Sie sind auf Seite 1von 112

Biology - Questions & Answers

| Anatomy |
What structure of the eye produces tears?
The lachrymal gland, which is part of the larger lachrymal apparatus, produces tears
that flow over the anterior surface of the eye. Most of this fluid evaporates, but excess
amounts are collected in small ducts in the corner of the eye. Tears lubricate and
cleanse the eye. In addition, tears contain lysozyme, an enzyme that is capable of
destroying certain kinds of bacteria and helps fight eye infections.

Why is a man’s voice usually lower than a woman’s


voice?
The pitch of the voice—how high or low it sounds—depends on the length, tension, and
thickness of the vocal cords. Because males have longer vocal cords of up to 1 inch
(2.54 centimeters) in length, the male voice is deeper in pitch, while women and
children with shorter cords have higher-pitched voices. Vocal cords in women average
0.167 inches (0.42 centimeters) in length. Testosterone is the hormone that is
responsible for the increase of length of male vocal cords during puberty.

| Anatomy , physiology |
What hormone can be used to overcome jet lag?
Share|
Jet lag occurs when an individual’s biological clock is out of sync with local time. As a
general rule it takes about a day for each hour of time zone change to recover from jet
lag. Melatonin, available as a dietary supplement, is sometimes used to induce sleep
when traveling. It is more useful when traveling east and may be taken before, during,
or after traveling. It is best taken approximately five to seven hours before the usual
bedtime in the old time zone. Travelers should consult their physicians before using
melatonin. It is not recommended for pregnant or breast-feeding women and children.

| Anatomy , Animal Behavior |


How eye produces tears?
Share|
The lachrymal gland, which is part of the larger lachrymal apparatus, produces tears
that flow over the anterior surface of the eye. Most of this fluid evaporates, but excess
amounts are collected in small ducts in the corner of the eye. Tears lubricate and
cleanse the eye. In addition, tears contain lysozyme, an enzyme that is capable of
destroying certain kinds of bacteria and helps fight eye infections

| Anatomy |
What is the auditory tube and its function?
Share|
The auditory tube (Eustachian tube) connects each middle ear to the throat. This tube
conducts air between the tympanic cavity and the outside of the body by way of the
throat and mouth. It also helps maintain equal air pressure on both sides of the
eardrum, which is necessary for normal hearing. The function of the auditory tube can
be experienced during rapid change in altitude. As a person moves from a high altitude
to a lower one, the air pressure on the outside of the membrane becomes greater and
greater. As a result, the eardrum may be pushed inward, out of its normal position, and
hearing may be impaired. When the air pressure difference is great enough, some air
may force its way up through the auditory tube into the middle ear. This allows the
pressure on both sides of the eardrum to equalize, and the drum moves back to its
regular position. An individual usually hears a popping sound at this time, and normal
hearing is restored. A reverse movement of air occurs when a person moves from a low
altitude to a higher one.

| Anatomy |
What is cerumen?
Share|
Cerumen is an oily, fatty substance produced by the ceruminous glands in the outer
portion of the ear canal. This compound is commonly referred to as ear wax and,
together with hairs in the auditory canal, helps prevent foreign objects from reaching the
delicate eardrum. Dust, dirt, bacteria, fungi, and other foreign dangers to the body all
stick to the wax and do not enter the ear. Ear wax also contains a special enzyme,
lysozyme, which breaks down the cell walls of bacteria. In most individuals, the ear
canal is self-cleansing and there is no need to remove ear wax. However, ear wax may
be impacted due to poor attempts at cleaning the ear. In such cases, the impacted ear
wax should be removed by a healthcare professional.
| Anatomy |
Are body planes important for identifying anatomical
structure?
Share|
In order to observe and study the structural arrangement of the internal organs, the
body may be divided and sectioned (or cut) along three fundamental planes. These
planes are the midsagittal (median) plane, the coronal (frontal) plane, and the
transverse (horizontal) plane. The midsagittal plane divides the body lengthwise into
right and left sides. A sagittal section placed off-center divides the body into
asymmetrical right and left sides. The coronal plane divides the body into front (anterior)
and back (posterior) sections. The transverse plane divides the body into upper
(superior) and lower (inferior) sections. It is at right angles to the sagittal and frontal
planes.

| Anatomy |
How is the skin involved in the regulation of body
temperature?
Share|
The skin is one of several organ systems participating in maintaining a core
temperature, meaning the temperature near the center of someone’s body.
Temperature sensors in the skin and internal organs monitor core temperature and
transmit signals to the control center located in the hypothalamus, a region of the brain.
When the core temperature falls below its set point, the hypothalamus: 1. Sends more
nerve impulses to blood vessels in the skin that cause the vessels to narrow, which
restricts blood flow to the skin, reducing heat loss. 2. Stimulates the skeletal muscles,
causing brief bursts of muscular contraction, known as shivering, which generates heat.
When the core temperature rises above its set point, the hypothalamus: 1. Sends fewer
nerve impulses to blood vessels in the skin, causing them to dilate, which increases
blood flow to the skin and promotes heat loss. 2. Activates the sweat glands, and when
sweat evaporates off the skin surface it carries a large amount of body heat with it.

| Anatomy , Biochemistry , physiology |


Is all the cartilage in the body the same?
Share|
There are three types of cartilage in the human body: 1) hyaline cartilage; 2) elastic
cartilage; and 3) fibrocartilage. Hyaline cartilage (from the Greek hyalos, meaning
“glass”) is the most common type of cartilage in the body. It has a translucent, pearly,
blue-white appearance resembling glass. Hyaline cartilage provides stiff but flexible
support and reduces friction between bony surfaces. It is found between the tips of the
ribs and the bones of the sternum, at the end of the long bones, at the tip of the nose,
and throughout the respiratory passages. Elastic cartilage is similar to hyaline cartilage
except it is very flexible and resilient. It is ideal for areas that need repeated bending
and stretching. Elastic cartilage forms the external flap of the outer ear and is found in
the auditory canal and epiglottis. Fibrocartilage is often found where hyaline cartilage
meets a ligament or tendon. It is found in the pads of the knees, between the pubic
bones of the pelvis, and between the spinal vertebrae. It prevents bone-to-bone contact.
Cartilage does not contain blood vessels. Oxygen, nutrients, and cellular wastes diffuse
through the selectively permeable matrix. Cartilage transplants are successful because
foreign proteins in the transplanted cells do not have a way to enter the host body’s
circulation and cause an immune response. However, since there are no blood vessels
in cartilage, the healing process is slower than for other tissues

| Anatomy , physiology |
Which types of tissue have the greatest capacity to
regenerate?
Share|
Epithelial and connective tissues have the greatest capacity to regenerate. In small
wounds and injuries, the epithelial and connective tissues often heal with normal tissue.
The ability of muscle tissue to regenerate is very limited. Fibrous connective tissue often
replaces damaged muscle tissue. As a consequence, the organ involved loses all or
part of its ability to function. Nerve tissue has even less capacity to regenerate.
Although neurons outside the brain and spinal cord sometimes regenerate at a very
slow pace, most brain and spinal cord injuries result in permanent damage.

| Anatomy , physiology |
Are there differences between the male and female
skeletons?
Share|
Several general differences exist between the male and female skeletons. The male
skeleton is generally larger and heavier than the female skeleton. The bones of the skull
are generally more graceful and less angular in the female skeleton. A female also has
a wider, shorter breastbone and slimmer wrists. There are significant differences
between the pelvis of a female and a male, which are related to pregnancy and
childbirth. The female pelvis is wider and shallower than the male pelvis. Females have
an enlarged pelvic outlet and a wider, more circular pelvic inlet. The angle between the
pubic bones is much sharper in males, resulting in a more circular, narrower, almost
heart-shaped pelvis

| Anatomy , Gynacology |
What is rigor mortis?
Share|
Dead bodies are at first limp. Several hours after death, the skeletal muscles undergo a
partial contraction that fixes the joints. This condition, known as rigor mortis, may
continue for 72 hours or more. When neurons signal living muscle fibers to contract,
they do so with a neurotransmitter that is received at the surface of the muscle fiber.
The signal makes the fiber open calcium ion channels, and it is the calcium that causes
the contraction. The muscle then removes the calcium in two ways: it stores some in its
mitochondria, and it pumps out the rest. When a body dies, stored calcium leaks and
calcium pumps no longer function. The excess calcium causes the actin and myosin
filaments of the muscle fibers to remain linked, stiffening the whole body until the
muscles begin to decompose.

| Anatomy , physiology |
How do bones grow?
Share|
Bones form and develop through a process called ossification.
There are two types of ossification: intramembranous ossification
and endochondral ossification. Intramembranous ossification is
the formation of bone directly on or within the fibrous connective
tissue. Examples of bone formed through intramembranous
ossification are the flat bones of the skull, mandible (lower jaw),
and clavicle (collarbone). Endochondral ossification, from the
Greek endo, meaning “within,” and khondros, meaning “cartilage,”
is the transformation of the cartilage model into bone. Cartilage
cells in the epiphyseal plate grow and move into the metaphysis
where they are reabsorbed and replaced by bone tissue.
Examples of bone formed through endochondral ossification are
the long bones, such as the femur and humerus.
| Anatomy , Biochemistry |
Which structures of the body have more bones for
their size than any other part of the body?
Share|
The wrist and the hand have more bones in them for their size than any other part of
the body. There are 8 carpals in the wrist between the forearm and the palm of the
hand; 5 metacarpal bones that form the palm of the hand between the wrist, thumb, and
fingers; and 14 phalanges or finger bones. The presence of many small bones in the
wrist and hand with the many movable joints between them makes the human hand
highly maneuverable and mobile.

