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

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Why are some genes dominant over others? What is the mechanism behind it?

If I have a brown eye gene which encodes the protein that is responsible for the brown color and have a blue eye gene as well, what is the reason that my eye color is brown? How does one gene maintain ...
3
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1answer
503 views

How does temperature influence the rate of protein degradation?

For computer modeling purposes, I am looking for some referenced quantitative measurements of the effect(s) of temperature on biochemical reactions. Question In particular, my question is: How does ...
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3answers
2k views

Does a man contain all the genes needed to make a woman?

This question is brought on by a Sci Fi novel I am thinking about writing. The plot device involves a colonist in charge of building a population on a new planet who loses his supply of embryos and so ...
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2answers
2k views

How to find miRNA binding sites on a specific gene?

I am trying to find miRNAs that bind to the 3'UTR of a specific gene. What is the best way of doing that (that is, with a good scoring analysis that is most commonly used by researchers in this area)? ...
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4answers
2k views

How and where, in the human brain, are memories stored?

Background I am a computer programmer who is fascinated by artificial intelligence and artificial neural networks, and I am becoming more curious about how biological neural networks work. Context &...
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2answers
47k 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?
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4answers
816 views

Why are amino acids in biology homochiral?

Why are nearly all amino acids in organisms left-handed (exception is glycine which has no isomer) when abiotic samples typical have an even mix of left- and right-handed molecules?
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1answer
81 views

Can difference in the expression potential of alleles lead to dominance?

Several hour ago I was in thoughts what allele dominance really means on molecular level. As we know from basic genetics, if the organism had Aa type of some gene ...
8
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2answers
287 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 ...
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305 views

How can E. coli proliferate so rapidly?

The E. coli has a genome with approximately 5×106 bp. The main DNA polymerase involved in its chromosome duplication (DNA pol III , the one with highest processivity) can polymerize ~103 nucleotides ...
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2answers
93 views

Why mutations in genes involved in general processes like DNA repair increase the risk of developing specific types of cancer?

For example, mutation in MHS2, which encodes a protein involved in the repair of mismatches that occur during DNA replication, dramatically increases the risk of developing colon cancer. (There are ...
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1answer
103 views

Influence of temperature on protein binding and decay rates

For computer modeling purposes, I am looking for some referenced quantitative measurements of the effect(s) of temperature on the dynamic of biochemical reactions. Question In particular, my ...
13
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1answer
16k views

Why is ATP the preferred choice for energy carriers?

Why is ATP the most prevalent form of chemical energy storage and utilization in most cells?
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1answer
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why is DNA antiparallel? Can it be parallel?

My biology textbook mentions that DNA is antiparallel and it got me wondering... Can DNA be parallel? What would happen if it was parallel? could DNA still replicate right?
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2answers
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On which strand does the promoter sit?

My book keeps giving different indicators as to whether the promoters are on the coding or template strand. It says the -35 region in prokaryotes must be on the coding strand. It also mentions, that ...
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2answers
2k views

Why is there more variation in proteins than genes?

The Genome of a cell or organism is the same as that of the entire organism. However, the proteome of an organism is much greater than that of each cell (unless the organism is unicellular). How do ...
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1answer
111 views

How exactly can dsRNA be introduced to a cell?

Is it just by viruses or are there other means by which it gets into cells, such as plasmid uptake?
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2answers
198 views

A photosynthesizing mouse?

N. Shubin's Your Inner Fish makes the point several times that there is a lot of functional similarity between some seemingly remote gene cousins. If that needed reinforcing we have the spider-goat, ...
2
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1answer
70 views

Why do oncogenes show genetic dominance?

As we know that tumor suppressor gene causes cancer only when both the alleles are recessive in nature.But in case of oncogenes if only one allele is dominant it can cause cancer.Why in case of ...
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2answers
888 views

Are eukaroytic promoters located in the 5' UTR region?

I was wondering if promoter sequences are located on 5'UTR region in eukaryotic organisms?
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1answer
222 views

Examples of how the presence or absence 2'-hydroxyl groups influence physicochemical properties of DNA and RNA

I know, for instance, that RNA is much more succetible to alkaline hydrolysis than DNA and this difference is determined by the presence of 2'-hydroxyl group in ribose. I have also heard that "DNA is ...
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1answer
141 views

How is the rate of transcription influenced by temperature?

How is the rate of transcription influenced by temperature? More precisely, I am looking for an article who quantitatively measured the rate of transcription of an "average gene" and show how this ...
1
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1answer
268 views

How do DNA-binding proteins determine that they're binding to the correct DNA base pairs?

My professor posed this question to the class today - "How do DNA binding proteins specifically bind to base pairs?" He alluded to the different arrangements of hydrogen-bond donor and acceptors in A-...
23
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1answer
751 views

How, on a physical level, does ATP confer energy?

When ATP is used as the energy currency to make, say, reaction X + Y → Z happen, is what happens on a physical level down at the molecular scale that during the reaction ATP + H2O → ADP + Pi  &...
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4answers
11k views

Why we have no enzyme to digest cellulose?

