high 260/230 absorbance ratios, (ranging from 5 to 25). I've never gotten numbers like this and I know the ratio is supposed to be ~2 in ...
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425 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 ...
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1answer
53 views

How does the body “know” how to metabolize foreign substances

As a freshman biochemistry major, I find myself befuddled by our body's ability to perform complex chemical reactions to break down foreign substances. I can see how we would evolve explicit pathways ...
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1answer
2k 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 ...
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2answers
793 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 ...
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426 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?
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129 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 ...
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2answers
640 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)?
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4answers
186 views

Appropriate Buffer for electerophoresis of DNA & Protein TBE or TAE?

Which buffer is best for DNA Electrophoresis and which is best for Protein to be have a sharp bond? Considering a higher electrical conductivity compared to TAE & TBE and the generation of less ...
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270 views

Why is oxygen needed for the electron transfer phosphorylation?

I understand that oxygen is the acceptor of electrons and hydrogen ions during the electron transfer phosphorylation, the last step off the ATP-producing aerobic respiration. But why? Aren't there ...
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3answers
307 views

How does protein denaturation work?

I was wondering how protein denaturation works. Are there covalent bonds, such as disulfide bridges involved, or is it based purely on non-covalent bonds such as hydrogen bonds? Why is denaturation ...
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2answers
205 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?
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3k 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 ...
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2answers
499 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 ...
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130 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 ...
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1answer
362 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 ...
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1k views

Diffusion of Hypotonic solution into solution with glucose and starch

Cell walls are selectively permeable to ions and organic molecules. Sometimes the selectivity is passive and a reflection of the physical laws governing diffusion. We can do simple experiments that ...
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78 views

Fermentation to acetic acid

How much time is needed for the fermentation to acetic acid production cycle, and the conversion of apple vinegar in a sealed container incubated at 37 °C? Should be in the fully closed? What is ...
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3answers
179 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, ...
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2answers
766 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 ...
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1answer
357 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?
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292 views

Signaling through G protein Coupled Receptors?

There are two different cell lines but we do not know that these cell lines have Gs or Gi proteins, associated with their G-protein coupled receptors. If we wants to know about this. Can we design a ...
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1answer
86 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 ...
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1answer
375 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, ...
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1answer
67 views

Scale up of Bacterial growth from 250mL to 1-5L?

I am currently growing up a specific strain of E.Coli with a knockout in 40mL of growth medium (LB) in a 250mL shaker flask... My ultimate goal is to scale up this process to a 1-5L large scale setup ...
5
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1answer
82 views

enzymes that stabilize DNA loops

As a follow-up of a previous question, I would like to know what enzymes or protein complexes have been used to manipulate DNA samples into stabilizing DNA loops. I have read that cohesin is one of ...
5
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1answer
62 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 ...
5
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1answer
87 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 ...
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3answers
256 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
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1answer
195 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 ...
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49 views

Examples of genes involved in plastic responses

Adaptive plasticity involves sensing the environment and responding adaptively to it. Intuitively, I would think that this process may ask for a more or less complex genetic machinery of regulation of ...