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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

5
votes
1answer
201 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
53 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
896 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
40 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
352 views

Equation for accurate prediction of PCR yield

It is a cliche of freshman biology labs to point out that "every cycle of PCR doubles the DNA, so the yield will be $2^{cycles}$ times the template amount". However, if this were true, 1 ng of ...
5
votes
1answer
481 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
186 views

Specificity of Protein Kinases in Signaling Pathways..?

In most of the signaling pathways the activated receptor when activates Protein Kinase through the action of secondary messenger, then these protein kinases almost always phosphorylate on the specific ...
4
votes
2answers
458 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
457 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
123 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
637 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
196 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
222 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
177 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
312 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
280 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
votes
2answers
6k 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
votes
1answer
92 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
98 views

Besides hemoglobin, what proteins are present in red blood cells?

I knew that mature red blood cells (RBCs) lacked nuclei, but I wasn't aware until just now that they also lacked ribosomes and mitochondria. Most cells in the human body all contain a common laundry ...
4
votes
1answer
175 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
116 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
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
27 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
148 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
409 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
173 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
votes
1answer
174 views

Negative feedback in the fructose metabolism in liver

What happens in liver when large amount of fructose is consumed? I vaguely remember my biochemistry lecturer telling us that the enzymes that process fructose in the liver does not have negative ...
4
votes
2answers
65 views

What is a triglyceride?

I'm confused on what a triglyceride is, from what my text book it says its a type of gylercide, then from a website it said Glycerides can be subdivided into two categories. The first group, the ...
4
votes
1answer
43 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?
4
votes
1answer
102 views

What is the physiological difference between cortisone and cortisol?

There is only hydrogen bond different. Cortisol is synthesized by our body, while cortisone is given to the patient. Why you cannot give cortisol directly to the patient? I think the reason is ...
4
votes
1answer
73 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
92 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
116 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
52 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
315 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?
4
votes
2answers
37 views

what does Pro→Glu substitution mean?

Considering the paper: A single amino acid in E-cadherin responsible for host specificity towards the human pathogen Listeria monocytogenes in the abstract portion, what does Pro→Glu mean? Does it ...
4
votes
1answer
6k 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
427 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
2answers
2k views

Simple diffusion of lipid-soluble molecules through phospholipid bilayer — does anything get “stuck” in transit?

It's a pretty elementary concept, and when I first learned of it I don't think I had the foundations to even think of such a question, but I found myself the other day thinking about the amphipathic ...
4
votes
1answer
979 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
210 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
106 views

When should endocytosis inhibitors be used in cell binding assays?

I'm beginning to do some cell-binding assays and I would like for my proteins to not be endocytosed by my mammalian cells. Typical suggestions are for the cells to be kept on ice and that the binding ...
4
votes
1answer
70 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
46 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
146 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?
4
votes
1answer
143 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
votes
1answer
122 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
596 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
77 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
66 views

Statistics on energy consumption breakdown per biological functions across organisms?

Are there any statistics available on how much energy organisms use for each biological functions (i.e. something similar to the line of "Bacteria spend X% of energy on information processing, Y% for ...