Questions tagged [cell-biology]

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.

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What is the name of the category of viruses that affect only one side of the body?

The Varicella zoster virus causes chickenpox in children and shingles in adults. When the virus attacks as shingles, one of its distinguishing characteristics is that it only affects one side of the ...
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Are all functions of a human cell known? [closed]

Please bear with me as I'm intruding into your world from a computer science background. In programming, once you have created a program, you know all functions of that program. Thus, 100% knowledge ...
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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?
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Cancer and Evolution [duplicate]

Edit: just to clarify, I am asking what, if anything, the literature says can be gleaned about evolution by studying cancer, especially relating to how multicellularity evolved and the traits used to ...
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What are the differences between cancer and tumour?

What are the differences between cancer and tumour? I mean is it in the DNA or shape or something else... And how can a benign tumour turn into a malignant tumour? The body has a lot of tumours all ...
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4answers
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How does an embryo know where to grow limbs etc

For example you have a cell or already a bunch of cells. Those cell(s) divide and after several week you have a grown organism, for example a human with limbs, several different organs etc. However, ...
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Can mitochondria become cancerous?

Given that mitochondria have their own DNA and can replicate independently, can they ever become cancerous? For example, could a mutation in their DNA cause them to rapidly replicate, ultimately ...
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30k views

Rate of cell division in humans

On average, how many cells divide each day in a human being? How long does a cell wait before dividing itself ? I have tried to look on the internet but surprisingly the answer is difficult to find.....
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820 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 ...
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Computational/mathematical models for predicting phenotype from genotype

Karr, Sanghvi, et al. (2012) propose a whole-cell computational model for predicting phenotype from genotype in Mycoplasma genitalium. Their model simulates myriad cell processes such as DNA ...
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RNA or ribosome, which one moves during translation?

During translation ribosomes decode the genetic information present in the mRNA and protein synthesis takes place. During this process which of those two does move, the ribosome or the mRNA?
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Permeability of Plasma Membrane

I’m having trouble grasping why small polar molecules can cross the hydrophobic region of the membrane and not ions. Won’t the polar molecules be attracted to the watery extracellular medium and not ...
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Problems understanding membrane potential

I understand that membrane potential is the difference of the extracellular and intracellular ionic charges, due to their concentrations. We say that the extracellular space has a charge of 0 and then ...
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Can general soap kill bacteria?

I have read that general soap can kill bacteria by opening holes in the bacterial membrane. http://questions.sci-toys.com/node/90 However, I found some articles as well saying that it cannot. http:/...
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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 ...
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Cell proliferation limit and senescence of embryonic stem cells and fibroblasts

I am trying to understand the importance of proliferation limits and cell senescence. In particular, I would like to compare the proliferation limit of Embryonic Stem cells (ES) and fibroblasts (which ...
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414 views

Mechanism of Muscle Growth

According to this video (sorry for the poor reference but it represents my level of understanding in physiology), muscle grow as a consequence of repairing micro-lesions. How are these micro-lesions ...
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406 views

Randomness in living systems

The point of my question is not to talk about events that are uncontrolled by living organisms. My question is about controlled randomness, or I'd like to say adaptive random process. Process that are ...
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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 ...
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why do some cells in the body prefer necrosis to apoptosis as a means of cell death?

There are many programmed cell death pathways, but some cells show a greater preference for some over the other. I'm wondering as to why if necrosis is an inflammatory response that causes damage to ...
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How to find suitable qRTPCR reference gene for a inflammatory response experiment?

I have tried several housekeeping genes – Hprt, β-actin and GAPDH, to analyze the relative expression of a cytokine for measuring the inflammatory local response in mice ears. However, all ...
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Why is ATP the main nucleoside triphosphate used to exchange energy? [duplicate]

Out of all of the nucleoside triphosphates what makes ATP the most used? Is it its structure? The amount of energy it contains? Why is GTP not used as much? What is the deal with the other nucleoside ...
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209 views

Mechanisms of bone growth

The length of a bone is caused by growth of hyaline cartilage which is then replaced by bone tissue. How do cells know whether they should grow the hyaline cartilage? What are the key molecules that ...
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1answer
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How do some plants grow in salt water, while others die?

My question is basically out of curiosity and comes from observing how certain plants (such as mangroves or salt cedar) can grow in seawater. If this gives the plant an advantage, why haven't all ...
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3answers
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Is cell wall and cytoplasm an organelle?

