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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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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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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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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163 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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47 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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Are there differing organelle to cytoplasm ratio in animal cells?

Could anyone provide me with examples of cells with high organelle to cytoplasm ratios (heavily packed), and examples of cells with low organelle to cytoplasm ratios (sparsely packed)?
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176 views

Are fish roe unicellular?

Are roe (fish eggs, caviar, etc.) single cells? I have tried looking this up on google (sadly, to no avail), and I am guessing they might be multicellular (like bird eggs) or consist of one cell plus ...
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596 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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111 views

Are all functions of a human cell known? [closed]

Please bear with me as I'm intruding into your world from a computer science background. In programming, once you have created a program, you know all functions of that program. Thus, 100% knowledge ...
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606 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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332 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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225 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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97 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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29 views

Constant or variable number of chiasmata during recombination?

During recombination, is the number of chiasmata consistent for each gamete and are the chiasmata regions consistent within a single organism?
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73 views

Are surface area or volume conserved during cell division?

I am a student of physics of mathematics with very little knowledge of biology. Nevertheless, I am very keen on biophysics and I'm trying to learn the biological concepts that I need on the way. I'm ...
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135 views

Does polyploidy always isolate the polyploids from the diploid source population?

I am receiving conflicting information while researching polyploid speciation. On the one hand, some sources state that a polyploid can only reproduce sexually with polyploids having the same number ...
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66 views

Do non-enzyme catalysed reaction pathways exist?

Can their be a kind of chemical reaction pathway in a cell, that is catalyzed or regulated but NOT necessarily by enzymes? I could not find anything on Google. I have almost no background in biology, ...
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178 views

Mechanism of Muscle Growth

According to this video (sorry for the poor reference but it represents my level of understanding in physiology), muscle grow as a consequence of repairing micro-lesions. How are these micro-lesions ...
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185 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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152 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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115 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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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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113 views

Role of microvilli in cell volume regulation

Does the presence of microvilli on a cell's surface ensure that it's more resistant to cell swelling or lysis in a hypotonic solution, as compared to a normal cell?
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86 views

How do single-celled predators chase other cells?

From my understanding, single celled organisms have been seen avoiding, and chasing, potential food or other organisms. How do they accomplish this? They do not have eyes or ears or a nervous system. ...
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283 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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995 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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Are there human cells, apart from red blood cells and platelets, without a nucleus?

I know that blood platelets and erythrocytes do not have a nucleus. Are there more cells in the human body without a nucleus, such as pancreas, cartilage, or lung cells?
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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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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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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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791 views

What happens to the red blood cell in CaCl₂ solution?

Here's the problem: One red blood cell is placed in a hypertonic solution of NaCl, another is placed in a solution of CaCl2 equimolar with the NaCl solution. What would you expect to happen and why? ...
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360 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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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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290 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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399 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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657 views

What kinds of cells does human saliva contain?

I have heard that our saliva contains cells. What cell types can be found in human saliva?
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Has an artificial symbiotic relationship ever been created?

Have 2 organisms ever been introduced to create a symbiotic relationship that doesn't occur in their natural environment?
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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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Why are red blood cells considered to be cells?

Wikipedia states that a cell is the basic structural, functional and biological unit of all known living organisms. Cells are the smallest unit of life that can replicate independently. It then ...
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123 views

Connect the inner and outer space of cell with a wire, will there be electricity?

There is a potential difference, but ions can not go through wires, right? Though there is a electric field, but there is no electron source, I am thinking the answer is no, or will there be some ...
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69 views

Structure of mitochondrial ribosomes

Is the ribosome found in mitochondrion and choloroplast formed of 30S and 50S subunits as in prokaryotes. I couldn't find any information on internet concerning it. The general wikipedia page has no ...
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224 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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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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220 views

Significance of lipids in biological membranes…?

Membranes are specifically designed by lipids to maintain internal hydrophilic environment in narrow range.There are hydrophobic amino acids among naturally occurring 20 amino acids and as well as ...
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190 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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309 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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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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232 views

Why is DNA double stranded and RNA single stranded? [closed]

Why is DNA present as a double helix structure and RNA as a single helix? What causes the difference between them? Why they are not the same? what is the role of these differences?
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Why MHC class I antigen presentation exist in normal cells?

The book "Kuby Immunology" states that normal infected cells might present antigenic peptides on their surface via MHC class I, but these can't activate naive CD8 cells. Only infected professional ...