| Anatomy |
Why is there a “popping” sound when you crack your
knuckles, and is it dangerous to crack them?
Share|
A number of reasons have been given for the characteristic
“popping” sound associated with someone cracking their
knuckles. One reason is that when a joint is contracted, small
ligaments or muscles may pull tight and snap across the bony
protuberances of the joint. Another possibility is that when the
joint is pulled apart, air can pop out from between the bones,
creating a vacuum that produces a popping sound. A third reason,
discovered by British scientists in 1971, is that when the pressure
of the synovial fluid is reduced by the slow articulation of a joint
tiny gas bubbles in the fluid may burst, producing the popping
sound. Research has not shown any connection between knuckle
cracking and arthritis. One study found that knuckle cracking may
be the cause of soft tissue damage to the joint capsule and a
decrease in grip strength. The rapid, repeated stretching of the
ligaments surrounding the joint is most likely the cause of damage
to the soft tissue. Some researchers believe that since the bones
of the hand are not fully ossified until approximately age 18,
children and teenager who crack their knuckles may deform and
enlarge the knuckle bones. However, most researchers believe
knuckle cracking does not cause serious joint damage.
| Anatomy , Psychology |
Why is a woman’s voice usually higher than a man’s
voice?
Share|
The pitch of the voice—how high or low it sounds—depends on the length, tension, and
thickness of the vocal cords. Because males have longer vocal cords of up to 1 inch
(2.54 centimeters) in length, the male voice is deeper in pitch, while women and
children with shorter cords have higher-pitched voices. Vocal cords in women average
0.167 inches (0.42 centimeters) in length. Testosterone is the hormone that is
responsible for the increase of length of male vocal cords during puberty.

| Anatomy , Facts |
Why is it dangerous to talk while eating?
Share|
If a person talks while eating, food may be inhaled into the lungs. Normally, after food is
swallowed, it passes into the pharynx and then into the esophagus. Food is prevented
from entering the larynx (the passageway to the lungs) by the epiglottis, a spade-
shaped cartilage flap that covers the pharynx. If food does enter the larynx, a cough
reflex is usually initiated, although food may lodge in the larynx, causing a blockage of
the airway.

| Anatomy , Facts |
Distinguish among the terms stimulus, sensation, and
perception
Share|
A stimulus is an energy source (chemical, pressure, light wave, etc.) that activates a
receptor cell (specialized nerve cell) to transmit a nerve impulse, or sensation. If the
sensation arrives in the conscious part of the brain, the cerebral cortex, a perception
occurs. Perception is awareness of the stimulus. Pricking one’s finger, for example, is a
stimulus that activates many receptor cells to send nerve impulses
to the brain. Once these sensations reach the cerebral cortex, a person perceives
(feels) pain.
Molecular Biology

What are the main causes of Mutation?


Share|
Some mutations occur randomly and spontaneously during the process of mitosis or
meiosis. Other mutations are caused by mutagenic agents, which are environmental or
man-made factors that can increase the frequency of mutation. Environmental factors
such as ultraviolet rays of the sun can cause changes in DNA that can lead to skin
cancer. Cosmic rays from space that penetrate the earth’s ozone layer are also a cause
of mutation. Ionizing radiation such as X-rays, gamma rays, and nuclear radiation
produce free radicals (atoms with unpaired electrons) in the cell that can cause breaks
in the DNA molecule. Carcinogens are chemical mutagens that cause gene mutations,
which can result in cancer. A few examples of carcinogens are asbestos, benzene,
some food dyes, and PCBs.

| Molecular Biology |
What is an example of gene control?
Share|
An elegant example of gene control in bacteria is the operon system. A cluster of genes
that is responsible for synthesizing a particular protein is called an operon. This cluster
of genes typically includes a promoter region, an operator gene, a regulatory gene, and
a number of structural genes that actually encode the protein. Operon systems can be
inducible (meaning they are normally “off”) or repressible (meaning they are normally
“on”).

| Genetics , Molecular Biology |


Is a gene the same as a DNA molecule?
Share|
Genes are the units of heredity. A gene is a segment or section of a DNA molecule.
This segment of DNA provides a genetic code for the synthesis of proteins. The nucleic
acid language of the gene is written as a sequence of bases on the DNA molecule.
Such a sequence might read G- C- T- T- A- C- C- G- A- T- T. . . . This is the molecular
“language” that will ultimately specify an amino acid sequence in a protein.

| Genetics , Molecular Biology |


Do all molecules of DNA have the same amounts of
nitrogenous bases?
Share|
The number and sequence of nitrogenous bases in the DNA molecule are key elements
in variations that are found in chromosomes. Different organisms have different
numbers of the four bases, and the sequence varies in countless ways. In all cases,
however, adenine and thymine always stand opposite each other, and cytosine and
guanine oppose one another. This means that the percentage of adenine and thymine
will always be the same, as will the percentage of cytosine and guanine.

| Molecular Biology |
How sex occurs in bacteria?
Share|
The occurrence of sex in bacteria was first described by Joshua Lederberg and Edward
Tatum in 1946 (Nature, volume 158, page 558), who were studying mixed cultures of E.
coli strains with various nutritional mutations. The mutant strains differed from the wild
type strains in lacking the ability to synthesize growth factors such as amino acids and
vitamins, similar to the strains in the present problem.
In one experiment, two triple mutants of E. coli, one requiring threonine, leucine, and
thiamine, and the second requiring biotin, phenylalanine, and cystine were grown in
mixed cultures. At very low frequency, recombinant strains with no growth-factor
requirement were obtained. They ruled out spontaneous mutations and transformation
by the culture medium as the source of recombinant strains. In the words of Lederberg
and Tatum, "These experiments imply the occurrence of a sexual process in the
bacterium Escherichia coli."

| bacteriology , Molecular Biology |


What are the features of hnRNA?
Share|
Heterogeneous nuclear RNA (hnRNA) - The primary precursor mRNA transcript made
in the eukaryotic nucleus are called "hnRNA," an abbreviation for "heterogeneous
nuclear RNA. Features are as follows:
Introns: Since many eukaryotic nuclear genes are interrupted by introns, RNA
transcripts of intron-containing genes have intronic RNA sequences.
Poly A tails at the 3'-end: Poly A tails added to the 3'-end of most, but not all hnRNAs
during nuclear RNA processing. These tails are retained in the processed mRNA.
5'-Cap structure: A modified GTP is covalently attached to the 5'-end of most precursors
to mRNA. This cap structure is also retained in the processed mRNA.
Base Composition and relation to template strand: RNA is synthesized from a DNA
template. The sequence of the RNA is complementary to the DNA template strand, and
opposite in polarity. C and T in the DNA template are transcribed by RNA polymerase
as G and A in the hnRNA, respectively. A and G in the DNA template are transcribed as
U and C in hnRNA. Thus hnRNA and mRNA are sequences of A, G, C and U's.

| Genetics , Molecular Biology |


How DNA-RNA hybridization occurs
Share|
Both DNA and RNA are able to form hybrids in solution with other DNA or RNA
molecules that have complementary base pairing. Double-stranded DNA can be
"denatured" by heating to high temperature. If the resulting single-stranded DNAs are
slowly cooled, the separated DNA strands can reanneal to reform the DNA duplex.
Notice that A pairs with T and G pairs with C when a DNA strand hybridizes with
another DNA strand. An RNA molecule can also form a base-paired DNA-RNA duplex
molecule with a DNA that has complementary base pairing. The most common source
of DNA complementary to an mRNA is the DNA coding strand that was the template for
synthesis of the RNA. In DNA-RNA hybrid formation, G base pairs with C, A of the RNA
pairs with T of the DNA, and U or the RNA pairs with A of the DNA.

| Genetics , Molecular Biology |


What is self-catalytic RNAs?
Share|
Ribozymes - The term "ribozyme" was originally suggested by Thomas R. Cech, Nobel
Prize winning biochemist, who first discovered this class of RNA molecules. A ribozyme
is an RNA molecule that can catalyze a biochemical reaction. Prior to the discovery of
ribozymes, it was generally assumed that protein enzymes were the only class of
biological catalysts. Cech's discovery was truly revolutionary in upsetting this dogma.
The first ribozymes discovered were introns that could catalyze their own splicing, i.e. a
special type of intron within a pre-RNA molecule was found to catalyze all steps needed
for intron removal and joining of the exons together at the biologically correct site.
Ribozymes with other types of biological activity have since been discovered. One
intriguing potential ribozyme is the peptidyl transferase activity of the ribosome. Many
believe that peptide bond formation is catalyzed by the 23S ribosomal RNA, a potential
ribozyme, rather than ribosomal proteins.

| Genetics , Molecular Biology |


How much DNA is in a typical human cell?
Share|
If the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) molecules in a single human cell were stretched out
and laid end to end they would measure approximately 6.5 feet (2 meters). The average
human body contains 10 to 20 billion miles (16 to 32 billion kilometers) of DNA
distributed among trillions of cells. If the total DNA in all the cells from one human were
unraveled, it would stretch to the sun and back more than 500 times.

| Molecular Biology |
What are the stages of mitosis?
Share|
Mitosis involves the replication of DNA and its separation into two new daughter cells.
while only four phases of mitosis are often listed. the entire process is actually
comprised
of six phases:
• Interphase: Involves extensive preparation for the division process.
• Prophase: The condensation of chromosomes; the nuclear membrane disappears;
formation of the spindle apparatus; chromosomes attach to spindle fibers.
• Metaphase: Chromosomes, attached by spindle fibers. align along the mid-line of a
cell.
• Anaphase: The centromere splits and chromatin move apart.
• Telophase: The nuclear membrane reforms around newly divided chromosomes.
• Cytokinesis: The division of cytoplasm, cell membranes, and organelles occur. In
plants. a new cell wall forms.

| cell biology , cell signaling , cell structure , Molecular Biology |


What is green fluorescent protein (GFP) ?
Share|
Green fluorescent protein is a protein found in a luminescent jellyfish (Aquorea victoria)
that lives in the cold waters of the northern Pacific. Bioluminescence is the production of
light by living organisms. These jellyfish contain two proteins: a bioluminescent protein
called aequorin that emits blue light, and an accessory green fluorescent protein (GFP).
However, what we actually see when the jellyfish fluoresces is the conversion of the
blue light emitted by aequorin to a green Iight-a metabolic reaction facilitated by the
GFP. Since GFP is simply a protein, it is often used both as a marker for gene transfer
and for localization of proteins. There are a variety of green fluorescent proteins that
can glow different colors.

