2
votes
0answers
57 views

Are there examples of PTMs that add different chemical groups (and mass) to different amino acids?

I'm talking about this type of post-translational modifications. What I'm interested in is not whether some modifications can only occur on specific amino acids (that's clear), but if the nomenclature ...
2
votes
2answers
88 views

Consensus codon optimization by organism

Does a public database exist that contains this information? I'm trying to make a simple gene annotation program that will let me input a DNA sequence and then optimize it based on one of these tables ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

Generating custom human DNA sequences based on traits such as eye colour?

I'm wondering if it would be possible to create software (unless some already exists, but I couldn't find any) to generate human DNA (the base pairs on the double helix) containing genes representing ...
2
votes
0answers
82 views

Mouse meta-globin mRNA problem

This is an mRNA strand of mouse meta-globin: 5'-ccccagauacggaauucgaau-3' A) Which small RNA (below) is most likely to regulate expression of meta-globin? ...
4
votes
2answers
60 views

Main methods used to predict functional annotations in GO

Can someone provide me some information about the main method used to predict the inferred electronic annotations in Gene Ontology?
7
votes
1answer
751 views

Do any animals other than humans undergo menopause?

Do any animals other than humans undergo menopause? Also, is there any difference between animals in captivity and animals in the wild as regards menopause? For example, even if menopause has been ...
5
votes
1answer
695 views

What's the opposite of a thermophile?

Thermophiles, heat-loving organisms, have been a popular topic of research for decades due in large part to the utility of their enzymes in various chemical reactions (Taq Pol single-enzymedly made ...
9
votes
1answer
113 views

What determines when a virus becomes a “new strain”?

The reason we cannot find a cure for the common cold is because viruses mutate rapidly. Where do the mutations occur in the DNA/mRNA of viruses and does this have any effect on the protein level? what ...
1
vote
2answers
157 views

Can someone identify this bird?

We recently found a nest in the back garden and a little bird inside. Can you help us identify it? The nest is quite small like the bird so we are wondering whether this is the parent or a baby chick. ...
32
votes
4answers
1k views

Can scientists create totally synthetic life?

This particular question has been of a great deal of interest to me, especially since it dives at the heart of abiogenesis.
12
votes
1answer
6k views

What is the significance and method behind Ramachandran plots?

My PI showed a Ramachandran plot in class today with minimal explanation, but I'm interested in finding out more. I understand that the Ramachandran plot shows the relation between the omega phi and ...
4
votes
2answers
99 views

Is it possible to grow any kind of plant soilless (hydroponics)?

Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture and is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. [wikipedia] My question is if is it possible to grow any kind of ...
10
votes
1answer
124 views

What advantage would the initial 'donor' in horizontal gene transfer by conjugation have received?

I am struggling to think why horizontal gene transfer between bacteria would have persisted during the course of evolution as surely it puts the 'donor' at a disadvantage? For example, consider a ...
10
votes
2answers
289 views

What is the highest competency possible for E coli?

I am looking to find a highly competent E coli strain. I am making a library of a ~6.6kb plasmid and I am not getting high enough efficiency. Does anyone have a suggestion of a strain/protocol with ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Measuring the density of surface antigens

I'm trying to get a sense of the variety of methods used for determining the number of cell surface antigens and receptors. This is notably different from determining the affinity of these surface ...
9
votes
3answers
377 views

Source of DNA sequences

I'm working on a project where I am taking DNA sequences and translating the codons into musical notes. I have some good ideas of how to do this, I'm just not sure what sequences to work with. My case ...
8
votes
2answers
170 views

Is there a dominant gene for right-handedness?

Has there been any definitive research about handedness being genetic? Also, why is right-handedness clearly dominant in humans? I'm interested in evolutionary theories, as well as any molecular ...
13
votes
5answers
314 views

Can species back-evolve?

