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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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Can brain cells move?

I was discussing this with my brother. I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that they can move. Thanks EDIT: By movement I mean long distance migration (preferably within the brain only).
38
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1answer
825 views

How does a cell sense its size?

Cells come in all sorts of sizes. How do they regulate their cell size to the point where similar cell types have a fairly mono-disperse size distribution? Reasked from http://www.quora.com/How-Does-...
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1answer
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What is itching?

What exactly at the molecular level is itching? What physiological function does itching serve, if any? I cant remember the reference but a PLCb3 null mice lost the itch phenotype, so presumably it is ...
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2answers
8k views

Why do tattoos persist if body cells are regularly renewed?

I am not quite sure if it is true, but I read somewhere that within 7 years all the body's cells are replaced with new ones. I am not quite sure if it is cells or atoms. If it is then why do tattoos ...
31
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1answer
6k views

How long will a vegetable live for after being harvested?

I understand this might depend on the types of vegetables, but is there an average or studied specifics? Does it die immediately? Is there a way to precisely diagnose death in plants? If so, what are ...
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3answers
47k 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?
28
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4answers
7k views

Why do we need red blood cells?

From what I know, the main function of red blood cells (RBCs) is hemoglobin transport. So, why do we need cells packed with hemoglobin: why can't it travel freely in the bloodstream? My own thoughts ...
28
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1answer
1k views

Natural examples of XOR functions at the cellular level

We can often think of cells as a sort of circuit on macromolecules, and can show that they can accurately and robustly implement functions like $\text{MAJ}(x_1,...,x_n)$ (return $1$ if more than half ...
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5answers
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Why are there no known animals with an odd number of legs?

In my 6th grade science book it is said that there are no three legged animals, and that no animal with an odd number of limbs exists. I checked Wikipedia and could confirm this: There are no ...
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3answers
21k views

Why is saltatory conduction in myelinated axons faster than continuous conduction in unmyelinated axons?

How does spacing apart sodium and potassium channels allow the action potential to travel faster down the axon? This is the reason always cited for saltatory conduction and myelination, but my mental ...
24
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3answers
479 views

How crowded is the bacterial cell?

I was wondering what is the protein concentration in an E. coli cell. When studying enzyme kinetics and activity in vitro, I would argue that the substrate and enzyme concentrations resemble those in ...
24
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2answers
57k views

How many human cells are there in our body, on average?

How many human cells are there in our body, on average? Wikipedia says 1013: Bacterial cells are much smaller than human cells, and there are at least ten times as many bacteria as human cells in ...
23
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1answer
754 views

Are lymphocyte sizes clustered in two groups?

Tortora writes in Principles of Anatomy and Physiology: Lymphocytes may be as small as 6–9 μm in diameter or as large as 10–14 μm in diameter. Those ranges are quite close to each others. Should ...
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7answers
6k views

Why would a single celled organism evolve to be multi-celled?

I read a story this week on Richard Lenski who has been 'evolving' E. coli for more than 50,000 generations now. One comment I read was from someone who doesn't accept Evolution who pointed out that ...
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2answers
8k views

Is there an advantage to linear chromosomes?

The DNA copying enzymes have a hard time working to the end of a chromosome. For circular chromosomes this is not a problem, since there is not a sharp 'end'. However, for a linear chromosome, without ...
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1answer
2k views

Why are sushi proteins called “sushi”? What are the origins of this name?

Does anybody know why complement control proteins (also short consensus repeats) are called "sushi" proteins? Is there any special reason for their name?
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1answer
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The Origin of Mitochondria

For a long time I've just accepted, because it is just what everyone told me, that mitochondria became organelles in the cell when they were "engulfed" by another cell which acted like it's host. This ...
17
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1answer
58k views

How to store vegetables in the refrigerator: In plastic bags or not?

My wife and I are having a debate similar to this one: I claim that it's better to take the fresh veggies out of the bags and put them in the crisper with humidity control because: That's what the ...
16
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1answer
40k views

How can Valonia ventricosa cells get so big?

Valonia ventricosa are single-celled algae that range between one and few centimetres. In rare cases, they can reach sizes exceeding 5cm. They range from grass-green to dark green, and some are even a ...
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4answers
19k views

Was the mitochondrion or chloroplast first?

I still don't know if the mitochondrion or chloroplast was first? I've looked for it on the internet and in various books but haven't found anything. Does anyone have the answer and a theory which ...
15
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6answers
4k views

Online Molecular and Cellular Biology Video Lectures?

I am looking for video lectures to go through to guide my reading in intro molecular and cellular biology. I've had intro bio and I study evolutionary theory, but my molecule- and cell-level knowledge ...
15
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3answers
754 views

Are mitochondria transferable between cell types, individuals and species?

I'm curious about what happens when you insert organelles from a cell into another. In particular, mitochondria. Take two cells from your own body. Somehow extract a mitochondria from one cell and ...
15
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1answer
2k views

Why do specifically bananas go brown quicker in the fridge?

