The study of cells: their physiological properties, structure, environmental interaction, division, life cycle, and death, as well as the organelles they contain. Also known as cytology.

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What's a good reference for choosing histological staining chemicals?

It's often difficult to find the appropriate or best stain to use when I want to examine a new type of tissue. I think that's partly because many histological techniques were developed a long time ...
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54 views

Gap junction turnover

Gap junction proteins, connexins, are known to form intercellular hemichannels, between two adjacent cells. These junctions are maintained cell adhesion proteins (cadherins), yet the turnover of ...
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111 views

Macromolecule levels in daughter cells after fission

When a prokaryote undergoes binary fission, how are the non-DNA macromolecules distributed between the two daughter cells? This is motivated by comments on a previous question and a G+ discussion. I ...
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128 views

Intrinsic apoptosis in erythrocytes

With a lack of mitochondria, can red blood cells perform intrinsic apoptosis and do they have another way of generating cytochrome c to attach to a CARD domain and assemble the apoptosome? Or are ...
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65 views

How are chromatids correctly segregated during mitosis?

In my book this is described as happening by kinetochores depolymerising from their attached microtubule spindle, then being dragged towards the spindle's centrosome by a dynein protein. I can ...
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139 views

Primary cilia: what cell types have non-motile cilia that migrate?

My understanding is that there are two broad categories of cilia: motile and non-motile (also called primary. Examples of the former include sperm flagella and the cilia of epithelial cells that ...
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78 views

number of RNA pol II molecules in a given human nucleus?

Does anybody have any estimate on the number of RNA pol II molecules in the nucleus of a given human cell? For example, how many RNA polymerase type II protein complexes would there be on average at a ...
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64 views

Pancretic Acinar Cell - ATP, calcium concentration data

I need to find a decent source of data for concentration of ATP and calcium in the pancreatic acinar cell. So far all I can find is ATP or calcium 'levels' based on fluorescence , which are not ...
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3k views

RNA or ribosome, which one moves during translation?

During translation ribosomes decode the genetic information present in the mRNA and protein synthesis takes place. During this process which of those two does move, the ribosome or the mRNA?
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298 views

Can proteins move outside cells?

I am trying to learn about basic cell biology, and have what is probably an extremely simple question. So this is how I understand it so far: Proteins are made from amino acids. This process is ...
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130 views

Why are certain aneuploidies more common?

Certain aneuploidies such as trisomy-21 (Downs syndrome), trisomy-18 (Edward syndrome), Turner syndrome (XO) etc are more common than others. I had a vague thought that it is related to chromosome ...
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77 views

Free-flowing cells and those that are stuck together?

I've been thinking about the development of an embryo from the zygote stage. How is it that when cytokinesis takes place at that stage, the cells all stick together in a little ball, but later in ...
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272 views

How do cells “know” what “type” to differentiate into?

I have been reading about Townes and Holtfreter's work in 1955, in which cells are dissociated from a blastocyst in an alkaline solution then mixed together and spontaneously reaggregates based on ...
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386 views

How are lysosome membranes protected from the attack of hydrolases?

Lysosomes are a bit like the suicidal bags of cells. They help to clean cells, have an acidic pH and contain a large number of hydrolyzing enzymes. But why don't these hydrolyzing enzymes attack ...
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88 views

Significance of basal lamina for outer layers of epithelium

In stratified (not pseudostratified) epithelia such as the epidermis, what purpose does the basal lamina serve for the outer layer cells which do not even stand in contact with it? Also, how do these ...
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2answers
89 views

Synthetic biology using existing cells

I was watching the video at this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17436365 The speaker says that a cell is taken and its original DNA content is stripped out and replaced with ...
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935 views

How does the Golgi Apparatus perform its function?

The Golgi Apparatus is an organelle with a great number of functions, I am particularly intrigued in the role it plays in packaging macromolecules and sending them to their target organelle or to ...
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1answer
179 views

Does GTP-γS (GTP gamma S) bind all GTP-binding proteins?

I've just read an article Rab10 GTPase regulates ER dynamics and morphology - Nature Cell Biology 15, 169–178 (2013) doi:10.1038/ncb2647. In this paper, to identify Rab proteins in ER, first they ...
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123 views

How does skin healing work?

I stacked my bike and split my head right open. About three weeks later the scab falls off and the skin is sealed over, like magic! How does it all work? How does the brain know that part of the ...
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134 views

Cell proliferation limit and senescence of embryonic stem cells and fibroblasts

I am trying to understand the importance of proliferation limits and cell senescence. In particular, I would like to compare the proliferation limit of Embryonic Stem cells (ES) and fibroblasts (which ...
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489 views

Is there a relationship between efficiency of cellular metabolism and warm-blooded-ness?

My BIO 101 book states that when human cells convert glucose to ATP, the process is only approx 35% efficient, and much of the potential energy is lost as heat. However, that heat is useful to us in ...
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1answer
122 views

Which cells are responsible for the extracellular matrix remodeling?

I am studying a case of tendinopathies induced by an alteration of how the extracellular matrix is being remodeled. From my understanding there has to be a careful balance of MMP (metallproteinases) ...
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2answers
88 views

How extensive is CD47?

CD47 aka the "don't eat me" signal has recently been claimed to be expressed on all tumor cells. This doesn't seem to corroborate with other cell-biology experiments. On what other cells is CD47 ...
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124 views

Can in the case of multiple sclerosis (MS), a too high osmotic pressure in the nerve, lead to a high intracellular concentration of potassium?

