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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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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71 views

Cell Respiration and Oxidative Phosphorylation

Why and how does the proton travelling through the stalked particle in the inner mitochondrial membrane, cause a conformational change in the ATPase?
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73 views

Is it possible to give a person an allergic reaction in a very specific place?

Can I give a person an allergic reaction at a very specific spot in a tissue? And if so, how accurate can i get?
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483 views

Could hydrogen replace oxygen in cellular respiration?

I was wondering what oxygen actually does in the body. I have seen a few answers to other questions that involve the electron chain and I am really not sure what that is. So I was wondering what ...
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144 views

What is the biochemical reason for mental fatigue?

Is it known exactly why the brain needs sleep? What's dropping low / going high when we experience mental fatigue? I can see why low glucose could result in mental fatigue, are other reasons known?
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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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145 views

Does an allergic reaction kill body cells?

I have wondered what actually happens in an allergic reaction that causes the symptoms such as pain, rash etc. Is it possible that the human body actually kills its own cells in the process?
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62 views

Microscopy Book Suggestions

I've learned programming through great book recommendations, many from the Stack Exchange series of sites. I'm hoping to take this approach to gaining a fundamental understanding of how fluorescence ...
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2k views

Why do red blood cells contain haemoglobin and not myoglobin?

So I am reading about muscles and I come across myoglobin. It has a much higher affinity for oxygen than haemoglobin. So why have animals evolved to have haemoglobin in red blood cells, rather than ...
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91 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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253 views

Effects of exercise on the brain

I am well aware of the phenomenon of neurogenesis induced by exercise, as well as the dopamine release that results from exercise. I am really interested in neuropsychology and the effects of exercise ...
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53 views

Cell cycle selection

Is it possible to select from colonies only cells which are at a certain stage in the cell cycle? E.g. if I was trying to analyse expression of a number of genes during different stages of the cell ...
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962 views

Why can't a human regenerate limbs like some other species?

When a person's arm is amputated, the arm will no longer be able to grow back. However, in salamanders, the arm actually grows back. In comparison to a human, what is really happening to the cells ...
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83 views

Simulating Cell differentiation

I'm a computer programmer deeply interested in Biology. I wish to write a computer simulation for cell differentiation. I understand there will be seemingly impossible challenges in doing this. But ...
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1k views

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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104 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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65 views

Experiments in vitro vs those with dead organisms and fixated tissue

Does the term in vitro necessarily imply that the organism/organs/cells of study are dead? If not, is there an alternative latin term to refer to studies of dead biological matter ? (e.g. in ...
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461 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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190 views

Would two species of yeast with similar genome sizes have the same number of genes or chromosomes?

Similar organisms generally have similar genome sizes. Given this, would two species of yeast have the same number of genes and chromosomes? Edit: Fixed with thanks to @daniel-standage
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59 views

In a human, what non-germline cells have the highest/lowest mass?

I'm just curious which cells are largest/smallest in the human body other than sperm/ova.
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98 views

Where does an organism store reserves of amino acids?

Where does an organism store reserves of the amino acids it needs to build various proteins it needs -- in the liver ? in the blood ? in every cell ? Thanks
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169 views

Do any cells change in size or mass as mammals grow?

That is to say, are there cells that, between infancy and adulthood, get larger? Or is all growth done entirely via cell division? I'm wondering if it is safe to assume that the approximate number ...
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2answers
279 views

Why do living organisms replicate itself or procreate

Why do living organisms spontaneously replicate itself or "procreate" (my understanding is that it does). From a uni-cellular and micro-organism point of view. Is there some sort of stimulant in the ...
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497 views

“Acellular” designation for organisms

Why do some biologists refer to single-celled organisms such as Amoeba and Paramecium as acellular (i.e., without cells) rather than unicellular (i.e., one cell)?
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748 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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126 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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45 views

What is the title of Darwin's paper on cellular structure?

I read somewhere that Darwin wrote a paper that dealt with cellular structure, but I've been unable to find the title or contents of the paper because Darwin wrote such a volume of material. What is ...
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45 views

Patch-Clamping Neurons Resources

Are there any lectures available on Patch-Clamping? Were can I find a mathematical model of Patch-Clamp? (that can be easily implemented in matlab). I have found some step-by-step protocols on ...
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44 views

Similarities Between Cells?

Which of the following are usually identical between a lung cell and a brain cell, from the same person, assuming that they are normal (non-cancerous) cells? Circle your choice(s). ...
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322 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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146 views

Why is most tissue cellular?

Most tissue is comprised of cells. Why? It would seem inefficient to have so many individual nucleus, membranes, etc.? Specifically: Not all tissue is cellular. Much tissue is extracellular matrix. ...
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171 views

Is there sufficient evidence that human cells are not intelligent? [closed]

Being structurally composed of one or more cells, which are the basic units of life. Yet within a cell, there seems to be the same behaviors that define life: Regulation of the internal environment ...
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1answer
601 views

What is itching?

What exactly at the molecular level is itching? What physiological function does itching serve, if any? I cant remember the reference but a PLCb3 null mice lost the itch phenotype, so presumably it is ...
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274 views

Does DNA contain information beyond protein synthesis?

It's well known that genetic information is stored in DNA. As far as I know, DNA only has information at the protein level. What about higher levels, such as organelles, cells, tissue, organs? Is ...
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2answers
89 views

What are the different, high-level programs along which a eukaryotic animal cell can follow?

What are the different, high-level, disjunct (mutually exclusive at one particular point in time) programs or pathways along which a eukaryotic animal cell can follow? Examples of programs would ...
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358 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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445 views

What triggers meiosis in gonadal cells?

What specific biochemical processes are involved in inducing meiosis rather than mitosis? Why are gonadal cells the only cells in the human body which do undergo meiosis?
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113 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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1answer
569 views

How long can a unicellular organism live without nutrition? What happens after that? Does it depend on the domain?

Say I have three unicellular organisms: a eukariote, a bacterium and an archaeon. If I cut off nutrition from them at the same time, how long will it take for them to die? What will their death look ...
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65 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 ...
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1answer
604 views

Does every mitochondrion in a cell contain the same DNA?

I know that mitochondria of eukaryotes have their own DNA, more similar to that of bacteria than to the rest of the cell's DNA. I also know that a cell can have plenty of mitochondria, and I ...
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324 views

Why aren't mitochondria and plastids considered symbiotes of eukaryotic cells?

Mitochondria and plastids have their own DNA, their own membranes, and their reproduction is not tied to the reproductive cycle of the host cell. However, they are considered to be organelles rather ...
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90 views

Does a theory exist for the formation of thylakoid structure?

I'm interested in how the structure of the thylakoid forms into its characteristic highly rugose stacks of grana. What causes the thylakoid to invaginate and self-associate, albeit with what appear to ...
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1answer
103 views

How much energy does a cell expend maintaining its contents?

In software engineering, an analogy is sometimes made using biological cells. I would like to know whether it has basis in fact. People say (Alan Kay was first) that "objects" in software should be ...
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343 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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1answer
81 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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114 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 ...
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1answer
308 views

How fast do different organs turn over cells?

It is said that the human body turns over all cells or molecules in 7 year cycles. This is not quite correct, because there are different organs changing at different speeds. My interest is what is ...
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1answer
165 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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157 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 ...