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
1answer
195 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
228 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
348 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
78 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?
1
vote
1answer
75 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?
6
votes
1answer
224 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
161 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?
3
votes
2answers
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
170 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?
6
votes
1answer
183 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Can you consider a human as alive, or is it the cells on the body that are alive?

Sorry if this question seems strange, but in the recent time I have been interested in the question of what life is and how you can define life. My question: How long can individual cells live on a ...
3
votes
0answers
69 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
132 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
104 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
293 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
55 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
17k views

Do animal cells have vacuoles?

I overheard a rather heated argument about whether or not animal cells have vacuoles. One person said that they do, but they're much smaller than vacuoles in plant cells. The other person said they ...
2
votes
3answers
88 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
342 views

Are there records of monozygotic twins in which one experiences androgen insensitivity syndrome

I have given my high school biology students the thought experiment of "What would happen if a researcher induced twinning of a female zygote and then replaced one of the X Chromosomes with a copy of ...
4
votes
1answer
145 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.
2
votes
1answer
76 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
635 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
223 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
1
vote
2answers
254 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
63 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.
2
votes
1answer
117 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
0
votes
2answers
365 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
406 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Does pheomelanin have a useful biological function?

Melanin is a natural pigment that is categorized into two main forms, eumelanin and pheomelanin. It's well documented in the science literature that increased eumelanin levels reduces the risk of ...
4
votes
2answers
917 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
429 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
676 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)?
9
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
132 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
46 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
49 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
46 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). ...
5
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
466 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
288 views

How are different types of cells created from zygote?

In the process of mitosis that starts from zygote, how do different cells appear? What happens that some cells become one type and some another? For example, is there a cell that divides into a ...
0
votes
1answer
229 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
108 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), ...
8
votes
1answer
304 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
173 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. ...
6
votes
2answers
577 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there an advantage to linear chromosomes?

The DNA copying enzymes have a hard time working to the end of a chromosome. For circular chromosomes this is not a problem, since there is not a sharp 'end'. However, for a linear chromosome, without ...
3
votes
2answers
91 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 ...