The study of the molecular processes of the nucleus and cell function.

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7k views

Agarose vs agar? Why do DNA gels use agarose only and how do you obtain agarose from agar?

Agar is a relatively cheap substance from red algae. And it contains a saccharide agarose as well as a small amount of pectin. Agar is used for culture plates as is, but for DNA gels a grade of ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

Can I use PCR buffer instead of cDNA synthesis buffer?

I am using Fermentase First strand cDNA synthesis kit but its buffer is over. I need to work today but I have not access to any sorce currently. I have PCR buffer in the lab. Can I use PCR buffer ...
7
votes
2answers
219 views

Can forensic DNA analysis be used to generate a visual approximation of a suspect?

In light of the current US supreme court case, I'm curious if enough information can be teased out of a DNA sample to get a "reasonable" approximation of the suspect (never mind the legality). I ...
3
votes
1answer
515 views

Why re-label the strand ends in 3' DNA labelling?

I have a problem with a molecular biology question; I don’t understand how DNA 3’ labelling works. I took a diagram from my lesson and tried to understand with it; this is what I understood. If I’m ...
3
votes
1answer
697 views

Difference between “transcriptional activity” and “RNA expression”

I am working with a network object where the nodes are different events in molecular biology. Specifically; Catalytic activity of X, RNA expression of X, GTP-bound activity of X, Kinase activity of ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Very high 260/230 absorbance ratio of an RNA sample

After my most recent RNA extraction, the RNA samples had very high 260/230 absorbance ratios, (ranging from 5 to 25). I've never gotten numbers like this and I know the ratio is supposed to be ~2 in ...
6
votes
1answer
452 views

How does Topoisomerase II inhibition affect cancer cells?

Topoisomerase II poisons represent some of the most important and widely prescribed anticancer drugs currently in clinical use. These drugs encompass a diverse group of natural and synthetic ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Molecular cause of cramps, spasms and strengthening in muscles? (incl. intro to muscle contraction)

When motor neurons are stimulated to trigger an action potential, this potential propagates down the spine, eventually reaching a neuromuscular junction, causing the release of acetylcholine (ACh). ...
4
votes
2answers
251 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
7k views

What is the difference between SOLiD, 454, and Illumina next-gen sequencing?

I've started teaching myself about next-generation sequencing in preparation for a new job, and I'm wondering what the main differences are between the 454, SOLiD, and Illumina/Solexa machines, in ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How does formaldehyde cause protein-DNA crosslinking?

How does formaldehyde cause protein-DNA crosslinking? I would guess it's because the strongly polar water molecule interacts strongly with polar residues on a protein-DNA complex, and adding a less ...
3
votes
2answers
86 views

How common is bacterial mediated transformation? In plants? In animal cells?

The most common method to transform plants is by soaking plant tissue in cultures of agrobacteria (this is not their current classification) which transfer DNA into the plants. Is lateral gene ...
4
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1answer
304 views

Why am I getting low transformation efficiency with DB3.1 E.coli cells?

I am making competent cells using DB3.1 E. coli cells. Even after following the exact protocol (Inoue method for ultracompetent cells) given in 'Sambrook and Russel', I am not getting transformation ...
5
votes
1answer
135 views

What is the extent of the effect of Tris on E. coli?

I was a fool and dissolved my antibiotic (Kanamycin) into Tris Buffer rather than H₂O. The Kanamycin still seems to be active but a fellow labmate mentioned that Tris messes around with the membrane ...
6
votes
1answer
259 views

Why does not the host produce any immune response to antiserum antibodies?

When an antiserum is injected to a person to protect oneself from a certain disease, the antibodies in the antiserum come from another organism. The question is: Why don't the injected antibodies ...
2
votes
1answer
205 views

Can Taq polymerase be used instead of polymerase Vent exo (-)?

Instead of using polymerase Vent exo (-), can I go with the usual Taq polymerase? Do the PCR conditions change (the temperature and master mix concentrations ) in the these two conditions? Do the ...
3
votes
1answer
117 views

High protein turnover rate and protease inhibitors?

I work with mice, and I want to see what happens to some specific proteins in the mouse brain after IL-1b injection (intracerebroventricular). I have a problem: when I measure the mRNA and protein ...
6
votes
2answers
22k views

What is the function of the RNA primer in DNA replication?

During DNA replication, RNA primase puts an RNA primer in the lagging strand. What is the function of this RNA primer? Why can't the enzymes put DNA fragments directly?
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Bacterial cell lysis - what solution to use?

I am trying to determine how quickly detergents act on bacterial cells (cell lysis). I would like to compare some detergents at difference concentrations for bacteriolytic activity. I don’t care about ...
10
votes
1answer
108 views

When running a gel, what could cause a standard to run “faster” than usual?

We are running a gel on the products of a restriction digest to determine the size of an insert. We know the vector backbone size should be ~2.9kb; however, the standard appears to be running too ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using beta-galactosidase compared to luciferase as a reporter gene?

In the University labs, we have used Beta-galactosidase as a reporter gene to quantify the expression initiated by the stress-response promoter in yeast. This was done by exposing one of the two ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

Histone marks mechanism

I am slightly confused about the mechanisms that makes histone modifications associate with gene expression. That is, H3K36me3 is believed to be present in actively transcribed genes, H3K27me3 in ...
6
votes
2answers
112 views

DAM enzyme distances move along the genome

I am fusing a protein with a Dam enzyme (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dam_(methylase)). The idea is that when the protein binds to the DNA, the Dam enzyme will start methylating nearby GATC sites, ...
5
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1answer
1k views

High Glucose vs Low Glucose DMEM for Cell Culture

I've noticed that in mammalian cell culture, there are often two types of DMEM available. High Glucose and Low Glucose. Does it matter which type I use for culturing of cells (e.g. Hela or HEK293)? ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

DNA as an acid? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does DNA react in all of the ways most other acids do? Even if DNA is made up of nucleotide bases, it is said to be an acid. Why is this?
3
votes
2answers
228 views

Do Yeast Insertion constructs revert?

