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

7
votes
1answer
228 views

When giving blood, what is the specific Iron measurement they take?

I went to give blood the other day, and they take an "iron" measurement prior to actually drawing the blood. My level was 16.4 -- but what specific type of iron were they measuring? I've heard of ...
7
votes
1answer
447 views

How to prevent protein precipitation?

I'm trying to label a protein with fluorescent dye (TMR succinimidyl ester), but having trouble getting the protocol to work. The protein seems to be stable in distilled water at a the recommended ...
7
votes
1answer
118 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
80 views

Is DNA mutation locally energetically stabilizing the DNA molecule

I am no biologist, but as a physicist, a spontaneous mutation (seen as a chemical transformation) should lower the energy of the system, at least locally. So I wonder if any research has been done ...
0
votes
1answer
401 views

Is breathing in deodorant fumes dangerous for my brain?

I noticed that I sometimes get dizzy when I accidentaly breathe in too much Axe. Also, I find the smell of alchohol rich deodorants quite unpleasant. But, I was wondering, is it actually dangerous? ...
7
votes
1answer
132 views

Making penicillin using animals - specifically, a goat

In the scifi novel Lucifer's Hammer, one of the characters (a biologist, if I remember correctly) finds himself in a post-apocalyptic world and tries to make penicillin to save his own life. To do ...
5
votes
3answers
228 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
89 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.
5
votes
1answer
300 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?
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is GTP gamma S non hydrolyzable?

GTP gamma S is routinely used in studies of G proteins to stably activate the G protein. Comparing the structures of GTP gamma S and GTP, the Sulphur atom replaces the Oxygen attached to the leaving ...
1
vote
0answers
65 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
670 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
225 views

What alternatives are there to the amyloid hypothesis?

Given the recent failure of the Bapi clinical trial, there is a lot of questions that have arised from he amyloid hypothesis. However, I can't really think of many other mechanisms that don't involved ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the concentration of ATP in an average cell?

Can someone give me some references showing the average concentration of ATP in a cell?
13
votes
2answers
762 views

Is the EC50 of an activating protein for an enzyme a good indicator for the binding affinity Kd?

We work with a membrane protein system where measuring the affinity between the enzyme and the upstream activating protein has been difficult, and when measured in detergent solution, it is almost 100 ...
10
votes
1answer
338 views

How would I explain different properties of the same protein in different species?

I recently finished an experiment where I analyzed the rate of ATP hydrolysis of Heat shock protein 104 in three species of fungi. They have shown to all have different rates of ATPase activity. How ...
7
votes
2answers
266 views

How to compute properties of peptides ?

I have been tasked with writing a program for computing properties of a give set of peptides. These peptides are given as 1-letter amino acid sequences and I need to compute the following : Length ...
9
votes
2answers
127 views

What role does a protein's size have on protein-protein interactions?

Protein-protein interactions are when two or more proteins bind together, possibly for some important biological function. Recently, I'm starting to look more into proteins, and in particular, ...
5
votes
2answers
510 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)?
8
votes
3answers
9k views

Why can't the brain and red blood cells use fuels other than glucose?

The question is rather straight forward: I have always been curious as to why, but cannot find an explanation online. I can imagine that the mechanism is different for each, but why does brain tissue ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is glucose our primary source of energy?

Is there any evolutionary reason for glucose being the "main" molecule used as a source of energy, beginning with glycolysis and subsequently cellular respiration (after being converted to two ...
3
votes
1answer
147 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Why are there exactly four nucleobases in DNA?

Does someone know why DNA is composed of four nucleobases? In particular, is there an explanation for the number? Why four and not two, or eight?
11
votes
1answer
850 views

Why does hair turn grey or white, and why does it happen later for some?

The question is pretty simple: what is happening molecularly when hair turns grey or white? I would imagine that it is due to the lack of a particular compound. I'm also interested in why some ...
1
vote
2answers
286 views

How are proteins formed?

Somewhere, I have read that we need to consume proteins to make amino acids to make new proteins. What does it suggest? How do we make proteins from proteins?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the units of Q10 (temperature sensitivity)?

Q10 is the increase in a rate (e.g. activity of an enzyme) observed with a 10 degree temperature increase. According to Wikipedia: It is apparent that the units of R (e.g. mol/g/s) cancel out, ...
3
votes
1answer
306 views

Does caffeine increase the speed at which sperm travels?