| Biochemistry , Molecular Biology , Protein |


What is genetic engineering?
Share|
Genetic engineering, also popularly known as molecular cloning or gene cloning, is the
artificial recombination of nucleic acid molecules in a test tube; their insertion into a
virus, bacterial plasmid, or other vector system; and the subsequent incorporation of the
chimeric molecules into a host organism in which they are capable of continued
propagation. The construction of such molecules has also been termed gene
manipulation because it usually involves the production of novel genetic combinations
by biochemical means. Genetic engineering techniques include cell fusion and the use
of recombinant DNA or gene-splicing. In cell fusion the tough outer membranes of
sperm and egg cells are removed by enzymes, and then the fragile cells are mixed and
combined with the aid of chemicals or viruses. The result may be the creation of a new
life form from two species (a chimera). Recombinant DNA techniques transfer a specific
genetic activity from one organism to the next through the use of bacterial plasmids
(small circular pieces of DNA lying outside the main bacterial chromosome) and
enzymes, such as restriction endonucleases (which cut the DNA strands); reverse
transcriptase (which makes a DNA strand from an RNA strand); DNA ligase (which joins
DNA strands together); and Taq polymerase (which can make a double-strand DNA
molecule from a single-strand "primer" molecule). The recombinant DNA process
begins with the isolation and fragmentation of suitable DNA strands. After these
fragments are combined with vectors, they are carried into bacterial cells, where the
DNA fragments are "spliced" on to plasmid DNA that has been opened up. These hybrid
plasmids are then mixed with host cells to form transformed cells. Since only some of
the transformed cells will exhibit the desired characteristic or gene activity, the
transformed cells are separated and grown individually in cultures. This methodology
has been successful in producing large quantities of hormones (such as insulin) for the
biotechnology industry. However, it is more difficult to transform animal and plant cells.
Yet the technique exists to make plants resistant to diseases and to make animals grow
larger. Because genetic engineering interferes with the processes of heredity and can
alter the genetic structure of our own species, there is much concern over the ethical
ramifications of such power, as well as the possible health and ecological
consequences of the creation of these bacterial forms.
Some applications of genetic engineering in various fields are:
• Agriculture: Crops having larger yields, disease- and drought-resistancy; bacterial
sprays to prevent crop damage from freezing temperatures; and livestock improvement
through changes in animal traits.
• Industry: Use of bacteria to convert old newspaper and wood chips into sugar; oil- and
toxin-absorbing bacteria for oil spill or toxic waste cleanups; and yeasts to accelerate
wine fermentation.
• Medicine: Alteration of human genes to eliminate disease (experimental stage); faster
and more economical production of vital human substances to alleviate deficiency and
disease symptoms (but not to cure them); substances include insulin, interferon (cancer
therapy), vitamins, human growth hormone ADA, antibodies, vaccines, and antibiotics.
• Research: Modification of gene structure in medical research, especially cancer
research.
• Food processing: Rennin (enzyme) in cheese aging.

| cell biology , Genetics , Molecular Biology |


How the DNA nanoarchitecturing works?
Share|
DNA nanoarchitectures constructs that can be self-assembled from branched DNA
molecules. Their components may be simple branched species or more complex
structural motifs. Simple branched DNA junctions have been produced that contain 3–
12 double helices flanking a branch point. The species can be assembled and/ or
ligated into DNA stick polyhedra, where the edges are DNA double helices and the
vertices correspond to the branch points of the junctions. The first such molecule was a
DNA molecule with the connectivity of a cube. Other polyhedra produced to date include
a tetrahedron, an octahedron and a truncated octahedron. Branched junctions are
somewhat floppy, so only the branching and linking topologies of polyhedral are well
defined unless all the faces are triangles. Other individual objects that have been built
are topological targets, such as knots and Borromean rings. DNA is an ideal species to
use as a topological building block because a half-turn of DNA is equivalent to a node,
which is the fundamental topological feature of a knot or a catenane. The DNA double-
crossover (DX) molecule is another key element in DNA nanoarchitectures. This motif
consists of two helices joined twice by strands that connect them, leading to parallel
helix axes; the connection points are separated typically by Two-dimensional DNA
lattice. one and two double helical turns. Each of the connection points is a four-arm
junction, so the motif can be described as two four-arm junctions joined twice to each
other at adjacent arms. These are robust motifs, usually three to six double helical turns
in length and their structures can be reliably predicted. This system can be extended,
leading to molecules containing three or more helices joined laterally. Although most
often built to be roughly planar motifs, angles can be varied between pairs of helices,
using the helicity of DNA, e.g. a six-helix cyclic motif has been reported that
approximates a hexagonal tube (→DNA nanotubes). DX molecules and their relatives
can be exploited as tiles to produce two-dimensional crystalline arrangements by self-
assembly (→DNA self-assembly). An extra motif can be included in these tiles, visible
when the crystal is viewed in an atomic force microscope. The accompanying picture
shows how arrangements of two 16 × 4 nm tiles produce 32-nm stripes (top) or four tiles
produce 64-nm stripes (bottom). In addition to periodic arrangements, aperiodic patterns
can also be generated algorithmically. Single-stranded bacteriophages have been used
to produce greatly extended versions of the parallel DNA motif, capable of yielding
highly elaborate patterns, in a method called DNA origami. This is done by using the
bacteriophage genome (several thousand nucleotides) as a template to which a large
number of “staple strands” are added to fold the genome into a specific shape, including
holes in the middle; the addition of strands containing extra domains enable the
generation of further features. Smiley faces and a map of the western hemisphere are
examples of patterns generated by this method.

| Molecular Biology , Nanobiotechnology |


What is Barr body Genes?
Share|
Located inside the nuclear envelope, it is a densely staining object that is an inactivated
X chromosome in female mammalian cells. Most Barr body genes are not expressed.
They are reactivated in gonadal cells that undergo meiosis to form gametes. Female
mammals are a mosaic of two types of cells, those with an active maternal X and those
with an active paternal X. Which of the two Xs will be inactivated is determined
randomly in embryonic cells. After an X is inactivated, all mitotic descendants will have
the same inactive X. As a consequence, if a female is heterozygous for a sex-linked
trait, about half of her cells will express one allele and the other cells well express the
alternate allele. Examples of this type of mosaicism are coloration in calico cats and
normal sweat gland development in humans. A woman who is heterozygous for this trait
has patches of normal skin and patches of skin lacking sweat glands. X chromosome
inactivation is associated with DNA methylation. Methyl groups (-CH3) attach to
cytosine, one of DNA’s nitrogenous bases. Barr bodies are highly methylated compared
to actively transcribed DNA.
What determines which of the two X chromosomes will be methylated? – A recently
discovered gene, XIST is active only on the Barr body. The product of the XIST gene,
X-inactive specific transcript, is an RNA; multiple copies of XIST attach to the X
chromosome inactivating it.

| Genetics , Molecular Biology |


How Genes can be exchanged between chromatids?
Share|
When two homologous chromosomes physically exchange corresponding segments
during prophase I of meiosis, geneticists call it crossing over. Recombinations occur at
chiasmata during pachytene of meiosis-I. If just a few exchanges occur, genes that are
closer together tend to stay together. The farther apart on the same chromosome genes
are, the more likely they will separate during recombination. The two extremes are
independent assortment and complete or absolute linkage. The progeny resulting from
crossing over appear in repeatable proportions, called the recombinant frequency.
Greater recombination frequencies are observed for genes that are farther apart on the
chromosomes because a chiasma is more likely to cut between genes that are far apart
than genes that are closer together.

| Genetics , Molecular Biology |


Can we make artificial cells?
Share|
Research in progress at the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) is
focused on artificial cells as a means to deliver medicine in outer space; these cells are
able to withstand dehydration and thus can be safely stored for long periods. Artificial
cells are made of a polymer that acts like a cell membrane, but the polymer is stronger
and more manageable than real membranes. These polymers are called polymersomes
and can be made to cross-link with other polymers. Researchers feel that many different
kinds of molecules can be encapsulated within these polymersomes and then delivered
to specific target organs. An example would be an artificial blood cell that not only
delivers oxygen but also medication as it travels through the body.

| Molecular Biology |
How DNA Repair can happen?
Share|
A. DNA damage caused by ultraviolet light: 1. cyclobutane-type pyrimidine dimer is
the major photoproduct formed 2. a second product, the 6-4 photoproduct, is formed in
about 10 % of UV induced pyrimidine dimmers 3. the cyclobutane type dimer can be
reversed by a process called photoreactivation (a) this is carried out by an enzyme
called DNA photolyase (photoreactivating enzyme) (b) importance of the photolyase
enzyme in humans is questionable 4. DNA photoproducts can also be repaired by
excision repair

B. Spontaneous deamination of cytosine: 1. deamination of cytosine is common and


results in the conversion of cytosine to uracil 2. can be repaired by excision repair
process (i) uracil-DNA glycosylase hydrolyzes N-glycosidic bond to remove uracil base
(ii) AP endonuclease removes deoxyribose-phosphate (iii) gap is extended by
exonuclease (iv) gap is filled by DNA polymerase I and nick is sealed by DNA ligase

C. Depurination: Pathway is similar to that above except that excision repair begins
with AP endonuclease

D. DNA damaged by alkylating agents: 1. Some simple alkylating agents 2. examples


of products of alkylating agents 3. many of these products can be repaired by excision
repair that is initiated by specific glycosylases 4. some damage resulting from
methylation can be reversed by methyltransferases (a) O6-methylguanine-DNA
methyltransferase

E. Mismatch repair: 1. mismatches can occur when DNA polymerase inserts the wrong
nucleotide during replication 2. mismatch repair is “coupled” to replication

