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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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 ...
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85 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 ...
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748 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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165 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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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 ...
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54 views

What percentage of a cell's volume is occupied by protein?

I was looking at one of David Goodsell's illustrations of a cell: And it seems to suggest a very crowded picture of the intracellular environment. Just how crowded are cytoplasms? What percentage ...
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153 views

Chromosome and chromatid numbers during cell cycle phases

A diploid cell in G1 has 6 chromosomes. How many chromosomes and how many chromatids are present in each of the following stages? Here is what I am guessing G1: 6 chromosomes ; 6 chromatids G2: 6 ...
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36 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 ...
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227 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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160 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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94 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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88 views

How does a Na+/H+ antiporter drive osmosis in this “osmotic motor”?

This recent paper in Cell describes a cancer cell using osmotic pressure to move in confined spaces. The cell preferentially inserts Na+/H+ antiporters in the leading membrane. I want someone to ...
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357 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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145 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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113 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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954 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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174 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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551 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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2k 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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61 views

What is the mechanism by which lamins regulate gene expression?

The heterochromatin is generally localized at the nuclear periphery (also near nuclear lamina), whereas active genes are preferentially found in the nuclear interior. Children with ...
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460 views

Are there any multicellular forms of life which exist without consuming other forms of life in some manner?

The title is the question. If additional specificity is needed I will add clarification here. Are there any multicellular forms of life which exist without requiring the consumption (destruction) of ...
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171 views

What is MHC haplotype?

What is MHC haplotype? I did check out the wiki article, but did not understand. (I have not studied biology since last 8 years and now I am going through it because I need it for my research. So if ...
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1k 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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Name two reasons why it is impossible to determine a gene's nucleotide sequence from the amino acid sequence of the polypeptide

I can only think of one reason, which is because different codons can specify the same amino acids. However I am having trouble thinking of another reason.
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129 views

positive and negative feedback

I want to know more about positive feedback in gene regulation and to know the similarity and differences between positive and negative feedbacks.
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74 views

What is an operon?

What is an operon in a eukaryotic cell, and how does it regulate the expression of genes? I've already read Wikipedia, but it is not enough clear to me. Unfortunately my knowledge in genetics are very ...
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175 views

Breakdown of energy expenditure at the level of a single cell

The metabolic rate measures how much energy an organism expends over a unit of time. Its breakdown for the human body in terms of its functions is well documented : so much for the heart, for the ...
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156 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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793 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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281 views

What is our skin made up of?

Again, it is a basic question. What is our skin made up of? is it made up of many cells arranged in a systematic way or is it just like any layer say of a book?? what is the difference? where is the ...
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90 views

Trying to differentiate between the three muscle tissues with small pictures

For an assignment I have to differentiate the three types of muscle tissues in these three pictures . I'm having difficulty seeing the striations and branches etc. because the pictures are so small. ...
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112 views

Transmembrane Protein Problem

Problem A transmembrane protein has 1000 aa. The 5th aa is found on the external side of the cell membrane. It interacts with the aqueous environment outside the cell. Amino acid 90 is inside the ...
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Are there known downsides to removing UV mutation hotspots to prevent some skin cancers (Genetic sunblock)?

Khavari et al. recently demonstrated that a significant fraction of one of the major forms of skin cancer (cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas) are associated with a mutated KNSTRN gene (a protein ...
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111 views

A photosynthesizing mouse?

N. Shubin's Your Inner Fish makes the point several times that there is a lot of functional similarity between some seemingly remote gene cousins. If that needed reinforcing we have the spider-goat, ...
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117 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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145 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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13k views

What type of cell do you start with in Meiosis?

Okay, I was learning about mitosis and meiosis in school and had a question. I know in Mitosis you first start off with a Diploid (2N) cell and then end up with two ...
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225 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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25 views

Can methylation of a promoter induce gene expression in some rare cases?

Can methylation of a promoter induce gene expression in some rare cases? I've read somewhere that methylation of an intron can induce gene expression (eg. Igf2). How is that even possible? Thank ...
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74 views

What effects does being cryogenically frozen have on a person's body? [closed]

I'm wondering what effects are known to happen to a person's cells when a person is cryogenically frozen, especially those that need to be overcome in order to "bring them back to life." From a ...
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55 views

MHC restricted peptide

What is an MHC restricted peptide? I got this definition from wikipaedia, but cannot exactly extract what the phrase MHC restricted peptide means. MHC-restricted antigen recognition, or MHC ...
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116 views

Can I force evolution in a group of cells by removing all the smaller cells?

I actually have algae growing in water in a container. I was thinking if it was possible to filter the water so that all the small cells will be filtered out and only the bigger ones will remain to ...
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784 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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390 views

What plastic eating organisms are there to help with plastic in landfills problem?

I see some popular science articles on the plastic eating bacteria and fungi appearing on the web since 2009. Most of the articles praise discoveries, because such organisms promise to break down ...
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231 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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894 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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197 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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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 ...
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108 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 ...