I'm not even sure if this claim is true, but... This source states that Caffeine gives both types of sperm a boost, but the Y-sperm would get a little more of a boost. This article reinforces ...
6
votes
1answer
322 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
703 views

What is the correct model for enzyme-substrate complementarity?

This Wikibook shows both proposed models of enzyme-substrate complementarity, the Lock and Key model and the Induced Fit model. I've always been taught that the Induced Fit model is the proper one. ...
3
votes
1answer
301 views

Troubleshooting bioconjugates migration in a SDS-PAGE gel?

We do a lot of bioconjugation chemistry (click chemistry in particular but also NHS and Maleimide chemistries). Our method to valid the conjugation reactions have been to use SDS-PAGE gels followed ...
1
vote
1answer
185 views

Which concentration of BSA is recommended for dynamic light scattering experiments?

What is the recommended concentration of BSA to be mixed with water so as to prepare a very dilute solution in order to clearly study the intensity-intensity correlation with single scattering ? I ...
7
votes
1answer
145 views

What makes a wet dog so stinky?

Similarly, what makes a wet down comforter so stinky? Why do they make no smell except when liquid is added?
4
votes
1answer
471 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
222 views

How Antioxidants affects Human Metabolism?

I'd like to know how antioxidants affects the human metabolism and which ones are essential for metabolism processes.
1
vote
1answer
126 views

How to manufacture different sized micelles in nano -scale?

I am trying to answer q5: "How can you manufacture micelles in A) nanometerer -scale B) and in ten nanometer -scale?" My Thinking Observations and some thinking Oil in ...
2
votes
1answer
233 views

What happens to colloidal particles in a liquid medium? And how to stabilize it?

Definition Colloid is a dispresion of small particles of one material in another. Definition 2 (Wikipedia) A colloidal system consists of two separate phases: a ...
5
votes
1answer
169 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
183 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 ...
32
votes
4answers
13k views

Death because of distilled water consumption

One of my friends said that I would die if I drank distilled water (we were using it in a chemistry experiment) I gave it a go and surprisingly did not die. I did a bit of Googling and found this ...
7
votes
1answer
171 views

Protein construct design

I am trying to create some constructs of a certain protein deleting well defined domains (at either terminus) to determine interaction regions with other proteins etc., 3 constructs with varying ...
6
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
615 views

What is the reaction mechanism of dopamine hydroxylase converting dopamine to norepinephrine?

The reaction is basically shown below. Dopamine hydroxylase is an enzyme, so I'm not sure if we can have a theory based on organic chemistry. On the other hand, maybe there is a theory that involves ...
10
votes
2answers
483 views

Could hydrogen replace oxygen in cellular respiration?

I was wondering what oxygen actually does in the body. I have seen a few answers to other questions that involve the electron chain and I am really not sure what that is. So I was wondering what ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

What happens to dextrorotatory amino acids in humans?

As indicated by this question, most of the amino acids in the human body have the L-chirality. As enzymes also have handedness, what happens to the D-amino acids that end up within the human body? Are ...
9
votes
2answers
24k views

What is a coupled reaction and why do cells couple reactions?

I was wondering what exactly a coupled reaction is and why cells couple them. I read the wikipedia article as well as several others, such as life.illinois.edu but I still don't get it. Could ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is PEG important for efficient yeast transformation?

One way to do an yeast transformation is by using lithium acetate, a single-stranded carrier DNA, and PEG (1). I was wondering why is the polyethylene glycol important for the efficient ...
7
votes
2answers
194 views

During famine, does the human body do anything to prioritize which organs receive nutrients?

When food is scarce, the body slows its metabolism. Are there any other systems or processes that encourage prioritization of organs?
8
votes
2answers
198 views

Solution based measurement of Solvent-Accessible Surface Area of macromolecules

The Solvent-Accessible Surface Area (SASA) is a valuable metric for looking at protein folding and protein-protein interactions. However, this measurement is typically done by calculating the SASA ...
13
votes
1answer
440 views

How fast will cells lyse under hypotonic conditions?

Routinely, lysis of cells with hypotonic solutions is carried out along with some physical (douncing) or enzymatic (lysozyme) method to break open the cells. If one were not to do any of these and ...
11
votes
1answer
90 views

Does a theory exist for the formation of thylakoid structure?

I'm interested in how the structure of the thylakoid forms into its characteristic highly rugose stacks of grana. What causes the thylakoid to invaginate and self-associate, albeit with what appear to ...