F. Recombinational repair: 1. occurs during DNA replication 2. major steps: (a) DNA
polymerase skips over damaged DNA leaving a gap opposite the lesion (b) the
undamaged parental strand recombines into the gap (this is facilitated by recA protein in
E. coli) (c) the new gap in the parental strand is filled by DNA polymerase and ligase

G. Genetic Defects in DNA repair and human disease: 1. Xeroderma pigmentosum


is an inherited disease that is characterized by severe photosensitivity and a very high
incidence of skin cancers. It is due to defective excision repair. 2. Bloom’s syndrome. 3.
Cockayne’s syndrome 4. Fanconi’s anemia 5. Ataxia telangiectasia

| Biochemistry , Molecular Biology |


Why does thymine replace uracil in DNA?
Share|
First, some clarification. As you already know, the difference between RNA and DNA is
the existence of a hydroxyl (-OH) group on the 2' carbon of the ribose sugar in the
backbone. The removal of 2' hydroxyl groups from DNA does not occur after the DNA
has been synthesized, but rather the 2' hydroxyl groups are removed from the
nucleotides before they are incorporated into the DNA. During nucleotide synthesis, a
portion of the nucleotide monophosphates (NMP's) are dehydroxylated to 2'-deoxy-
nucleotide monophosphates (dNMP's). This means that GMP, AMP, CMP, and UMP
are converted into dGMP, dAMP, dCMP, and dUMP, respectively. However, before
being incorporated into the chromosomes, another modification, using folic acid as a
catalyst, methylates the uracil in dUMP to form a thymine making it dTMP. After further
phosphorylation, dGTP, dATP, dCTP, and dTTP can be used as the building blocks to
construct DNA.

The important thing to notice is that while uracil exists as both uridine (U) and deoxy-
uridine (dU), thymine only exists as deoxy-thymidine (dT). So the question becomes:
Why do cells go to the trouble of methylating uracil to thymine before it can be used in
DNA?

The answer is: methylation protects the DNA. Beside using dT instead of dU, most
organisms also use various enzymes to modify DNA after it has been synthesized. Two
such enzymes, dam and dcm methylate adenines and cytosines, respectively, along the
entire DNA strand. This methylation makes the DNA unrecognizable to many Nucleases
(enzymes which break down DNA and RNA), so that it cannot be easily attacked by
invaders, like viruses or certain bacteria. Obviously, methylating the nucleotides before
they are incorporated ensures that the entire strand of DNA is protected. Thymine also
protects the DNA in another way. If you look at the components of nucleic acids,
phosphates, sugars, and bases, you see that they are all very hydrophilic (water
soluble). Obviously, adding a hydrophobic (water insoluble) methyl group to part of the
DNA is going to change the characteristics of the molecule. The major effect is that the
methyl group will be repelled by the rest of the DNA, moving it to a fixed position in the
major groove of the helix. This solves an important problem with uracil - though it
prefers adenine, uracil can base-pair with almost any other base, including itself,
depending on how it situates itself in the helix. By tacking it down to a single
conformation, the methyl group restricts uracil (thymine) to pairing only with adenine.
This greatly improves the efficiency of DNA replication, by reducing the rate of
mismatches, and thus mutations.
To sum up: the replacement of thymine for uracil in DNA protects the DNA from attack
and maintains the fidelity of DNA replication.

| Molecular Biology |
Suppose the restriction endonuclease HindIII cuts a
6.0 kb linear piece of DNAinto two fragments; an 800
bp fragment and a 5200 bp fragment.....
Share|
QuestionSuppose the restriction endonuclease HindIII cuts a 6.0 kb linear piece of
DNAinto two fragments; an 800 bp fragment and a 5200 bp fragment. NarI cuts the
DNA also into two fragments; fragments 1200 and 4800 bp long. Relative to the HindIII
cut site, there are two possible ways in which NarI could have cut the DNA. How can
you determine the correct cleavage site for NarI with respect to HindIII?

Answer

To determine this, one must subject the DNA to a double digest in which both the
enzymes are allowed to cut the DNA at the same time. When the double digest is
allowed to take place, if the three fragments that appear upon electrophoresis of the
restricted DNAare 400, 800, and 4800 bp, then the only possible way in which the data
can be interpreted is with the 1200 bp NarI fragment containing the HindIII recognition
site 800 bp from the end of the linear piece of DNA. If the 4800 bp NarI fragment
contained the cut site, you would visualize fragments of sizes 800, 1200, and 4000 bp
after electrophoresing the doubly digested DNA.

| Molecular Biology |
Why is the concept of a single gene as the ultimate
unit of inheritance inadequate to provide a unitary
explanation for protein synthesis?
Share|
Question:
Why is the concept of a single gene as the ultimate unit of inheritance inadequate to
provide a unitary explanation for protein synthesis, recombination, and mutation?

Answer:
The primary function of the gene is to code for a protein product. Sufficient DNA must
be present to account for each of the amino acids making up the primary structure of
the protein. It is this length of DNA that is designated the cistron. This is the basic unit of
function of the gene; however, there are units of function below this primary level. A
mutation involves a change in the original message contained within the cistron. Such a
change may lead to the manufacture of no protein or an altered protein. Since, in some
cases, change in even a single base may produce a mutation, only tiny lengths of DNA
may represent a unit for mutation—the muton. The cistron may thus contain hundreds
of mutons. The minimum length of DNA participating in exchanges of genetic
information is not clearly apparent. Exchanges of relatively few bases between
chromosomes would probably not result in the mutual transfer of intact message
material. The recon, the unit involved in recombination, may be only slightly shorter than
the full cistron.

| Molecular Biology

What are introns, and how do they affect the


processing of genetic information?
Share|
Introns, a feature of eukaryotic DNA, are intervening stretches of DNA lying between the
exons. The exons represent message material that actually gets translated into protein,
whereas the introns must eventually be excised from the final mRNA product. Initially,
both introns and exons are coded into an mRNA transcript. The existence of introns and
exons was demonstrated when it was discovered that only about one-third of the
primary transcript of DNA was used to make protein. In a highly complicated process,
the intron regions are removed from the rough primary transcript on the DNA template
to produce a secondary, mature mRNA that codes only for the exons. It is now clear
that initiator and terminator signals must mark the beginning and end of each intron
within a gene.
Despite the fact that the intron is not directly involved in shaping the final protein
product, it appears to be essential to the synthesis of a functional mRNA. The process
of excising the intron regions involves the participation of RNA as an enzyme. This
catalytic RNA is part of a protein-RNA particle known as the small nuclear
ribonucleoprotein particle.
| Molecular Biology |
The development of genetic engineering has raised
various concerns, moral and scientific. What might
some of these be?
Share|
In many bacteria, the plasmids used in recombinant studies contain the gene conferring
resistance to antibiotics.It was feared, during early attempts to effect DNA
transplantation, that bacteria would be created that would be resistant to all known
antibiotics. The possibility of an uncontrolled plague that would sweep through the
human population was only one of many concerns that arose from consideration of the
consequences of tinkering with thegenetic apparatus.

Cloning also presents scientific and ethical questions. Since the cloning technique does
not involve the usual sexual process for recombining genetic material, it short-circuits a
mechanism for providing variability, which in turn deprives the organism of adaptive
potential and thus leaves it more vulnerable to selection pressures. Questions also have
arisen about the legal status of a possible human clone, since it would be a genetic
replica of one individual but would be born to a woman who has provided a foster womb
without making a genetic contribution to the clone

Questions exist about who the parents of the clone would be, what family relationships
the cloned person would have,etc. These considerations involve the legal and religious
communities as well as biologists. In some countries, special panels have been set up
to deal with the ethical and biological issues involved in genetic engineering.

| Molecular Biology |
What features of the structure of mRNA enable its
interaction with the 30S subunit?
Share|
Toward the 5′ end of mRNA there is a region of ~20 nucleotides prior to the initiation
codon AUG. This leader region contains a purine-rich sequence that is responsible for
the interaction of the mRNA with the 30S subunit. It is known as the Shine-Dalgarno
sequence (after John Shine and Lynn Dalgarno, the Australians who made the
discovery); it can
bind to a complementary sequence at the 3′ end of the 16S rRNA to orient the 30S
subunit appropriately for initiation.
The Shine-Dalgarno sequence distinguishes the initiating AUG, which also determines
the reading frame, from an AUG that encodes an internal methionine. Other sequences
in the leader region are possibly involved in the overall process of initiation of
translation, which also involves the binding of the appropriately charged methionyl-tRNA
opposite the AUG codon.

| Molecular Biology |
What characteristics of DNA polymerase III make it an
ideal enzyme for replicating the whole genome?
Share|
The key features of DNA polymerase III are its catalytic potency, its fidelity, and its
processivity. It is able to catalyze the addition of ~103 bases per second, compared to
only about 10 per second for DNA polymerase I,with an error frequency of about 1:104–
105. One of the unique features of DNA polymerase III is its ability to continuously
synthesize very long (thousands of bases) stretches of DNA, unlike DNA polymerase I.
This is a consequence of its processivity; the β2 sliding clamps ensure that it remains
bound to the template strand DNA.

In contrast, DNA polymerase I, without a sliding clamp, is much more likely to dissociate
from the template strand after synthesis of short (tens of bases) stretches of DNA.

| Molecular Biology |
How do we study what function(s) a particular gene
has in a cell?
Share|
One of the most informative ways to investigate the function of a gene is to determine
its effect in vivo, by artificially introducing DNA into the cells of an organism. Such DNA
is called a transgene (transferred gene), and such organisms are known as transgenic.
Transgenes can be used to investigate gene function either by introducing a new gene,
new regulatory regions, or a mutated version of an endogenous gene, or by inactivating
an endogenous gene. A new or enhanced gene activity conferred by a transgene is
known as a gain-offunction mutation, whereas a loss-of-function mutation results in
reduced or abolished gene function.

