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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Are there any multicellular forms of life which exist without consuming other forms of life in some manner?

The title is the question. If additional specificity is needed I will add clarification here. Are there any multicellular forms of life which exist without requiring the consumption (destruction) of ...
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2answers
431 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 ...
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3answers
103 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?
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1answer
185 views

How many RNA-binding proteins can simultaneously bind on a single mRNA?

Typically, how many RNA-binding proteins can simultaneously bind to a single mRNA? Or said differently, how many "binding sites" does an mRNA have? What order of magnitude? I am interested in RNA ...
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2answers
175 views

Effect of steroid hormone on specific cells?

As steroid hormones can pass through the plasma membrane by simple diffusion because they are lipid derived hormones, it means that they are capable of passing through every cell of our body, BUT why ...
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2answers
159 views

Effect of testosterone hormone on cell signalling and behaviour?

A steroid, testosterone was injected in female body which led to development of secondary sexual characters but these characters were not developed over night (Response was very slow). What could be ...
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2answers
279 views

Are there dangers to Teflon and aluminium cookware?

I've been reading some articles on the internet about dangers of Teflon and aluminium to the body. My family say I'm just exaggerating the situation, and maybe I am, though I'm not sure because not ...
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1answer
251 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? ...
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2answers
5k 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?
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1answer
91 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.
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1answer
122 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 ($\ce{3'-PO4^{-}-5'}$). ...
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2answers
113 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 ...
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1answer
5k 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 ...
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1answer
131 views

which signalling pathway is involved in cancer?

Columnar epithelial cells from the colonic mucosa are studied to identify abnormalities in cell signaling pathways. Abnormal epithelial cells from colonic adenocarcinoma are shown to have a mutation ...
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2answers
280 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 ...
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1answer
150 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.
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1answer
34 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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1answer
22 views

Phospholipid movement in cell membranes

What causes phospholipids to flow so quickly in cell membranes? In Biology by Cambell et al. they state that a phospholipids can travel up to 2 micrometers per second. Is that a random movement or has ...
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1answer
64 views

Influence of temperature on transcription, protein binding and decay rates

I am the kind of biologist who doesn't know much about molecular genetics and about the dynamic of biochemical reactions. Question My question concerns the influence of temperature on the dynamic of ...
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1answer
91 views

Question about Monofunctional glycosylases

I am learning about Base excision repair mechanism. I understand the main idea how glycosylases are working, but I am trying to understand this with much more details. I found a paper where they are ...
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1answer
111 views

Topology of closed circular DNA

Why are covalently closed circular plasmid DNAs naturally found in an underwound state ? Is it because this makes it easier for the DNA replication machinery to access and unwind DNA ? Or is it ...
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1answer
48 views

Correlating beta-lactamase expression to absorbance

When penicillin-resistant bacteria are grown in liquid culture media, β-lactamase is secreted into the medium. The supernatant of such a medium can be assayed for β-lactamase activity. ...
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1answer
301 views

Ammonium sulphate precipitation assay pH dependence

In general does the pH effect the precipitation, e.g. would a pH of 6 cause less precipitation than pH 7.5. Or are they unrelated?
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1answer
5k 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 ...
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2answers
392 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 ...
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1answer
870 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 ...
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1answer
180 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 ...
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1answer
58 views

Why is the ebola virus so intense now?

So i'm looking into the ebola crisis and it seems the death toll is really getting crazy. I understand that it's a cytomegalovirus and that it basically overwhelms the immune system due to it's size ...
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1answer
44 views

protein-binding sRNAs

I am actually a computational biologist, pardon me if my question description is a bit off-note, my curiosity is driving me on A bit of background and context: In bacteria, a regulatory protein ...
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3answers
139 views

Why can't you just take a vitamin? Why you need a healthy diet on top of that?

From what I understand, your body needs certain amounts of vitamins and minerals to maintain health. Why can't we just take enough pills to obtain these vitamins and minerals?
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1answer
128 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?
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1answer
114 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
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1answer
548 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 ...
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1answer
76 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 ...
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1answer
167 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
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1answer
49 views

How different are tissue-specific fibroblasts from each other?

I am planning to utilize a new system in our lab, in which I will co-culture cancer cells from different tissues with fibroblasts. I have the option to receive skin-derived primary fibroblasts. I ...
4
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1answer
122 views

How do you store membrane proteins?

We're producing some membrane proteins and they aren't amenable to freeze thaws even when we add glycerol. The proteins are solubilized in detergent above the cmc so they should be in micelle form in ...
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1answer
1k 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: ...
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1answer
291 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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1answer
81 views

Identify the pink mold infecting refrigerated lemons [closed]

I made lemon juice 6 month ago. I just washed the lemon using brush and then cut them into pieces. Then I put one layer of lemon in the bottle followed by one layer of sugar Again one layer of lemon ...
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2answers
514 views

Why does Glutamine have the symbol Q?

Spent a half hour googling this and the best I could find was this: Now for some rhymes: Arginine = R. R we having fun yet? Asparagine = N The kNights of Ne say "Ne". Glutamine is a cute ...
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3answers
123 views

More entropy: Atom or Macromolecule? [closed]

A question that appeared on my last exam was : Which of the following has greater entropy A) An atom B) A macromolecule The question doesn't specify anything else(i.e. type/size of atom or ...
3
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1answer
520 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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3answers
555 views

Why do neurones use chemical signalling at synaptic junctions?

Problem. When a neurone fires, it sends an electrical signal that jumps down the axon via the nodes of Ranvier very rapidly. At a synaptic junction, chemical brownian diffusion signalling with ...
3
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2answers
557 views

Can any one reaction in a cell be at equilibrium?

I know that metabolism as a whole can never be at equilibrium (otherwise the cell is dead !) but I wonder whether a few reactions in the cell could be at chemical equilibrium at a given point of ...
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1answer
1k views

What is DNA binding domain? It is not clear what the domain means

I am confused about the term DNA binding domain. Does it mean that there are some parts of the DNA that tends to coil up? Does it happen because some proteins tend to stick around that area? Also it ...
3
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3answers
1k views

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 ...
3
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2answers
746 views

Essential amino acid codons

Essential amino acids also have codons.Still they are needed by humans through diet?Will those codons do synthesize amino acids for some other purposes in humans or not?If so, what is the purpose?e.g? ...
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1answer
52 views

Function of heparin and dextran sulfate for removing proteins

From this article : The reaction was terminated and the histones, and most nonhistones, were removed by adding the nuclease-treated chromosomes to a solution containing dextran sulfate (2 ...
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1answer
250 views

Can replication occur if DNA is methylated?

Can a methylated strand of DNA be replicated without removing methylation? Does it make any difference if the strand is methylated or not (during replication)?