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 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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112 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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70 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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509 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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196 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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61 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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101 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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188 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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312 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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530 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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903 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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130 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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47 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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362 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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157 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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179 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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657 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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281 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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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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396 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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3answers
463 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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114 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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604 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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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
639 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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348 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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94 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
105 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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371 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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87 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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322 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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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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162 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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1answer
265 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 ...
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1answer
459 views

Is collagen supplementation useless?

When collagen is digested is it broken up into usable components that the body can use to produce its own collagen? What evidence is there that supplementing with collagen type I & II etc.. can ...
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99 views

Properties and life cycle of chondrocytes and tenocytes

Questions regarding chondrocytes and tenocytes: Do these cells replicate, or are they regenerated from mature stem cells? How often are these cells regenerated? How long do they live? Do they ...
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1answer
573 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
170 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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8k 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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137 views

Regarding TIMP and MMP enzymes

Are there substances that can promote TIMP enzyme production, or MMP enzyme production or supression in tendons? Are there medical tests that measure quantities of MMP and TIMP enzymes in tendons?
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73 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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1answer
33 views

Where can I find a transcriptome of a normal uveal melanocyte?

I am looking for a database where I could find a transcriptome (say obtained with a microarray analysis) of one (or ideally many) normal uveal melanocytes ?
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1answer
138 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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359 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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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 ...
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What metabolically happens when an egg fuses with the nucleus of a somatic cell

In stem cell biology, it is recognized that embryonic stem cells are transcriptionally inactive for the first 3 days of development. However, during somatic cell nuclear transfer, the nucleus is ...
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Is the eukaryotic nucleus composed of a single or double membrane?

I know that it is usually considered a double membrane like those surrounding mitochondria and chloroplasts, but I read a review that stated "according to topological details it is actually a single ...