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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

6
votes
2answers
549 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
757 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
623 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
173 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, ...
6
votes
1answer
77 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
11k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
473 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
4answers
90 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
168 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
229 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
votes
1answer
247 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
303 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
votes
1answer
37 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
6
votes
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
votes
1answer
811 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
337 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
62 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
120 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
4k 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.
6
votes
1answer
201 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
450 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
136 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
187 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
69 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
141 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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
306 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
242 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 ...
6
votes
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
votes
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 ...
5
votes
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?
5
votes
2answers
148 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
110 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
79 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
votes
2answers
649 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
49 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
votes
1answer
212 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
votes
1answer
93 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
votes
1answer
264 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
197 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
4k 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?
5
votes
2answers
93 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
81 views

Are There Exceptions to Animal Cells not Having Cell Walls?

In the January Issue of SciAm (discussing Haemophilia): When damage occurs to blood vessels, exposure of the blood to collagen in the cell walls and material released by the cells triggers the ...
5
votes
1answer
713 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
152 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
707 views

How fast do cancer cells divide, compared to normal cells?

This question suggests that we have, on average, 50-70 billion cell divisions per day. I just read that cancer cells divide more often and are therefore more prone to radiation. I am wondering, for ...
5
votes
2answers
35 views

Regarding cellular self-destruction

I heard and read telomere 'health' or 'length' ( if that's right ) has alot to do with cell 'health'. If telomere 'abilities' are 'restored' to a 'healthier' status then the cell it is in functions as ...