Perhaps the title should be: Why don't all fruits containing phenol residues go brown quickly when left in the fridge? Bananas go brown over time because of the oxidation of phenol residues. ...
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1answer
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Can an organism exist as a single cell but come together as multi-cellular during certain times?

I am trying to remember a particular segment from a BBC special, in which there was single cellular species. However, at certain times all the individual cells came together to form a structure, not ...
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1answer
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Does electricity cause damage on a cellular level?

As I understand it the mechanism of death when a mammal is electrocuted is that the current disrupts the SAN/AVN in the heart causing it to fibrilate or arrest. That's on a macro scale, however. ...
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2answers
57k views

Which human cells have the longest and shortest lifespan?

Which cells in a human have the longest lifespan? Which cell has the shortest lifespan?
14
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1answer
10k views

Can you consider a human as alive, or is it the cells on the body that are alive?

Sorry if this question seems strange, but in the recent time I have been interested in the question of what life is and how you can define life. My question: How long can individual cells live on a ...
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1answer
3k views

Does every mitochondrion in a cell contain the same DNA?

I know that mitochondria of eukaryotes have their own DNA, more similar to that of bacteria than to the rest of the cell's DNA. I also know that a cell can have plenty of mitochondria, and I ...
14
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1answer
160 views

Does a theory exist for the formation of thylakoid structure?

I'm interested in how the structure of the thylakoid forms into its characteristic highly rugose stacks of grana. What causes the thylakoid to invaginate and self-associate, albeit with what appear to ...
13
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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 ...
13
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2answers
2k views

Why is thymine not incorporated into mRNA?

I am aware that in transcription uracil bonds to adenine and not thymine. But what is it that actually prevents thymine from bonding to adenine in transcription, that is not present in replication?
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2answers
6k views

What is the difference between cytosol and cytoplasm?

I've generally seen cytosol defined as the solution inside cells minus the organelles, cytoskeleton, etc and cytoplasm as the cytosol plus the organelles, cytoskeleton, etc. This naturally leads to ...
13
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2answers
820 views

What is the meaning of multicellularity?

I can't understand what multicellularity is. Wikipedia states that any organism having many cells is multicellular. By this definition bacteria can also be multicellular. For example, cyanobacteria ...
13
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1answer
694 views

Did researchers evolve multicellular yeast or did they just turn on multicellularity?

In this new paper "Experimental evolution of multicellularity" found via Ars Technica the researchers describe having developed multicellularity and apoptosis within 60 days from a unicellular yeast ...
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0answers
996 views

Contact Inhibition of Cell Division: Signaling Pathway

The following article refers to contact inhibition of cell division in epithelial cells, specifically MDCK cells: Collective and single cell behavior in epithelial contact inhibition. In their review ...
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4answers
2k views

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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2answers
9k views

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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3answers
75k views

Do animal cells have vacuoles?

I overheard a rather heated argument about whether or not animal cells have vacuoles. One person said that they do, but they're much smaller than vacuoles in plant cells. The other person said they ...
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1answer
1k views

Do all bacterial cells have a double membrane?

I’m reading that gram positive and negative bacteria have an inner plasma membrane surrounding the cytoplasm, then a periplasmic space, then an outer membrane. How does this compare to my general ...
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3answers
34k views

How fast do cancer cells divide (compared to normal cells)?

This question suggests that we have, on average, 50-70 billion cell divisions per day. I just read that cancer cells divide more often and are therefore more prone to radiation. I am wondering, for ...
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4answers
9k views

Why do cells not store glucose

I understand that glucose is soluble and hence it is not stored by cells but my teacher said that I also have to say that 'it would have an osmotic effect on the cell.' I don't understand what that ...
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3answers
7k views

What is happening when we get a tan?

Almost everyone nowadays wants that nice summer tan, but what exactly is going on beneath the skin? I've heard a few different theories about tanning - such as a tan is nothing but the pigmentation in ...
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2answers
1k views

Could hydrogen replace oxygen in cellular respiration?

I was wondering what oxygen actually does in the body. I have seen a few answers to other questions that involve the electron chain and I am really not sure what that is. So I was wondering what ...
11
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3answers
7k views

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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3answers
5k views

Should we induce fever to assist healing?

I am currently reading "The Fundamentals of Anatomy Physiology" 10th edition, and have found it an incredibly interesting book. I have just been reading about the lymphatic system, and the various ...
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2answers
11k 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?
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1answer
1k views

Does the cell internal temperature changes in response to a change in external temperature?

Background Some species are homeotherm (internal temperature is not affected by a change in external temperature) and some are poikilotherm (internal temperature changes in response to external ...
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1answer
163 views

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 ...
11
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1answer
211 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
11k views

Why aren't organelles considered alive?

I'm taking a 3-week Bio I summer course, and my textbook says the cell is the smallest/basic unit of life. I asked my professor why organelles aren't a living unit, and her reply was that they aren't ...