As we know, cellulose is the most abundant polysaccharide in nature. Why don't we have any enzyme to digest cellulose?
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2answers
94 views

How do we find antibiotics?

So the last class of antibiotics were made in 1984 (I think), which makes it appear as though they are hard to find(/design maybe). How is it then they were discovered? Was it by chance? I know some ...
7
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1answer
374 views

Why should phospholipid non-polar tails be “protected” in the membrane bilayer?

lipids are arranged within the membrane with polar head towards the outer side and non polar tails towards inner side, this ensures that the non polar tail is protected from aqueous environment. My ...
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4answers
1k views

Photosynthesis: What Powers the Splitting of Water?

The splitting of water is an endergonic (non-spontaneous) reaction, and thus would require energy (chemical work to be done) in order to happen. In Photosystem II, an enzyme catalyzes this splitting, ...
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483 views

Evolution of endosymbionts?

Mitochondria and plastids in eukaryotes evolved through a process of endosymbiosis. How does an event like a eukaryote engulfing a bacteria, become a part of the genome? Some of these primitive ...
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1answer
150 views

enzymes that stabilize DNA loops

As a follow-up of a previous question, I would like to know what enzymes or protein complexes have been used to manipulate DNA samples into stabilizing DNA loops. I have read that cohesin is one of ...
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2answers
402 views

How are DNA segments selected in PCR?

I understand that in PCR we're able to amplify only selected portions of the DNA... however despite reading it from multiple sources, I cannot figure out how this selection actually takes place. I ...
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4answers
5k views

Why are there both stop and start codons?

Based on my understanding from wikipedia, there is the (RNA) start codon AUG and the stop codons UAA, UGA, UAG. AUG can also encode Methionine, I'm assuming if it appears in the middle of a mRNA ...
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3answers
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How long can I store extracted RNA?

If I extract RNA from a (leaf tissue) sample using a one-step phenol:chloroform extraction, how long can those samples be stored at -80°C? And how many times can I defrost and refreeze them before ...
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1answer
3k 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. ...
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3answers
6k views

Why is the number of PCR cycles limited?

I've been told that the maximum number of cycles in PCR is between 20 and 30. Is this true, and what are the reasons for this limitation?
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1answer
138 views

What are the costs associated with carrying lots of genetic material

What are the costs (if any) associated with carrying lots of genetic material (Big genome size)? energy for copying? raw material for copying? space in the cell? Maintenance cost (matter and energy)...
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1answer
4k views

The effect of the start codon GTG on translation in E. coli

Translation in E. coli is initiated at the start ATG codon, which encodes for the amino acid Methionine (Met). In some cases, the start codon can be GTG, which within the open reading frame (ORF) ...
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1answer
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What causes the colors we see in eyes?

Genetics aside, what are the biochemical reasons the different colours of human irises? Also, related, how does eye colour change, particularly in childhood? (example: my eyes used to be blue, ...
4
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1answer
644 views

Effect of single nucleotide deletion or insertion on primer annealing

How is primer annealing, and, consequently, PCR amplification affected by single nucleotide deletion or insertion inside the primer ? Imagine a primer like this: GCGTCATAAAGGGGACGTG (primer) and ...
4
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2answers
107 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 ...
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1answer
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Why Isolated, recombinant plasmid DNA without any restriction is often detected in agarose gel electrophoresis as three DNA bands?

I don't understand why three bands are found without any restriction digest. Please answer me as soon as possible. Thank you
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1answer
56 views

Directed evolution: Point mutation vs Insertion-Deletion vs Shuffling

When attempting enzyme function improvement via Directed Evolution I can see three different strategies to generating variation for the gene sequence: Point mutations Insertion / Deletions Shuffling ...
2
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1answer
2k views

What is the role of glycine in the running buffer for SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis

We used pH6.8 in stacking and pH8.8 in resolving gel. In the class, the professor explained that the glycine change is like: ...
2
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1answer
102 views

How was Restriction Site of EcoRI sequenced?

The sequence of restriction site of EcoRI - GAATTC was identified in the early 1970s, before Sanger Sequencing was invented.(1977) How was the restriction site of EcoRI sequenced ?
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1answer
212 views

How to relate human metabolic model reactions and cancer drug targets / reactome items?

Trying to find a way to take a cancer drug (from CancerDR, for instance) and infer the metabolic reactions that are affected by it in the Human Metabolic Model. Essentially, I would like to know ...
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2answers
48 views

difference between transcriptional activator and general transcription factors?

What is the difference between transcriptional activator and general transcription factors? Are they same or different, and do the transcriptional activators first attract general transcription ...
9
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1answer
793 views

How are there alternative initiation codons?

According to wikipedia and the original complete sequence of the K-12 genome, there are multiple non-AUG start codons such as GUG and UUG. How is this possible? I'm particularly curious about the ...
8
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2answers
235 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 ...
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2answers
6k views

why is AUG the initiation codon?

Is there any reason why AUG is the initiation codon ? Why is there a need for an initiation codon ? Can't translation start with different codons?
7
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1answer
639 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 ...