Common transgenic animals, in order of complexity, include baker’s yeast


(Saccharomyces cerevisiae), the nematode worm (Caenorhabditis elegans), the fruit fly
(Drosophila melanogaster), and the mouse (Mus musculus). Evolutionary conservation
means that their genes share a degree of homology with human genes, so that
discoveries about function made with these organisms frequently apply to humans.
While similar genetic manipulations can be performed in vitro using cell culture,
transgenic organisms provide more physiologically relevant data, resulting from the
interaction of gene products with all components of an intact organism. Transgenic
organisms therefore provide models to explore gene function, gene control, and human
diseases

| Molecular Biology |
How is the production of a tissue-specific protein
restricted to a particular tissue when the gene is
present in the nucleus of all cells?
Share|
Most of the control of tissue-specific gene expression occurs at the level of transcription;
this is achieved with tissuespecific transcription factors. E.g., all the genes that are to be
expressed in erythroid cells (such as globins, spectrin, and the erythropoietin receptor)
have the site -AGATA- in their promoters. This promoter is only active when bound by a
transcription factor, called GATA-1, which is present only in erythroid cells.

| Molecular Biology |
RNA polymerase inhibitors - Why is this so?
Share|
Question
The bacterial RNA polymerase inhibitors rifampicin and streptolydigin each bind to the
same subunitof the enzyme, but their overall effect on the activity of the enzyme is
different. Why is this so?
Answer
Each of these inhibitors binds exclusively to the β-subunit of RNA polymerase. This
subunit is involved in both initiation and elongation of RNA chain growth. Rifampicin
binds to the subunit in such a way to affect only the initiation step; it has no effect on
elongation. Streptolydigin, on the other hand, binds in a manner that blocks both
activities.
Immunology
What is the life span of antibodies in body circulation?
Share|
Antibodies, as noted, are protein molecules. They will either leave the body in
secretions or be broken down by enzymes that degrade proteins in the body. The
average life span of most antibody molecules is roughly a few weeks. Continued
antigen stimulation is necessary to continue the antibody response, and as the antigen
disappears, the stimulation disappears. The antibodies produced as a result of the initial
stimulation remain in the bloodstream for a long period of time, with about half the
quantity disappearing after a few weeks and half the remaining disappearing after
another few weeks, and so forth. In many cases, the antibody level is sufficient to
sustain an individual for the remainder of his or her life, especially after recovery
from disease.

| Immunology |
What is the function of the helper T cell?
Share|
The helper T cells assist the immune process by helping other cells in the immune
system to achieve an efficient immune response. In antibody- mediated immunity, the
helper T cell helps recognize the MHC molecule and the epitope on the antigen-
presenting cell surface, and it assists the interaction between the B cell and the
macrophage. Thus, the helper T cell is involved in antibody- mediated immunity. In
addition, helper T cells are involved in the activation of cytotoxic T cells. These cells are
critical to both antibody mediated and cell- mediated immunity.

| Immunology |
Are any immunodeficiency diseases related to the
stem cells in humans?
Share|
Both the B and T cells are derived ultimately from cells in the bone marrow called stem
cells. When the stem cells are missing or defective, the individual fails to form B cells
and T cells. This condition is known as severe combined immunodeficiency disease
(SCID). Confinement to a sterilized plastic bubble used to be required for these
individuals because they are unable to mount immune defenses against any antigens.
The typical treatment option for SCID is a bone marrow transplant.

| Immunology |
How does blood circulate in the fetus?
Share|
Fetal circulation differs from circulation after birth because the lungs of the fetus are
nonfunctional. Therefore, blood circulation essentially bypasses the lungs in the fetus.
The umbilical vein carries oxygenated blood from the placenta to the fetus. About half of
the blood from the umbilical vein enters the liver, while the rest of the blood bypasses
the liver and enters the ductus venosus. The ductus venosus joins the inferior vena
cava. Blood enters the right atrium of the heart and then flows through the foramen
ovale to the left atrium. Blood then passes into the left ventricle (lower portion of the
heart) and then to the aorta. From the aorta, blood is sent to the head and upper
extremities. It returns to the right atrium of the heart through the superior vena cava.
Some blood stays in the pulmonary trunk to reach the developing lung tissues.

| Biochemistry , Gynacology , Immunology |


What are the benefits of artificial blood?
Share|
Artificial blood is a blood substitute that can be used to provide fluid volume and carry
oxygen in the vessels. Two characteristics that a blood substitute should have is that it
should be thinner than real blood and it should have a low affinity for oxygen so that
oxygen can be delivered easily. The benefits of artificial blood are that it lessens the
demand for human blood supplies and it can be given immediately without triggering a
rejection in cases of massive blood loss. Synthetic chemical compounds called
perfluorocarbons are currently being studied as a substitute for red blood cells. For such
a substitute to be acceptable, it needs to be: 1) able to carry oxygen and release it to
tissues;
2) nontoxic; 3) storable; 4) able to function for varying periods of time in the human
body; and, 5) immune-response resistant.

| Immunology |
Why are red blood cells disc shaped ?
Share|
Red blood cells are perhaps the most specialized cells in the human body. They are a
biconcave (donut) shape with a thin central disc. This shape is important because the
disc increases the surface-area-to-volume ratio for faster exchange of gases and it
allows red blood cells to stack, one on another, as they flow through very narrow
vessels. Also, since some capillaries are as narrow as 0.00015748 inches (0.004
millimeters), red blood cells can literally squeeze through narrow vessels by changing
shape.

| Blood chemistry , Immunology |


How Monoclonal Antibody differs from Polyclonal
Antibody?
Share|
If an antigen is injected into an animal, a number of antibody-producing cells will bind
that antigen albeit with varying degrees of affinity, and so the antibody which appears in
the bloodstream will have arisen from several clones of cells, that is it will be a
polyclonal antibody. Different antibody molecules in a preparation of polyclonal antibody
will bind to different parts of the macromolecular antigen and will do so with different
binding affinities. The binding region recognized by any one antibody molecule is called
an epitope. Most antibodies recognize particular surface structures in a protein rather
than specific amino acid sequences (i.e. the epitopes are defined by the conformation of
the protein antigen). A preparation of polyclonal antibodies will bind to many epitopes on
the protein antigen. Whereas, Monoclonal antibodies are single clone of antibody-
producing cells could be isolated, then all of the antibody produced from that clone
would be identical; all antibody molecules in such a monoclonal antibody preparation
would bind to the same antigen epitope. The problem is that if an individual antibody-
producing cell is isolated and grown in culture, its descendants have a limited lifespan
that severely limits their use for the routine preparation of monoclonal antibodies.
Monoclonal antibodies produced using this technology are now common tools in
research because of their very high specificity. For example, they can be used to locate
particular molecules within cells or particular amino acid sequences within proteins. If
they are first bound to an insoluble matrix, they are also extremely useful for binding to
and hence purifying the particular molecule from crude cell extracts or fractions .They
are also increasingly of use in medicine, both for diagnosis and as therapeutic tools, for
example to inactivate bacterial toxins and to treat certain forms of cancer.

| Biochemistry , Immunology |
What is Complement system in Immunology?
Share|
When the recognition function of the humoral immune system has been carried out by
the production of specific antibodies and their binding to foreign antigens, destruction of
the invading pathogen is the next step. One main defense pathway is the complement
system which is activated by antibodies bound to the invading microorganism and
eventually causes it to lyse by punching holes in its plasma membrane. The
complement system consists of about 20 interacting soluble proteins that circulate in the
blood and extracellular fluid. Immunoglobulin molecules bound to the surface of the
microorganisms activate C1, the first component of the complement pathway. The
activation occurs through the Fc portion of the bound antibody. Only bound antibody
can activate complement, soluble antibody not bound to an antigen has no such effect.
The early components of the complement pathway, including C1, are proteases that
activate their substrate by limited cleavage. Activated C1 now activates several
molecules of the next component by proteolysis, each of which activates several
molecules of the next component by proteolysis, and so on. Therefore, the early steps
in complement activation consist of a proteolytic cascade in which more and more
molecules are activated at each step. Component C3 is the key component whose
cleavage leads to the assembly of membrane attack complexes on the plasma
membrane of the microorganisms, which create holes in the plasma membrane that
lead to cell death. Various white blood cells also become activated during this process
and phagocytose the pathogen.

| Immunology |
What happens once the DNA from the HIV particle
enters the cell nucleus?
Share|
The DNA molecule, known as a provirus, assumes a relationship with the DNA of the T
lymphocyte, and the provirus enters the state of lysogeny. From this point in the
nucleus, the provirus encodes new HIV particles, which acquire their envelope by
budding through the membrane of the T lymphocyte. The human body attempts to keep
up with the mass of new viral particles, but eventually the newly emerging strains of HIV
overwhelm the body defenses and the T lymphocyte count begins to drop. Normally, it
is approximately 800 T lymphocytes per cubic millimeter of blood, but as the disease
progresses, the count drops into the low hundreds and tens. This drop may occur as
soon as weeks after infection or as long as 20 years or more after infection.

| Immunology , Microbiology |
Do antibodies have a life span in the body circulation?
Share|
Antibodies, as noted, are protein molecules. They will either leave the body in
secretions or be broken down by enzymes that degrade proteins in the body. The
average life span of most antibody molecules is roughly a few weeks. Continued
antigen stimulation is necessary to continue the antibody response, and as the antigen
disappears, the stimulation disappears. The antibodies produced as a result of the initial
stimulation remain in the bloodstream for a long period of time, with about half the
quantity disappearing after a few weeks and half the remaining disappearing after
another few weeks, and so forth. In many cases, the antibody level is sufficient to
sustain an individual for the remainder of his or her life, especially after recovery from
disease.

| Immunology |
What is known about the structure of individual MHC
genes?
Share|
Each MHC Class I and Class II gene consists of several exons and several introns.The
most 5' exons in both Class I and Class II genes are the regulatory sequences; these
code for the factors that up-regulate the MHC gene transcription. Further downstream,
there is an exon that codes for a leader polypeptide. The role of this small polypeptide is
to target the nascent MHC molecules to the endoplasmic reticulum; when the mature
MHC molecules are ‘‘stuffed’’with peptides and ready to be expressed, the leader
polypeptide falls off. Separate exons, located 3' to the leader and in tandem array, code
for separate domains of the MHC molecule(a1, a2, and a3 in the MHC Class I and a1
and a2 or b1 and b2 in the MHC Class II molecule). Finally, the exons that code for the
MHC molecule’s transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains are also separate and
located the most 3' in an individual gene.

| Immunology |
Can substances other than proteins be antigens?
Share|
Yes. Most antigens are proteins, but polysaccharides, certain lipids, and nucleic acids
also can trigger immune reactions. Besides, some relatively simple organic chemicals
and chemical groups can be specifically recognized by the immune system, although
they cannot trigger immune reactions. Such substances are called haptens. The
immune response specific to a hapten can be triggered if the hapten is chemically
coupled with a protein. The latter in this case will be called a carrier.
| Immunology |
Does vaccination against a disease confer active or
passive immunity?
Share|
Active immunity is conferred when the body manufactures antibodies in response to
direct contact with an antigen. When an individual is again exposed to the antigen, the
body “remembers” it and mounts a quicker and more specific antibody response to that
antigen. Active immunity can be conferred by exposure to the whole antigen (e.g., the
chicken pox virus) or by vaccination with dead or weakened pathogens or altered toxins.