Can in the case of multiple sclerosis (MS), a too high osmotic pressure in the nerve, lead to a high intracellular concentration of potassium, and also lead to 'pumping up' of nerve cells, which then ...
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288 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 ...
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103 views

Creating a cell, not from another cell. Will it be possible?

If some time in the future, we can know exactly what a cell (for example simple prokaryote bacteria) contains, (I mean, exactly which molecules, the shape of them, the density of each, everything), ...
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607 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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74 views

What causes Paresthesia (Pins and Needles) at a cellular level?

I've looked it up in plenty of places like the Wikipedia page and such, and it is clear that the most common cause of Paresthesia is either a fair amount of pressure on a specific patch of skin ...
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83 views

Improving transformation efficiencies- induce supercoiling?

From my limited knowledge of science, I know transformation can be one of the hardest step in cloning, and that a large amount of research/trial and error has been done to improve on this step. I've ...
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272 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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105 views

Number of spindle fibres during Metaphase?

During metaphase, the chromosomes are arranged on the equatorial plate and are attached to spindle fibres. After S phase, can the cell be said to attain the configuration of 4n? Also, during ...
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628 views

Multi-nucleated cells: advantages and examples?

This question arises because I saw that monocytes and leukocytes are commonly called 'mononuclear cells' in the scientific literature. The implication of course being that other immune sub-types are ...
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2answers
632 views

Advice on Cell Biology texts by Alberts

I am currently reading "The Chemistry of Life" by Rose. It's a great book (to me as a lay reader at least) and an interesting topic so I am interested in pursuing some of the further reading he ...
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319 views

Under what circumstances will a human neuron divide?

I read somewhere that a mature neuron loses its ability to divide, except for very specific situations. I was unable to find the description of those situations. What are they? (I'm sorry I'm not ...
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82 views

How do detergents get in hydrophobic membrane interior?

According to Molecular And Cellular Biology (Stephen L. Wolfe), Membranes disperse almost instantaneously if exposed to a nonpolar environment or to detergents, which are amphipathic molecules ...
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96 views

What is the smallest oligocelluar organism?

What is the smallest oligocelluar organism? How many cells does it have? EDIT The question is motivated by this comment@Philosophy.SE EDIT as recommended in comments I'm looking for an example of ...
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80 views

Why are transmembrane proteins difficult to crystallise?

I know that in vivo there are a lot fewer transmembranous proteins in general, and that they are produced at a lower rate than their free counterparts. This is mainly because transmembrane proteins ...
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1answer
94 views

Are there oligocellular organisms in nature and, if so, what are they like?

I'd think protozoans can be oligocellular, but I haven't found any examples, and I'm curious to know what is the minimum number of cells an organism can have other than a single cell.
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Why does alcohol cause the hemolysis of RBC in a large proportion?

I had today an experiment that we put 95% alcohol to the blood which made it completely transparent so hemolysis must have occurred. I started to think about the reasons. I think that this is because ...
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325 views

How does ubiquitin recognize misfolded proteins?

Misfolded proteins are tagged by ubiquitin and then are destroyed by proteasomes. How does ubiquitin know which protein to tag?
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96 views

Time spent in phases of cell cycle

I am looking for references to papers containing the time intervals spent in different phases of the cell cycle (ej., G0, G1, S, G2, M for eukaryotes) for different cells. In particular, I am ...
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772 views

Which human cells have the longest and shortest lifespan?

Which cells in a human have the longest lifespan? Which cell has the shortest lifespan?
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153 views

Reason behind formation of different shapes of cell

I have always wondered how cells are modified to give them a specific shape. On what specific part of a cell does gene regulation act for giving the shape ?
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1answer
305 views

Lifespan of connective tissue cells

This post is regarding a follow up on my initial post on "Properties and life cycle of chondrocytes and tenocytes". I am elaborating on my question on the lifespan of tenocytes and chondrocytes. ...
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3answers
178 views

Aerobic vs anaerobic respiration comparison

The following graphs compare glucose decomposition in yeasts (in anaerobic vs aerobic conditions respectively) My question is, why doesn't the first one look like a straight line as the second one ...
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2answers
474 views

How does formaldehyde/PBS or methanol fixation of cells affect lysosomal pH?

The question is fairly simple - does formaldehyde or methanol fixation in preparation for immunocytochemistry/immunofluorescent staining affect the pH of the lysosomes? Some background: I'm trying to ...
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1answer
65 views

Randomness in living systems

The point of my question is not to talk about events that are uncontrolled by living organisms. My question is about controlled randomness, or I'd like to say adaptive random process. Process that are ...
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1answer
389 views

How to convince suspension cells to adhere more tightly?

I'm developing a cell-based assay in 96-well plates that requires adherent cells, as they need to be washed at least twice during the protocol. I'm using in-house strains of HT1080 cells (some ...
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1answer
119 views

Regarding TIMP and MMP enzymes

Are there substances that can promote TIMP enzyme production, or MMP enzyme production or supression in tendons? Are there medical tests that measure quantities of MMP and TIMP enzymes in tendons?
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300 views

What's the distinction between a tetrad and a synaptonemal complex in meiosis?

What's the distinction between a tetrad and a synaptonemal complex in meiosis? Are they synonyms? I ask because the concepts seem very closely related, but it seems like there may be a subtle ...