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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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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508 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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293 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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235 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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167 views

Where do amino acids get attached to tRNA and where is it synthesized?

Some very basic parts of transcription/translation seem to be left out in various literature. I can't find the answer to this anywhere: How exactly is tRNA synthesized? I realize that mRNA is ...
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1answer
350 views

Why does high pH result in the denaturation of DNA?

In the Southern blot method, for example, a solution of NaOH is used to denature the DNA in the sample. I find this counterintuitive since I expected that $\text{Na}^+$ cations would neutralize the ...
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1k 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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106 views

Proteins that give color (without fluorescence)

Is there proteins that have strong color, that could be seen without the need of UV and with naked eyes (with white light) - in mammalian cells? Searching for reporter, something like GFP, but that ...
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138 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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521 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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6k 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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107 views

Why does a “cascade” of events happen during signal transduction?

I've been watching some videos on signal transduction and it says that because there are enzymes being activated by the signal, then there is a "cascade" which happens afterwards...I don't understand ...
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111 views

Any good website/book to understand protein folding and enzymes?

I'm looking for a good, understandable and simple explanation about protein folding, mechanisms and function, and their relationship with enzymes. I understand that the protein is a polypeptidic ...
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132 views

Formaldehyde turns plantar region of feet red?

I'm a freshman med student and I've noticed that on all the feet (and hands) of deceased people that I've worked with, the bottom of the feet always turns red and also the inside of the palm? Why is ...
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2k 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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1answer
62 views

How does CO₂ concentration affect photosynthesis?

I have heard the theory that with the increase of CO2 in the air, the speed of the photosynthesis would increase, thereby limiting the increase of CO2 levels. What is currently the rate limiting ...
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100 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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873 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
427 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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212 views

Why is E.coli used as a model?

Is there a reason for the choice of E.coli as a model for many bacterial systems? Other bacteria such as B.subtilis are also used, but why is E. coli preferred?
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60 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 ...
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1answer
94 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
530 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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3answers
274 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 ...
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28 views

Need some good resources to learn about Protein function and structure

I'm taking a course on biochemistry at edx. Since I'm a computer science student, I'm having some trouble in understanding many biochemical concepts. While the first module was just fine, I found the ...
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53 views

What is Colloidal biology and does it have any scientific background?

There is the following bulletin published for the History of Chemistry Vol. 32: 105-118 in 2007: “MOLECULAR” VERSUS “COLLOIDAL”: CONTROVERSIES IN BIOLOGY AND BIOCHEMISTRY, 1900–1940* written by PhD ...
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1answer
80 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 ...
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96 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 ...
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65 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 ...
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1answer
91 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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1answer
225 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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1answer
32 views

Is there a protocol for freezing and thawing Bacillus subtilis cells?

There is a book that says to store Bacillus spores in 50% glycerol at -70 degrees Celsius (doesn't mention if the 50% is final concentration or not). But from what I know, the cells themselves can be ...
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1answer
50 views

Do non-enzyme catalysed reaction pathways exist?

Can their be a kind of chemical reaction pathway in a cell, that is catalyzed or regulated but NOT necessarily by enzymes? I could not find anything on Google. I have almost no background in biology, ...
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1answer
67 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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71 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 ...
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1k 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 ...
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1answer
77 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
638 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 ...
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1answer
614 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 ...
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SDS Laemmli Gel that did not solidify

In my lab class this week my partner and I were making a SDS-PAGE Laemmli Gel. We made the resolving gel solution which was made of 30% Acrylamide, DI water, 1.5 M Tris-HCL pH8.8, and 20% SDS. We ...
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467 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 ...
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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 ...
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Amino acid compatibility

The (human) genetic code encodes 20 amino acids. They form a protein using peptide bonds. Each amino acid has a carboxyl group (COOH) and an amino group (NH2) that can potentially form a peptide bond. ...
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55 views

A doctor might give bicarbonate (HCO₃¯) to a patient who is breathing very rapidly. What is the doctor assuming about the patient’s blood chemistry?

The answer is: The doctor is assuming that the rapid breathing is the body’s response to low blood pH. (Source: Campbell Biology) But this answer doesn't make sense. Why would the doctor give the ...
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2answers
528 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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1answer
823 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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141 views

Do acetyl-CoA, acetyl-CoA carboxylase and acetyl-glutamate carry any charge?

Do the following compounds have any charge? If not, then why? If yes, is there any database that would give me this information if the compound is negatively or positively charged? The compounds are ...
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3answers
143 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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155 views

Water soluble molecules

I believe I may have misunderstood water solubility this entire time. I assumed that water soluble meant that it would literally dissolve in water. It would break down into atoms. A sugar molecule ...
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212 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 ...