Passive immunity is conferred by the transfer of antibodies from one person to


another; the recipient does not produce his or her own antibodies. For example, a
gamma globulin shot (another individual’s antibodies) can confer passive immunity
against hepatitis A. As another example, a fetus receives IgG across the placenta from
the mother. This passive immunity helps the newborn to fight disease before its own
immune system has developed.

| Immunology |
What are some of the mechanical and chemical
barriers to infection?
Share|
Mechanical barriers include skin and mucous membranes. The mucous membranes in
the respiratory passageways are lined with ciliated epithelium. The cilia continuously
move particles trapped in the mucus in a direction away from the lungs. This epithelium
is eventually destroyed in smokers, causing them to be susceptible to respiratory
diseases.

Chemical barriers:
Lysozyme—A chemical found in tears, saliva, and blood plasma that breaks down
bacterial cell walls.
Pepsin—An enzyme in the stomach that lyses (disintegrates) many microorganisms.
Hydrochloric acid—Secreted by the parietal cells in the stomach, it creates a low pH
that is lethal to many pathogens.
Complement—A series of enzymatic proteins that are activated by both specific and
nonspecific mechanisms.
Interferon—Any of a group of proteins that are produced by virus-infected cells and
some immune system cells, inhibiting viral growth.
| Biochemistry |
Showing newest posts with label Biochemistry. Show older posts

How can diseases be transmitted among various


individuals?
Share|
In order for transmission among individuals to occur, the pathogenic microorganisms
must leave the body through a portal of exit. Transmission can occur in the form of
respiratory secretions expelled from the respiratory tract, or microorganisms can exit in
the feces or urine, or they may be removed when blood is ingested by mosquitoes,
ticks, or other arthropods. Skin contact, including contact made during sexual
intercourse, is another mechanism for transport to the next individual.

| Biochemistry |
Are prokaryotes and eukaryotes similar in any
respects?
Share|
Prokaryotes and eukaryotes share common features, among them the possession of
nucleic acids and other organic substances such as proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids.
In addition, they utilize similar metabolic reactions such as glycolysis and chemiosmosis
for the utilization of food and the production of energy and waste. Also, they exhibit
many of the same physiological features such as motion and reproduction, although the
mode of reproduction may be different and different organs of motility may exist.

| Biochemistry , cell biology |


How is resolution determined in microscope?
Share|
To determine resolution, one must know the numerical aperture (NA) of the lens
system. This denotes the size of the cone of light entering the aperture of the lens. The
NA, typically etched into the lens, is multiplied by two. The product is then divided into
the wavelength of the visible light, typically 550 nm. (If another form of light such as
ultraviolet light were used, the wavelength of that light would be used in the formula.)
The result is the resolution of the lens system expressed in nm. Conversion to
micrometers is usually the final step.

| Biochemistry |
What is bulimia?
Share|
Bulimia is an eating disorder in which individuals binge eat frequently—often several
times a week or even several times per day. Sufferers of this illness may eat an
enormous amount of food in a short time, consuming thousands of calories. Then they
will purge their bodies by vomiting or using laxatives and/or diuretics.

| Biochemistry , Food and Nutrition |


What is diapedesis?
Share|
Diapedesis is the ability of white blood cells to squeeze between the cells that form
blood vessel walls. Once these white blood cells are outside the blood, they move
through interstitial spaces using a form of primitive movement called amoeboid motion.
Neutrophils and monocytes are the most active of these white blood cells. These
leukocytes engulf bacterial cells, organic molecules in bacterial cells, and other large
objects such as parasites. Neutrophils and monocytes frequently become so full of
bacterial toxins and other related products that they also die.

| Biochemistry , Blood chemistry |


How is the skin involved in the regulation of body
temperature?
Share|
The skin is one of several organ systems participating in maintaining a core
temperature, meaning the temperature near the center of someone’s body.
Temperature sensors in the skin and internal organs monitor core temperature and
transmit signals to the control center located in the hypothalamus, a region of the brain.
When the core temperature falls below its set point, the hypothalamus: 1. Sends more
nerve impulses to blood vessels in the skin that cause the vessels to narrow, which
restricts blood flow to the skin, reducing heat loss. 2. Stimulates the skeletal muscles,
causing brief bursts of muscular contraction, known as shivering, which generates heat.
When the core temperature rises above its set point, the hypothalamus: 1. Sends fewer
nerve impulses to blood vessels in the skin, causing them to dilate, which increases
blood flow to the skin and promotes heat loss. 2. Activates the sweat glands, and when
sweat evaporates off the skin surface it carries a large amount of body heat with it.

| Anatomy , Biochemistry , physiology |


What are three components necessary to maintain
homeostasis?
Share|
The three components of homeostasis are sensory receptors, integrators, and effectors.
These three components interact to maintain the state of homeostasis. Sensory
receptors are cells that can detect a stimulus that signals a change in the environment.
The brain is the integrator that processes the information and selects a response.
Muscles and glands are effectors that carry out the response

| Biochemistry |
What are the effects of Ageing on respiratory system?
Share|
There is a decline in the efficiency of the respiratory system with ageing. There is a
gradual loss of elastic tissue & the chest wall becomes less capable of expansion.
These changes show up as a reduction in vital capacity (The maximum volume of air
that can be expired after a maximum inspiration). This may decrease by as much as
35% by the age of 70. All other aspects of function decline in performance notably, the
action of cilia & protective activity of white blood cells. This leaves the system more
prone to disease like pneumonia, bronchitis & emphysema.

| Biochemistry , physiology |
How does blood circulate in the fetus?
Share|
Fetal circulation differs from circulation after birth because the lungs of the fetus are
nonfunctional. Therefore, blood circulation essentially bypasses the lungs in the fetus.
The umbilical vein carries oxygenated blood from the placenta to the fetus. About half of
the blood from the umbilical vein enters the liver, while the rest of the blood bypasses
the liver and enters the ductus venosus. The ductus venosus joins the inferior vena
cava. Blood enters the right atrium of the heart and then flows through the foramen
ovale to the left atrium. Blood then passes into the left ventricle (lower portion of the
heart) and then to the aorta. From the aorta, blood is sent to the head and upper
extremities. It returns to the right atrium of the heart through the superior vena cava.
Some blood stays in the pulmonary trunk to reach the developing lung tissues.
| Biochemistry , Gynacology , Immunology |
What are the benefits of breastfeeding?
Share|
Breastfeeding provides benefits to both the baby and the mother. A major benefit to the
baby is that breast milk supplies the correct amount of nutrients as the baby grows from
an infant to a healthy toddler. The nutrients in breast milk also protect the infant from
certain childhood illnesses. Finally, recent research has shown that breast milk contains
certain fatty acids (building blocks) that help the infant’s brain develop. In the early days
following childbirth, the mother’s body releases a hormone that makes her uterus
contract and get smaller in response to the baby’s sucking. Breastfeeding also provides
many emotional benefits between mother and child and encourages maternal-infant
bonding. Human breast milk consists of mostly of water (88 percent), sugars (6.5 to 8
percent), lipids (3 to 5 percent), proteins (1 to 2 percent), amino acids, and salts. It also
contains large quantities of lysozymes—enzymes with antibiotic properties. Human milk
is bluish-white in color and sweet. The blue color comes from the protein and the white
comes from the fat. There are approximately 750 calories per liter of breast milk.

| Biochemistry , Food and Nutrition |


Why is carbon so important in biological system?
Share|
It is sometime said that life on our planet is based on carbon. Carbon is an element that
is found in all organic molecules. Carbon forms strong covalent bonds, in other words it
shares electrons, with other elements. It forms four such bonds that are it has a valency
of four. A simple example is methane, whose molecular formula is CH4. The
explanation for the importance of carbon lies in the way carbon atoms can join to each
other, forming either chain or rings. These chains & rings are the skeletons of organic
molecules & hence of life itself. They are very stable because the covalent bonds linking
the carbon atoms together are strong. Atoms or particular groups of atoms of other
elements (referred to simply as groups) can be attached at various positions to the
carbon skeleton.

| Biochemistry |
How the Urinary tract infections are differentiating?
Share|
Urinary tract infections may occur in the urethra, where they are called urethritis; if they
occur in the bladder, they are referred to as cystitis; and if they develop in the ureters,
they are called ureteritis. Infection of the kidney is generally called pyelonephritis. In
males, inflammation of the prostate gland, called prostatitis, often accompanies urinary
tract infection. It often happens that blood infection with beta- hemolytic streptococci,
Streptococcus pyogenes, leads to inflammation in the kidney. This inflammation is
known as glomerulonephritis (also called Bright’s disease). The disease reflects an
immune complex reaction resulting from activity of the immune system and type III
hypersensitivity. Fever and high blood pressure accompany the disease.