If I insert a new gene with a yeast integrating plasmid and select with a drop out culture once, can I assume that the newly integrated gene will stay in the strain without putting selective pressure ...
7
votes
1answer
47 views

circulating microRNAs are functional?

In plasma and other body fluids, miRNAs can be found. They not only originate from dying cells but also from active secretion and are usually 'packed' into vesicles/lipo-proteic structures (i.e. ...
8
votes
2answers
193 views

How are antibodies designed?

Antibodies have the ability of recognising highly specific peptide sequences and bind it at their antigen-binding site. This ability is harnessed as a tool in research to purify target structures in ...
2
votes
3answers
83 views

Is DNA mutation locally energetically stabilizing the DNA molecule

I am no biologist, but as a physicist, a spontaneous mutation (seen as a chemical transformation) should lower the energy of the system, at least locally. So I wonder if any research has been done ...
8
votes
2answers
320 views

Do antibiotics attenuate immune response on subsequent exposure to same bacteria?

A healthy immune response to a bacterial infection includes "memory" to permit the body to thwart subsequent exposure to same bacteria. What are the dynamics of using antibiotics on initial exposure ...
13
votes
1answer
933 views

What did Richard Feynman contribute to molecular biology?

Some time ago, I read James Gleick's "Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman", a wonderful biography of Feynman and, by extension, most of modern physics. In this book, the author mentions ...
9
votes
1answer
121 views

E. coli values for [enzymes], [metabolites] and kinetic rates

In my attempt to create a metabolic model of E. coli, I have found a comprehensive list of metabolic reactions and their stoichiometry. The one I am currently using is E. coli model iJO1366 (more ...
8
votes
1answer
130 views

How realistic is to use DNA for long term storage?

This is mainly a followup question to the recent paper Next-Generation Digital Information Storage in DNA. Personally, while I agree about the data density of the format, I can't help point out the ...
3
votes
2answers
170 views

In cancer, why do cells duplicate themselves?

In regards to cancer why do cells replicate themselves? If it's a mutation, what kind of mutation would this be classified as?
5
votes
5answers
333 views

What is the lowest common denominator of cancer?

What is the lowest level attribute that all cancers share? Also, what is the highest level attributes that all cancers share?
3
votes
1answer
115 views

Optimization of annealing temperature

I am trying to optimize annealing temperature for some primer pairs. I have tried optimization using cDNA, genomic DNA, Taq polymerase, phusion polymerase etc., but every time I am either getting ...
8
votes
1answer
179 views

Is there a program that simulates biology on a molecular level?

Is there a computer program that simulates biology on a molecular level? Software that has rules that simulates the rules of molecular-biology?
2
votes
2answers
175 views

Do the simplest bacteria have ribosomes and helicase?

I find it interesting that all life on earth use DNA. I've seen video on how helicase and ribosomes work together to copy DNA sequences (to RNA) with helicase then recreate them using ribosomes. Does ...
3
votes
2answers
193 views

How do I create a probe for in situ hybridization?

I tried to make the probe several times but it failed again and again. It usually turns out that the probe after hydrolysis is very very short (maybe around 50nt). I did not check the RNA before ...
6
votes
1answer
221 views

What's the state of the art in designing and creating your own life forms?

What's the state of the art for solving the following problem. You imagine a set of features that you want a life-form to have. Just to take an arbitrary example, say you want your life-form to have ...
4
votes
2answers
84 views

How do proteins and genes participate in learning?

I am a computer scientist that studies biology and bioinformatics. In the last weeks, I have been trying to study new research directions, and I would like to deepen my knowledge on the role and ...
7
votes
1answer
412 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
92 views

Is there a Reverse Transcription optimization for long, 9kb, transcripts?

Has anyone optimized RT for long transcripts (9kb)? The downstream application will be PCR amplification and Illumina library prep. It will be trivial to make internal primers sets for the PCR that ...
11
votes
2answers
372 views

How do antioxidants affect human metabolism?

I'd like to know how antioxidants affect human metabolism and which ones are essential for metabolic processes.
10
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
114 views

Bicoid regulation of hunchback

I'm learning about development via the example of Drosophila embryogenesis. I understand that bicoid regulates hunchback, among other genes. My question whether the regulation is direct or indirect? ...
4
votes
1answer
54 views

How to find ion/water channel related genes

We now have a collection of transcripts at hand. We would like to investigate some particular ones, which are ion/water channel related. How to perform this? Could anybody point out how to find the ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

How does translational coupling work in prokaryotes?

Today I heard about a phenomenon called "translational coupling", where the translation of one protein influences the translation of another protein. The messenger RNA levels don't seem influenced. ...
6
votes
1answer
454 views

How Do Adherent Cells In Culture Attach To A Plastic Dish?

I am particularly interested in MC3T3-E1 cells (mouse fibroblasts), which are adherent cells. Are hemidesmosomes involved in anchoring the cells to the plastic dish? What (if any) other molecules are ...
6
votes
1answer
775 views

Does anyone have any TOPO directional cloning tips? [closed]

I'm just about to start working on a TOPO cloning after I couldn't get it to work with standard restriction/ligation. Does anyone have any tips for TOPO cloning?