One of the tenets of Darwin's theory is the survival of the fittest, ie adaptation of features that allow a species to adapt better to its surrounding environment. I am wondering that given the right ...
16
votes
1answer
436 views

How did viruses come to be?

My question is out of curiosity and got me thinking. How did viruses with the head, tail and tail fibres actually evolve? These viruses look more like machines than biological entities. Are there any ...
6
votes
3answers
334 views

What's the use of DNA sequencing results?

Suppose I sequence DNA of some organism (a human perhaphs) and now I have the entire DNA "string" - the sequence of nucleotides. What's the use of that? It's just a "string" where nucleotides encode ...
25
votes
4answers
1k views

What exactly are computers used for in DNA sequencing?

I've thoroughly read the Wikipedia article on DNA sequencing and can't get one thing. There's some hardcore chemistry involved in the process that somehow splits the DNA and then isolates its parts. ...
6
votes
3answers
423 views

Protein Biology Cheat Sheet

I'm looking find a cheat sheet for protein biology to stick on my desk to remind of some of the key principles of protein biology. I seem to remember the specific and complex principles in protein ...
5
votes
3answers
125 views

Measuring reverse transcriptase activity in E. coli

Goal: To quantify the HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) activity for a number of mutated RTs. Idea: Put RT into a vector in E.coli. Deliver GFP mRNA to E.coli. RT will process the mRNA. The ...
16
votes
3answers
263 views

How is the blood volume of a living organism measured without killing it?

How is the blood-volume of an organism measured without killing it? NOTE: The blood-volume of an organism is defined as the total volume of blood present inside that organism.
6
votes
4answers
907 views

What's the aim of genetically modifying of foods/organisms?

On news, articles etc. experts talking about Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms often mentions about their disadvantages like, their potential to harm human health allergies may become more ...
-3
votes
1answer
313 views

How To Avoid Macro-Evolution Confusion? [closed]

I regularly encounter students who believe humans came from amoebas and when asked why they often say Macro-Evolution has been scientifically proven. Macro-evolution is defined as evolution at or ...
7
votes
1answer
110 views

Is it the sphincter that flexes when a human pushes a bowel movement?

Of course the sphincter muscle is at the exit point. To use a toothpaste tube analogy, if I want to squeeze out some toothpaste, it does me little to no good to jostle the nozzle; I need to squeeze ...
4
votes
0answers
93 views

Dimensionless number for blood volume

Comments from the question How is the blood volume of a living organism measured without killing it? by @Nico discussed that the time of blood recirculation scales with the size of the organism. I was ...
12
votes
2answers
676 views

Do probiotics survive digestion?

Pretty much this. I've been wondering if any of the yogourt and other "health" foods containing living probiotic cultures survive digestion to populate our intestines? If so, is there peer-reviewed ...
8
votes
1answer
145 views

What do we know about LUCA?

All life on Earth (bacteria, archaea, eukarya) is thought to have evolved from a common ancestor, or last universal common ancestor (LUCA). What do we know about the characteristics of LUCA based upon ...
4
votes
1answer
153 views

PCR primer in highly repetitive region

Is there any way to design a PCR primer if region of interest is highly repetitive (tens of kilobases only SINE's & LINE's)?
5
votes
2answers
162 views

First pass protein structure prediction

I'm working with a protein that doesn't have any homology to other proteins so it will likely require ab initio structure prediction. However, since I don't work for a structure prediction lab and I ...
4
votes
1answer
330 views

What's the distinction between a tetrad and a synaptonemal complex in meiosis?

What's the distinction between a tetrad and a synaptonemal complex in meiosis? Are they synonyms? I ask because the concepts seem very closely related, but it seems like there may be a subtle ...
8
votes
1answer
412 views

Do larger multicellular organisms have an increased risk of mutation and thus cancer?