So cell wall is an organelle? Whereas, it is not a membrane-closed organelle? Cytoplasm is an organelle? Whereas, it is not a membrane-closed organelle?
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What proportion of salt in water would make it not dehydrate nor hydrate someone? [duplicate]

Drinking sea water can be deadly as it contains too much salt, basically de-hydrating the body. Normal tap water contains little salt and is good for re-hydration. My question: How much salt needs to ...
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1answer
2k views

Plastid and mitochondria

I am not a biologist, so please bear with me for this basic question. Although I tried googling, I am confused. What is the difference between plastids, chloroplasts and mitochondria? Are there any ...
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Do we consume dna, proteins of other organisms?

When we eat raw meat, e.g. chicken or fish, we are actually consuming the DNA, proteins etc. which are present in their cells. Wouldn't this affect our cell functions as this DNA might enter our ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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443 views

How would the human body adjust to sleep times if we were to live in a place with different day lengths?

You sleep at night and are active during the day that's how things work for humans, but theoretically if a human whose parents lived on earth were to be born in another planet resembling earth but the ...
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1answer
2k 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 ...
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1answer
339 views

Can methylation of a promoter induce gene expression in some rare cases?

Can methylation of a promoter induce gene expression in some rare cases? I've read somewhere that methylation of an intron can induce gene expression (eg. Igf2). How is that even possible? Thank ...
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2answers
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How to convince suspension cells to adhere more tightly?

I'm developing a cell-based assay in 96-well plates that requires adherent cells, as they need to be washed at least twice during the protocol. I'm using in-house strains of HT1080 cells (some ...
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2answers
805 views

Breakdown of energy expenditure at the level of a single cell

The metabolic rate measures how much energy an organism expends over a unit of time. Its breakdown for the human body in terms of its functions is well documented : so much for the heart, for the ...
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Which are the last cells of the human body to die?

When somebody dies, which are the last surviving cells of his/her body? Those of hair, nails, or some other obscure but resilient cells? Shedding light on why and how they are so vital might boost ...
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205 views

What happens to IP3 molecules after release from IP3 receptors?

IP3 molecules bind to IP3 receptors and open up the calcium channels on the endoplasmic reticulum. I am wondering what happens to IP3 molecules after they have been released from the IP3 receptor? Do ...
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386 views

Is HSV-vector-mediated miRNA expression in dorsal root ganglia stable?

My question is on the following article: "Reduction of voltage gated sodium channel protein in DRG by vector mediated miRNA reduces pain in rats with painful diabetic neuropathy" My question is, do ...
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Why does azithromycin not affect human mitochondria?

Drugs like tetracyclines, macrolides and aminoglycosides bind to prokaryotic ribosomes. It is interesting that our body too having mitochondria, which have prokaryotic ribosomes, there is little(?) ...
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How is the diploid chromosome number maintained at mitosis?

A normal human cell is diploid that contains 46 chromosomes in 23 pairs. Thus, when the cell undergoes mitosis, the cells still has the full chromosome with the two sister chromatids. What is it doing ...
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78 views

Osmotic Pressure Clarification

My textbook states that the higher concentration of solutes, the greater the osmotic pressure will be and the greater the pull of water in will be. However, osmotic pressure is defined "as the ...
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Are all the atoms in your body replaced with others over a 30 year period?

I was reading Creation - Life and How to Make It by Steve Grand. (This is the book that inspired Jeff Bezos to start the AWS initiative. ) In it he makes the following statement: Anyhow, by now I ...
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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 ...
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1answer
971 views

Why do some organelle (like ER and Golgi complex) cannot be seen under microscope during cell division?

I have recently read in a book that organelles like ER (endoplasmic reticulum) and Golgi Complex cannot be seen under a compound microscope during cell division. Why does this happen, and where do the ...
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Are there special pairs present in the RC of both photosystem I and photosystem II?

I am confused regarding the existence of special pair (primarily regarding PS2). Do both, P680 and P700 have special pair? I have checked various sources online and have come across conflicting ...
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1k views

Why do some people burn and others tan?

Connected to What is happening when we get a tan? - Why do some people burn while other people tan? Very pale people tend to just burn while other people tan very nicely, what causes this difference? ...
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648 views

Life cycle of proteins

I try to get a picture of the life cycle of a protein (considered as a specific molecule). This is how I can imagine it: After the cell is born a protein molecule is synthesized by gene expression ...
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1answer
283 views

Why does cell differentiation start with the morula?

I suppose that cell differentation has to start by some external symmetry breaking. The first time there are two different types of cells is the morula with roughly 16 cells: there are some 12-15 ...
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981 views

ATP Hydrolysis to AMP in the Urea Cycle. What is the Free Energy Change?

How is the hydrolysis of ATP into AMP and PPi in making arginosuccinate equivalent to the hydrolysis of 2 ATP?
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Body's decomposition

Does a human body decompose in a completely sterile environment ? If yes, what decomposes it ? And how fast ? What happens in vacuum ? Can it remain exactly the same ? Thanks