| Biochemistry , physiology |
How are the neurotransmitter molecules inactivated
after they are released at a synapse?
Share|
After a chemical neurotransmitter has been released from the synaptic terminal, its
action must be terminated in some way. Otherwise, the continued presence of the
transmitter in the extracellular space would continuously activate the post synaptic cell.
The action of a neurotransmitter can be terminated in either of 2 ways: 1) The
transmitter molecules are removed from the extracellular space by uptake into
surrounding glial cells & neurons (including the presynaptic terminal that originally
released the transmitter), as the neurotransmitter diffuses away from its site of release.
2) The neurotransmitter molecules are chemically degraded into inactive substances. At
the neurotransmitter junction, this mechanism is used to inactivate Acetylcholine
released from the synaptic terminals of the motor neurons.

| Biochemistry , Neurobiology |
How the molecular biological technique is used to
study the nervous system?
Share|
As with other fields of biology, recent advances in molecular biological technique allow
manipulations of the nervous system at the molecular level in precise & specific ways.
Also genetics has long been a valuable tool for analyzing complex biological systems &
establishing the functional role of a protein. In the nervous system, genetics has played
an important role in unraveling the molecular basis of neural function. Traditionally, the
genetic approach has relied on naturally occurring or experimentally created mutation
that affect a gene important for the biological system of interest. In the case of the
nervous system, such mutations are often detected by their effect on some aspect of
behavior. More recently, new techniques (genetic & transgenic approaches, functional
expression of genes & mutagenesis) have been developed that allow targeted
disruption of a particular gene.
| Biochemistry , Neurobiology |
What are the major hormones and aging plays any
role in it?
Share|
The major groups of hormones are amine hormones, peptide and protein hormones,
and steroid hormones. Amine hormones are relatively small molecules that are
structurally similar to amino acids. Epinephrine and norepinephrine, serotonin,
dopamine, the thyroid hormones, and melatonin are examples of amine hormones.
Peptide hormones and protein hormones are chains of amino acids. The peptide
hormones have 3 to 49 amino acids, while the protein hormones are larger with chains
of 50 to 200 or more amino acids. Examples of peptide hormones are antidiuretic
hormone and oxytocin. The larger thyroid-stimulating hormone and follicle- stimulating
hormone are examples of protein hormones. Steroid hormones are derived from
cholesterol. Cortisol and the reproductive hormones (androgens in males and estrogens
in females) are examples of steroid hormones. Most endocrine glands continue to
function and secrete hormones throughout an individual’s lifetime. The most noticeable
change in hormonal output is in the reproductive hormones. The ovaries decrease in
size and no longer respond to FSH and LH, resulting in a decrease in the output of
estrogens. Although the hormonal levels of other hormones may not change with aging
and remain within normal limits, some endocrine tissues become less sensitive to
stimulation. For example, elderly people may not produce as much insulin after a
carbohydrate-rich meal is eaten. It has been suggested that the decrease in function of
the immune system is a result of the reduced size of the thymus gland.

| Biochemistry , Endocrinolgy |
How Monoclonal Antibody differs from Polyclonal
Antibody?
Share|
If an antigen is injected into an animal, a number of antibody-producing cells will bind
that antigen albeit with varying degrees of affinity, and so the antibody which appears in
the bloodstream will have arisen from several clones of cells, that is it will be a
polyclonal antibody. Different antibody molecules in a preparation of polyclonal antibody
will bind to different parts of the macromolecular antigen and will do so with different
binding affinities. The binding region recognized by any one antibody molecule is called
an epitope. Most antibodies recognize particular surface structures in a protein rather
than specific amino acid sequences (i.e. the epitopes are defined by the conformation of
the protein antigen). A preparation of polyclonal antibodies will bind to many epitopes on
the protein antigen. Whereas, Monoclonal antibodies are single clone of antibody-
producing cells could be isolated, then all of the antibody produced from that clone
would be identical; all antibody molecules in such a monoclonal antibody preparation
would bind to the same antigen epitope. The problem is that if an individual antibody-
producing cell is isolated and grown in culture, its descendants have a limited lifespan
that severely limits their use for the routine preparation of monoclonal antibodies.
Monoclonal antibodies produced using this technology are now common tools in
research because of their very high specificity. For example, they can be used to locate
particular molecules within cells or particular amino acid sequences within proteins. If
they are first bound to an insoluble matrix, they are also extremely useful for binding to
and hence purifying the particular molecule from crude cell extracts or fractions .They
are also increasingly of use in medicine, both for diagnosis and as therapeutic tools, for
example to inactivate bacterial toxins and to treat certain forms of cancer.

| Biochemistry , Immunology |
How do bones grow?
Share|

Bones form and develop through a process called


ossification. There are two types of ossification:
intramembranous ossification and endochondral
ossification. Intramembranous ossification is the
formation of bone directly on or within the fibrous
connective tissue. Examples of bone formed through
intramembranous ossification are the flat bones of the
skull, mandible (lower jaw), and clavicle (collarbone).
Endochondral ossification, from the
Greek endo, meaning “within,” and khondros,meaning
“cartilage,” is the transformation of the cartilage model
into bone. Cartilage cells in the epiphyseal plate grow
and move into the metaphysis where they are
reabsorbed and replaced by bone tissue. Examples of
bone formed through endochondral ossification are the
long bones, such as the femur and humerus.
| Anatomy , Biochemistry |
Why do we die without oxygen?
Share|
Most living organisms are aerobic; that is, they require oxygen to
complete the total breakdown of glucose for the production of
adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy for life. Many people think
that humans need oxygen to breathe, but actually people need oxygen
to recycle the spent electrons and hydrogen ions (H+) produced as
byproducts of aerobic respiration.
| Biochemistry |
How does brown fat differ from white fat?
Share|
White fat (or adipose tissue) stores nutrients. Brown fat, also called brown adipose tissue,
consumes its nutrient stores to generate heat to warm the body. It is called brown fat because it has
a deep, rich, dark color that is derived from the numerous mitochondria in each individual cell. Brown
adipose tissue is found in infants and very young children between the shoulder blades, around the
neck, and in the anterior abdominal wall. Older children and adults rely on shivering to warm the
body.

| Biochemistry |
What is green fluorescent protein (GFP) ?
Share|
Green fluorescent protein is a protein found in a luminescent jellyfish (Aquorea victoria)
that lives in the cold waters of the northern Pacific. Bioluminescence is the production of
light by living organisms. These jellyfish contain two proteins: a bioluminescent protein
called aequorin that emits blue light, and an accessory green fluorescent protein (GFP).
However, what we actually see when the jellyfish fluoresces is the conversion of the
blue light emitted by aequorin to a green Iight-a metabolic reaction facilitated by the
GFP. Since GFP is simply a protein, it is often used both as a marker for gene transfer
and for localization of proteins. There are a variety of green fluorescent proteins that
can glow different colors.

| Biochemistry , Molecular Biology , Protein


How DNA Repair can happen?
Share|
A. DNA damage caused by ultraviolet light: 1. cyclobutane-type pyrimidine dimer is
the major photoproduct formed 2. a second product, the 6-4 photoproduct, is formed in
about 10 % of UV induced pyrimidine dimmers 3. the cyclobutane type dimer can be
reversed by a process called photoreactivation (a) this is carried out by an enzyme
called DNA photolyase (photoreactivating enzyme) (b) importance of the photolyase
enzyme in humans is questionable 4. DNA photoproducts can also be repaired by
excision repair

B. Spontaneous deamination of cytosine: 1. deamination of cytosine is common and


results in the conversion of cytosine to uracil 2. can be repaired by excision repair
process (i) uracil-DNA glycosylase hydrolyzes N-glycosidic bond to remove uracil base
(ii) AP endonuclease removes deoxyribose-phosphate (iii) gap is extended by
exonuclease (iv) gap is filled by DNA polymerase I and nick is sealed by DNA ligase

C. Depurination: Pathway is similar to that above except that excision repair begins
with AP endonuclease

D. DNA damaged by alkylating agents: 1. Some simple alkylating agents 2. examples


of products of alkylating agents 3. many of these products can be repaired by excision
repair that is initiated by specific glycosylases 4. some damage resulting from
methylation can be reversed by methyltransferases (a) O6-methylguanine-DNA
methyltransferase

E. Mismatch repair: 1. mismatches can occur when DNA polymerase inserts the wrong
nucleotide during replication 2. mismatch repair is “coupled” to replication

F. Recombinational repair: 1. occurs during DNA replication 2. major steps: (a) DNA
polymerase skips over damaged DNA leaving a gap opposite the lesion (b) the
undamaged parental strand recombines into the gap (this is facilitated by recA protein in
E. coli) (c) the new gap in the parental strand is filled by DNA polymerase and ligase

G. Genetic Defects in DNA repair and human disease: 1. Xeroderma pigmentosum


is an inherited disease that is characterized by severe photosensitivity and a very high
incidence of skin cancers. It is due to defective excision repair. 2. Bloom’s syndrome. 3.
Cockayne’s syndrome 4. Fanconi’s anemia 5. Ataxia telangiectasia

| Biochemistry , Molecular Biology |


How can drug resistance develop in microorganisms?
Share|
The use of antibiotics over the last 60 years has led to the development of drug-
resistant strains of bacteria.These bacterial strains always existed in the microbial
population, but they never needed to use their resistance mechanisms because they
were never confronted with the antibiotic. With widespread antibiotic use, the
susceptible bacteria died off rapidly, and the surviving bacteria were those with
resistance. They
quickly multiplied to form populations of drug- resistant microorganisms. While
methicillin- resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a well- known example of a
drug- resistant strain, many other organisms are showing alarming rates of drug
resistance due to the selective pressures exerted by the increased use of antibiotics.

| Biochemistry , cell structure , Microbiology |


Why is the Krebs cycle important in energy
metabolism?
Share|
The Krebs cycle is essential for energy metabolism because electrons are given off at
several places during the reactions of the cycle. At three different points of each cycle,
pairs of electrons are assumed by NAD molecules to produce three molecules of
reduced NAD, or NADH. In addition, another reaction yields a pair of electrons taken up
by the coenzyme FAD. This capture of electrons yields reduced FAD, or FADH2.Also
during the Krebs cycle reactions, a reaction occurs in which enough energy is liberated
to synthesize a molecule of ATP. Since two turns of the Krebs cycle occur for every
glucose molecule, two molecules of ATP are produced. These two ATP molecules are
in addition to the two ATP molecules resulting from the reactions of glycolysis.

| Biochemistry |
Nucleic acids are unique among the biopolymers in
that they contain phosphate. How has this property
been exploited experimentally in studies ........
Share|
QuestionNucleic acids are unique among the biopolymers in that they contain
phosphate. How has this property been exploited experimentally in studies of protein
synthesis?

