A selectively-permeable biological membrane that separates the interior of all cells from the outside environment.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

7
votes
1answer
114 views

What specific membrane adaptations do cells have for saline-rich environs?

Are the cells of marine animals and flora equipped with special ion exchange pumps to mitigate the effects of a saline-rich environment? Or have the cell's membranes adapted through structural ...
6
votes
1answer
574 views

How efficient is the sodium-potassium pump ?

I am reading about transportation of ions in a cell. It is necessary to transport sodium back out and potassium back in, against their electrochemical gradient. This task is carried out by ...
6
votes
3answers
827 views

Why do grapes not shrink when placed in strong sugar solution?

I tried an experiment. First, I placed grapes in pure water(hypotonic solution). The grapes burst because of endosmosis. Then, I placed new set of grapes in strong sugar solution(fully saturated) but ...
6
votes
2answers
552 views

Are cells really the basic unit of all life? [closed]

Please see comments as to the appropriateness of this question on biology SE. All known life on Earth is made up of cells. It is thus safe to say that all known life is characterized by the presence ...
5
votes
1answer
473 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
128 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
195 views

Question about equilibrium potential formula

My biology book says, that the equilibrium potential for an ion with a charge of +1 is: $$E_{ion}= 62mV \biggl(\log\frac{[ion]_{outside}}{[ion]_{inside}}\biggr)$$ Where does the 62 mV come from? How ...
4
votes
2answers
100 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
242 views

If proteins have an overall charge, how do membrane proteins traverse through the hydrophobic region of the plasma membrane?

These two concepts seem almost contradictory, proteins have a net negative charge due to the amino acids in them each having a small negative charge, yet membrane proteins are able to exist traversing ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

Is Active Transport Required For Life?

Is active transport required for all living cells to function? I was under the impression that if a cell doesn't have active transport, it either would lose molecules through the membrane and not be ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

Antihistamine's effect on insulin secretion and tiredness

Antihistamines are known to cause tiredness. The essential hormones of the body are insulin (glucose), parathyroid hormone (calcium) and aldosterone (Na-K ATPase, sodium). I am thinking how this ...
3
votes
1answer
131 views

What molecular processes are involved in pseudopodial extension?

I am curious as to the processes and mechanisms involved in the extension of pseudopodia in amoeba. How does the cell know and control the direction and extent of pseudopodia formation at a molecular ...
3
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
58 views

Why don't surfactants destroy or incorporate into cell membranes?

How do surfactants remain on the surface of pneumocytes without (1) acting as a detergent or (2) the phospholipids getting incorporated into the membranes of pneumocytes... I'm guessing the answer ...
3
votes
0answers
108 views

How is membrane capacitance related to the increased speed of saltatory conduction?

Here is the original question which inspired my question below. As explained by the answers there, the reason saltatory conduction in myelinated neurons is faster than non-myelinated conduction is ...
2
votes
1answer
220 views

Will lipid molecules 'flip-flop' over a membrane without the use of an enzyme?

All of the references to this I can find refer to enzymes like Flippase making it 'easier' or 'more likely' that the translocation will occur, rather than actually make it possible. The following is ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

Inductance in cell

In an animal cell, especially neuron and in particular its axon, while there is electrical resistance and capacitance mechanism in the cell, which play essential roles in the cable theory model of ...
1
vote
2answers
58 views

What are mast cell membranes made out of?

What are mast cell membranes made out of? What would weaken or strengthen them? Web searches bring up a lot of information about mast cells but very little on the membrane. And the Wikipedia page ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

What is the functional significance of the difference in cardiolipin/cholesterol ratio in different membranes?

I have read somewhere that the plasma membrane has little cardiolipin but excess cholesterol whereas the inner mitochondrial membrane is rich in cardiolipin and has little cholesterol.I just wanted to ...
1
vote
1answer
180 views

What is 'calcium conductance'?

What is the meaning of calcium conductance in ion channels. I encountered this in the following text: It was established that the µ and δ opioid receptors open potassium channels, which results ...
1
vote
2answers
216 views

Effect of extracellular molecules on membrane potential

I am reading about the effect of extracellular potassium and chloride on the membrane potential, and now a question has come to my mind about what would happen if we added some molecules that have no ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Could silicon oil block Na+ ion channels in the membrane of an axon and prevent Na+ influx?

Could silicon oil block Na+ ion channels in the membrane of an axon and prevent Na+ influx? I have been wondering if Na+ influx could have been a diluting factor in anterograde fills. If so, could ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

Sodium-Potassium Pump

From my understanding, in the sodium-potassium pump we have Na+ inside the cell and K+ outside the cell, thus forming a so called "salted banana." After reading my textbook I found many statements ...
1
vote
3answers
250 views

Diffusion across cell membranes

I got this question and don't really understand the difference between the answers. Diffusion is (in cell membrane): a) passive by nature, no metabolic energy is needed b) driven process by ...
1
vote
0answers
7 views

Differential Scanning Calorimetry for bacterial membranes

I would like to study the freezing and melting of bacterial membranes and would like to use DSC to obtain the glass transition temperature of the membrane. However, I am unsure where to find such ...
1
vote
0answers
55 views

Osmosis - occurring in both ways?

So I did a prac to identify the osmotic potential of potato tuber cells. There were 5 test tubes with different concentrations of sucrose (0M,0.25M,0.5M,0.75M,1M); a small slice of potato was placed ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

cell uptake prediction

I'm generating random molecules I would like to know if they are able to pass through the cell membrane. Are there any ways (preferably computational) to predict cellular uptake of an organic molecule ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

The relationship between the currents of intracellular and extracellular ions of a cell

In a cell, assume that only sodium, potassium, chloride and calcium ions can cross the membrane and their currents are: $I_{Na}$, $I_{K}$, $I_{Cl}$ and $I_{Ca}$, across the whole membrane. There is ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

Ion Channel gating

I have been studying ion channels and there is one thing i am confused about, gating between open and closed states in channels. Am i right in thinking gating is so fast that it is effectively always ...
0
votes
1answer
20 views

How is bacterial plasma membrane made?

Eukaryotes have ER which manufactures plasma membrane of cells. How is prokaryotic plasma membrane made ? What is the pathway and which enzymes are involved ?
0
votes
0answers
44 views

Domains in cell membrane

How is movement of proteins and lipids between different domains of cell membrane prevented? Why is the noncytosolic layer not able to do lateral movements between domains but cytosolic layer is able ...