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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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 ...
6
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2answers
778 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 ...
1
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1answer
170 views

What is the biochemical reason for mental fatigue?

Is it known exactly why the brain needs sleep? What's dropping low / going high when we experience mental fatigue? I can see why low glucose could result in mental fatigue, are other reasons known?
4
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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 ...
3
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2answers
217 views

What software is there available for Quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR) pharmacological studies?

QSAR modelling in pharmacology basically hangs on using mathematical modelling to approximate the effects different molecules will have on various pharmacological targets. I would like to know what ...
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0answers
91 views

Why does trans fat decrease hdl's? [closed]

I understand that cis fats increases hdl's, and unsaturated fat increases ldl's, but trans fat increases hdl's and it decreases ldl's. Why does trans fat do this?
12
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1answer
538 views

Why do we feel tired if we sleep excessively?

When we eat, finally we feel full. I know which mechanism causes the sensation of being full. But when we sleep excessively we often still want more sleep. Why does this happen? Is there a mechanism ...
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0answers
35 views

Glutamine analysis

I use to run a method to analyse all the amino-acids in a food sample. For that I have to hydrololyse the sample and in the last stage of the method I read the amino acids with a ion exchange ...
4
votes
1answer
179 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 ...
6
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1answer
127 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 ...
3
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1answer
322 views

How do multiple replication forks function without 'colliding', and what is the benefit of this method?

I'm currently reading a little about DNA replication, and have come accross the following statement; Replication starts from a fixed point and is bi-directional ... In Eukaryotes, there are ...
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0answers
56 views

Solid phase use in HIV rapid tests [closed]

I have a question in regards to my HIV test research. The rapid tests like Orasures Oraquick contains a strip of synthetic peptides that are used to represent proteins found in the envelope region of ...
3
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0answers
23 views

Does Doxylamine have any Influence on the Monoaminergic System?

Does doxylamine have any affects on the monoaminergic system? Specifically I am interested in adrenergic or serotonergic activity but additional information on its dopaminergic activity won't hurt ...
2
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1answer
59 views

Which Enzymes are Responsible for the Biodegradation of Noladin Ether?

Which enzymes degrade the CB1-specific endogenous cannabinoid 2-arachidonyl glyceryl ether? (Noladin ether)
2
votes
1answer
38 views

Which Enzymes are Responsible for the Biodegradation of Beta-endorphin?

Which enzymes are responsible for the biodegradation of the endogenous opioid peptide, beta-endorphin?
-2
votes
1answer
90 views

Good place to ask health based questions? [closed]

I like the development of biology.stackexchange.com, but it is still in an early stage and far from perfection. While we develop it further, could you guys help me finding places to ask questions ...
7
votes
2answers
968 views

Bacterial cell lysis - what solution to use?

I am trying to determine how quickly detergents act on bacterial cells (cell lysis). I would like to compare some detergents at difference concentrations for bacteriolytic activity. I don’t care about ...
6
votes
1answer
127 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
126 views

Can compounds be predicted from Polyketide synthases gene clusters?

I've seen a few talks on the subject. From a gene cluster, there is some decent ability to determine which domains contribute to certain functional groups in the final metabolites. It sounds like this ...
10
votes
1answer
105 views

When running a gel, what could cause a standard to run “faster” than usual?

We are running a gel on the products of a restriction digest to determine the size of an insert. We know the vector backbone size should be ~2.9kb; however, the standard appears to be running too ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Where does the 'C' in exhaled CO₂ mostly come from?

When a human being exhales CO₂, what is, by the numbers, the main source of carbon atoms exiting the body in this way? I mean what class of cells, or which tissues are the biggest on a pie chart of ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

How much energy does human body fat contain?

I have been reading the Wikipedia article about food energy, but as I'm not a biologist, I don't really understand it properly, so I came here to ask you guys. My question is: If a human body needs X ...
1
vote
1answer
119 views

Is eating salt dangerous for the brain?

I read somewhere that eating a lot of salt will raise blood pressure, which will in turn damage brain tissue. This is because water molecules gather around salt ions, thus making it harder for the ...
4
votes
1answer
149 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.
2
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0answers
57 views

Do humans have chemosensors for nutrients or chemicals?

I'm reading about chemoreceptors on Wikipedia, and see that the typical ones are mentioned: taste, smell, CO₂. I would like to learn more about the other kinds of chemoreceptors that humans may ...
0
votes
2answers
363 views

Why do living organisms replicate itself or procreate

Why do living organisms spontaneously replicate itself or "procreate" (my understanding is that it does). From a uni-cellular and micro-organism point of view. Is there some sort of stimulant in the ...
2
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0answers
171 views

Virucides - Herbal and otherwise, for HHV6 type virus or any inner-cell virus

Does anyone know where I can find a reliable list of virucides (not anti-virus) that can be used by humans? This virucide must be able to affect viruses that are already inside the cells. St John's ...
6
votes
1answer
299 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
405 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Diet of free-range herbivores

Giving minimal credence to estimates in popular media of the average biomass of insects/arachnids, etc. in an acre of land, it seems that a "free-range" cow (I don't mean to pick on cows) might be ...
4
votes
1answer
250 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? ...
6
votes
1answer
406 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?
1
vote
1answer
131 views

What are the biochemical interactions between human body and Polyethylene?

Our waterways and oceans are showing increased levels of plastic contamination. These plastics are breaking down into smaller pieces. When one goes to the beach and plays in the surf they often ...
5
votes
1answer
428 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
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
votes
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: ...
7
votes
2answers
79 views

Should we be looking for extra-terrestrial life on comets?

I have just read What elements are a possible basis for life? and I find myself wondering whether instead of seeking advanced life-forms at remote locales a La SETI, and perhaps fundamentally ...
7
votes
1answer
721 views

Does drinking coffee have negative effects?

From what I collected, coffee is a magical potion that lets you feel energetic, and essentially not-sleepy. But are there any tradeoffs? I mean, if it was so beneficial, wouldn't the human body ...
4
votes
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?
4
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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?
5
votes
1answer
338 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
328 views

Does DNA react in all of the ways most other acids do?

As I understand it from my basic chemistry, there are some fundamental reactions that exist between any acid and other substances for example acid-base reactions that form a salt, and the existence of ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
86 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
290 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?
7
votes
1answer
303 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
579 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
125 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
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3answers
82 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 ...