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 are the differences between cancer and tumour?

What are the differences between cancer and tumour? I mean is it in the DNA or shape or something else... And how can a benign tumour turn into a malignant tumour? The body has a lot of tumours all ...
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3answers
20k views

Do animal cells have vacuoles?

I overheard a rather heated argument about whether or not animal cells have vacuoles. One person said that they do, but they're much smaller than vacuoles in plant cells. The other person said they ...
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320 views

Alternatives to trypsin for cell detachment?

I have ran out of trypsin and need to passage my cells (immortalized chondrocytes, C28/I2) today or tomorrow. I have been out of town and forgot to order more trypsin. I was wondering if there are ...
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594 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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766 views

What is the main general difference between Mitosis and Meiosis?

I found such a clause: The general principle is that mitosis creates somatic cells and meiosis creates germ cells. However, I cannot agree. Each gametogonium needs to go through mitosis before ...
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660 views

Methods of nuclear transfection - nuclear transport

I am reading through the ENCODE papers, which is taking me well out of my comfort zone in terms of modern laboratory techniques. At the risk of asking a question which may well be thoroughly answered ...
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1answer
174 views

How Do Large Ocean Viruses Form Their Own Organelles?

Several large viruses (Arslan 2011) form their own organelles within the amoebae they invade. How do these organelles form? Reference: Arslan, D., Legendre, M., Seltzer, V., Abergel, C., Claverie, ...
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80 views

Where do the electrons and protons formed from biological reactions go?

In a reaction like disulphide bond formation protons and electrons are released. These particles are presumably damaging in high levels. What systems are in place to prevent a build up of electrons ...
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12k views

How do archaea relate to eukaryotes and bacteria?

I've read that they all share some genes, internal structure, and behaviour with each other, but with different degrees of overlap depending of what the function is. E.g., archaea have some eukaryotic ...
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1answer
486 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 ...
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58 views

Why do mitochondria fuse together?

Contrary to all of the textbook images of mitochondria that I have seen over the years, I had just learned that the mitochondria within a cell form a dynamic branching network along microtubule ...
6
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1answer
42 views

What is a positive epitope fragment

What is a positive epitope fragment? I found one paper on the subject: COBEpro: a novel system for predicting continuous B-cell epitopes by Michael J. Sweredoski and Pierre Baldi
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91 views

Exocytosis of mast cell secretory granules

I've been doing a bit of reading about mast cell degranulation and have become thoroughly lost while trying to understand how the secretory granules are actually secreted. I understand that there are ...
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182 views

How would the human body adjust to sleep times if we were to live in a place with different day lengths?

You sleep at night and are active during the day that's how things work for humans, but theoretically if a human whose parents lived on earth were to be born in another planet resembling earth but the ...
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1answer
249 views

How was the first ribosome theorized to have been made?

Seeing as ribosomes are what help perform the act of translation itself, and the blueprints for they themselves are in nucleotide sequences, how was the first ribosome theorized to have been made? ...
6
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1answer
263 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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1answer
318 views

Computational/mathematical models for predicting phenotype from genotype

Karr, Sanghvi, et al. (2012) propose a whole-cell computational model for predicting phenotype from genotype in Mycoplasma genitalium. Their model simulates myriad cell processes such as DNA ...
6
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1answer
106 views

What allows Valonia ventricosa cells to get so big?

Valonia ventricosa are single celled algae that range between one and few centimeters. In rare cases they can reach sizes exceeding 5cm. Weirdly, a lot of the literature covering these organisms ...
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1answer
119 views

How are synaptic vesicles brought to the synapse?

I'm reading about how synaptobrevin is used to identify synaptic vesicles for tethering near the synaptic cleft. Since neurons have a synapse and dendrites, I'd like to know how exactly the vesicles ...
6
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1answer
859 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
351 views

How similar are Circulating Tumor Cells and Cancer Stem Cells?

Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) are linked with metastasis and their presence can be used to indicate the onset of metastatic cancer. Likewise, the Cancer Stem Cell (CSC) hypothesis suggests that ...
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1answer
131 views

What are the lifetimes of cellular components on organelle or molecular level?

I was thinking that even though I know how generally the cell works, I don't really have a feeling of how volatile it is. I want to know what is the lifetime/turnover rate of different constituents of ...
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3answers
5k views

What is the distinction between chemokines, cytokines, interferons and interleukins?

They all seem to describe molecules of similar function and many people seem to use them interchangeably. Also please include any other similar molecules if I've forgotten any in the list above.
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213 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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1answer
473 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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3answers
137 views

What gaseous substances do humans emit?

Other than CO₂ and Methane what other gases do humans produce or emit? For example, does skin decomposition, or aerobic respiration emit any special gases that people don't normally realize or know ...
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75 views

Macrophage pathogen fixation

Overly simplified, macrophages recognise pathogenic patterns and endocytose anything that matches them. That also works on bacteria, which are quite often very mobile. What if a bacterium was just ...
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193 views

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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1answer
84 views

Why do some internal organs regenerate?

I have been reading about the human liver and zebra fish heart muscle having the ability to regenerate. It seems to me that these organs have very little chance to become damaged or worn out. At the ...
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1answer
203 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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1answer
73 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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1answer
144 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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1answer
119 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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325 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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68 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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1answer
260 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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1answer
89 views

Can NSAIDs impact negatively the healing of tendons?

There are a number of articles regarding NSAIDs having a negative effect on healing conditions like tendonosis and tendinitis. From what I understand the channel through which they reduce inflammation ...
6
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1answer
84 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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4answers
5k 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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150 views

Can botulinum toxin be grown or kept from denaturing in an UNWRAPPED 50 pound hay bale?

Botulinum toxin is the neurotoxin protein created when botulism spores grow. The requirements for growth and/or for keeping the toxin from denaturing would seem to be very difficult to create in bale ...
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3answers
122 views

Studying effects of alcohol on cells

I am wondering about the logistics of a simple experiment with say 3 types of alcohols, and various concentrations of each, with a control(s) I would like to research the effects of alcohol on ...
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2answers
105 views

Problems understanding membrane potential

I understand that membrane potential is the difference of the extracellular and intracellular ionic charges, due to their concentrations. We say that the extracellular space has a charge of 0 and then ...
5
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2answers
680 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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3answers
63 views

What advantage does an enzyme serve over catalysis by the addition of heat energy?

I understand that an enzyme lowers the activation energy, allowing the reaction to run faster, however I am not sure, how it may be favorable during the addition of heat energy. Wouldn't that lower ...
5
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1answer
233 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 ...
5
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1answer
94 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 ...
5
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1answer
397 views

What is the H+ gradient in mitochondria?

I would like to understand what the term H+ Gradient means. I googled this question and found terms such as chemiosmosis and ion gradient being tossed around. I am very new to biology and I do not ...
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2answers
5k 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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2answers
94 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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1answer
90 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 ...