So I was thinking that if each cell has P(X) of becoming cancerous, then the chance of cancer is 1-((1-P(X))^n) where n is the number of cells in the organism. Since larger organisms have more cells ...
6
votes
1answer
95 views

Mechanics of going from DNA sequence to metabolic network

My apologies for possibly a naive question. I'm a statistics type and have been asked to assist with analysis of metabolic pathways (and networks). However, I would like to have at least a layman's ...
8
votes
1answer
184 views

Why are some bodily fluids more of an infection risk than others?

Whilst on a recent refresher course it was highlighted that when considering risk of exposure to infection from bodily fluids we should be aware of two distinct risk levels: High Risk: Blood Semen ...
7
votes
1answer
222 views

Mechanism of syndesmophyte growth in AS

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) causes inflammation around joints and the growth of syndesmophytes that may eventually fuse vertebrae. I'm familiar with the genetics (HLA-B27, IL1A) related to the ...
9
votes
1answer
128 views

Were dinosaurs 'hot-blooded' or 'cold-blooded'?

Were dinosaurs hot-blooded or cold-blooded? NOTE: The popular term 'hot-blooded' means having an internally maintained average body temperature, which is generally more than that of the surroundings, ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

Why are Birds and Reptiles with abundant yolk sac polyspermic?

I was given an explanation that birds and reptiles are polyspermic because they have an abundant yolk sac. But how does it explain the thing? Chicken as an adult is not using in my opinion yolk as an ...
7
votes
2answers
312 views

Can a living organism run on electricity?

Each time I'm too lazy too cook I think it'd be cool to be able to just plug myselt into an outlet. Yet I know it is not possible - I need amino acids and a lot of other stuff that electricity can't ...
5
votes
1answer
67 views

How are the various classes of E coli genes determined?

Looking at some more detailed codon usage tables, genes may be further clustered into three gene classes: Metabolic genes, highly expressed genes during exponential growth, and horizontal gene ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What are differences between formation of embryonic disc in chick and mammal embryo?

Exam question which got lowest average points in my university: 1/5 average. No markscheme available so my attempt below. I assume that embryonic disk prefers to germ disk such that Formation prefers ...
6
votes
0answers
120 views

What is the fastest way to build an alanine scanning library?

For interfacial studies, I would like to build an alanine scanning library for one of my proteins examining 20 sites. I will ultimately express the gene using E.coli cell-free protein synthesis. I ...
3
votes
2answers
744 views

Neutralizing TCA washes

Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) is commonly used for protein precipitation but the wash waste needs to be neutralized prior to disposal. What exactly is required to effectively neutralize TCA waste? Do I ...
7
votes
1answer
172 views

What is the difference between copy number changes with and without allelic imbalance?

I require some clarification on copy number aberrations (structural gain and loss in chromosomes). From what I understand, gain/loss per se can be divided into two types. Consider two alleles, A and ...
9
votes
1answer
104 views

Organ cloning - possible to make a non-antigenic organ?

From a J. Neil Schulman article on Organ Cloning: Cannibalizing organs from other people also entails the risk of rejection because of incompatibilities, not only for tissue-typing but also ...
12
votes
1answer
300 views

Quantum mechanics in biology

There is a growing interest in the applications of non-equilibrium quantum dynamics to describe biological processes (I'm not talking here about Penrose's old theories, but new stuff -- quantum ...
7
votes
1answer
188 views

When collecting cell lysates for a Western blot, how do I induce di-sulfide bonds?

I would like to conduct a simple dimerization experiment for some protein I'm collecting from a cultured cells. My thought is, that if I'm running a non-reducing, denaturing PAGE gel, then removing ...
9
votes
2answers
158 views

Are there viruses that affect many kinds of cells across species?

I'm not a professional in biology nor a student, but I'm curious about this. To be more specific: why doesn't a plant virus affect animal cells? I suspect that different kinds of cells have different ...
5
votes
1answer
245 views

How long does it take to stain cells?

I'm never going to run these type of experiments but I do need to have a good idea of their timescale. After I fix my cells, if I stained my cells with histology stains like DAPI, Fluorescein, and ...

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