Answer

The use of 32P (radioactive) to label DNA and RNA for Southern and northern blotting
was a major technical advance. One of the earliest exploitations of the unique
phosphorus content of nucleic acids was the Waring-blender experiment (first
performed by Alfred Hershey and Martha Chase). This groundbreaking experiment
proved that DNA (and not protein) was responsible for genetic information flow from one
generation to the next. In this experiment the ability of T2 bacteriophage (a virus that
infects bacteria) to inject DNA but not protein into the host bacterium during infection
was conclusively shown with 32P labeled (which labeled the nucleic acid) and 35S
labeled (which labeled proteins only) phage. When 32P labeled phage, containing
radiolabeled DNA, were allowed to attach briefly to the host bacteria (then removed with
a Waring blender), a 32P-labeled bacterial pellet was the result obtained after
centrifugation of the sample. When 35S-labeled phage were used, the bacterial pellet
obtained after centrifugation was unlabeled. From this experiment it was finally
established that the nucleic acid and not the protein coat was transferred to the host
during viral infection. This DNA could then hijack the host’s transcription and translation
machinery to direct the synthesis of many copies of the virus, eventually leading to host
cell.

| Biochemistry |
Can hemoglobin bind other gas molecules besides
oxygen?
Share|
Yes. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and carbon monoxide (CO) also bind to hemoglobin.
Hemoglobin, when saturated with oxygen, is called oxyhemoglobin. It is cherry red in
color. When oxyhemoglobin loses its oxygen, it becomes bluish purple. Hemoglobin in
combination with carbon dioxide is called carbaminohemoglobin. Oxygen and carbon
dioxide have distinct carry sites on the Hb molecule. Carbon monoxidecombined with
Hb is called carboxyhemoglobin. Carbonmonoxide binds to a heme and has 200 times
the affinity for the heme that oxygen has. It is this competitive exclusion of oxygen that
makes carbon monoxide so dangerous a gas.

| Biochemistry |
How do NADP+ and NADPH differ from NAD+ and
NADH?
Share|
These pairs of molecules are identical except for the presence of a phosphate group at
the 2′ position on the ribose moiety. This is not a high-energy phosphate but rather a
molecular tag that enables enzymes to discriminate between the two forms of redox
compound. In higher animals there do not appear to be any NADH transferase enzymes
that catalyze direct transfer of hydrogen atoms from NADH to NADP+ or from NADPH
to NAD+.

NADH and NADPH are equivalent in terms of their standard redox potentials, but
because redox enzymes are usuallyselective for one or the other of them, two distinct
pools of reductants exist. NADH is used as a source of reducing
equivalents for the electron transport chain (ETC) while NADPH provides reducing
equivalents for many biosyntheticreactions. Hence, even within a single spatial
compartment such as the cytoplasm, the NADH to NAD+ ratio can be
very low, favoring oxidation of fuels, while simultaneously the NADPH to NADP+ ratio
can be very high, facilitating
biosynthesis.

| Biochemistry |
What determines the rate of an enzyme-catalyzed
reaction, and why is it important?
Share|
The important factors that influence the rate of an enzymic reaction are the
concentration of the enzyme itself, the substrate concentration(s), and factors such as
pH, temperature, presence of cofactors, and metal ions. In a practical sense, there may
be occasions when we need to optimize the rate of a particular reaction.

A study of the way the rate depends on experimental variables may allow us to
discriminate between possible models that attempt to predict how the enzyme functions,
and thus to suggest ways of affecting it with antimetabolites.

| Biochemistry |
Why is HDL called “good” cholesterol and LDL “bad”
cholesterol?
Share|
In contrast to LDL, HDL concentrations in the blood are inversely related to the risk of
heart disease. HDL is involved in the return of cholesterol to the liver where it is
excreted. It is not high concentrations of cholesterol per se that are necessarily
damaging to blood vessels via atherogenesis, but a high ratio of LDL:HDL. When
physicians assess cholesterol levels, they are often more interested in the ratio than the
absolute concentrations.
Atherogenic lipoproteins such as LDL enter macrophages within the blood vessel wall
and promote the growth of an atherosclerotic plaque. HDL in the plasma is
antiatherogenic and removes cholesterol from the macrophages, preventing the growth
or even regression of the atherosclerotic plaque. Aggressive targeting of lipids on both
sides of this equation, both the LDL and the HDL, is likely to be maximally effective in
reducing cardiovascular risk.The passage of HDL cholesterol back to the liver is not
without interruption. HDL particles interact with both LDLs and VLDLs, and in so doing
they exchange cholesterol for triglyceride via the actions of a protein called cholesterol
ester transfer protein and the enzyme lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT).

Cholesterol ester transport protein depletes HDL of cholesterol while concomitantly


increasing the amount of cholesterol in the outward-going VLDL and LDL particles. At
first glance, it may seem disadvantageous for cholesterol to remain in the atherogenic
LDL and VLDL fractions of the lipoproteins. However, the mechanism scavenges
cholesterol from the periphery, thus relieving cells of the metabolically expensive
process of de novo synthesis.

| Endocrinolgy |
How long does a hormone active once it is released?
Share|
Hormones that circulate freely in the blood remain functional for less than one hour.
Some hormones are functional for as little as two minutes. A hormone becomes
inactivated when it diffuses out of the bloodstream and binds to receptors in target
tissues or is absorbed and broken down by cells of the liver or kidneys. Enzymes in the
plasma or interstitial fluids that break down hormones also cause them to become
inactivated. Other hormones (e.g., renin) are activated by enzymes that cleave the
active portion from a larger circulating precursor molecule.

| Endocrinolgy |
What is mixed gland?
Share|
The pancreas is a mixed gland because it has both endocrine and exocrine functions.
As an endocrine gland, it secretes hormones into the bloodstream. Only one percent of
the weight of the pancreas serves as an endocrine gland. The remaining 99 percent of
the gland has exocrine functions. The acinar cells (also called acini, from the Latin
meaning “grapes” because their structure resembles clusters of grapes) are responsible
for secreting digestive enzymes.The pancreatic islets (islet of Langerhans) are cluster
cells that secrete hormones. There are between 200,000 and 2,000,000 pancreatic
islets scattered throughout the adult pancreas.

| Endocrinolgy |
How long does a hormone remain active after it is
released?
Share|
Hormones that circulate freely in the blood remain functional for less than one hour.
Some hormones are functional for as little as two minutes. A hormone becomes
inactivated when it diffuses out of the bloodstream and binds to receptors in target
tissues or is absorbed and broken down by cells of the liver or kidneys. Enzymes in the
plasma or interstitial fluids that break down hormones also cause them to become
inactivated. Other hormones (e.g., renin) are activated by enzymes that cleave the
active portion from a larger circulating precursor molecule

| Endocrinolgy |
What is the difference between a sexually transmitted
disease and a sexually transmitted infection?
Share|
The term “sexually transmitted disease” (STD) has been used frequently to describe
infections of the reproductive tract. The term “disease” typically implies that symptoms
are present such that the individual would be aware that an infection was present.
However, the term “sexually transmitted infection” (STI) is currently favored. Using the
STI term implies that infection can be present without the symptoms of disease.
Because many infections of the reproductive tract can be asymptomatic, the term STI is
often more appropriate than STD.

| Endocrinolgy |
Which is the predominant in Thyroid hormone?
Share|
Thyroxine, or T4, also called tetraiodothyronine, contains four atoms of iodine.
Triiodothyronine, or T3, contains only three atoms of iodine. The more common
hormone is T4, which accounts for nearly 90 percent of the secretions from the thyroid.
The amount of T3 in the body is concentrated and very effective. Both hormones have
similar functions. Enzymes in the liver can convert T4 to T3.

| Endocrinolgy |
What are the major hormones and aging plays any
role in it?
Share|
The major groups of hormones are amine hormones, peptide and protein hormones,
and steroid hormones. Amine hormones are relatively small molecules that are
structurally similar to amino acids. Epinephrine and norepinephrine, serotonin,
dopamine, the thyroid hormones, and melatonin are examples of amine hormones.
Peptide hormones and protein hormones are chains of amino acids. The peptide
hormones have 3 to 49 amino acids, while the protein hormones are larger with chains
of 50 to 200 or more amino acids. Examples of peptide hormones are antidiuretic
hormone and oxytocin. The larger thyroid-stimulating hormone and follicle- stimulating
hormone are examples of protein hormones. Steroid hormones are derived from
cholesterol. Cortisol and the reproductive hormones (androgens in males and estrogens
in females) are examples of steroid hormones. Most endocrine glands continue to
function and secrete hormones throughout an individual’s lifetime. The most noticeable
change in hormonal output is in the reproductive hormones. The ovaries decrease in
size and no longer respond to FSH and LH, resulting in a decrease in the output of
estrogens. Although the hormonal levels of other hormones may not change with aging
and remain within normal limits, some endocrine tissues become less sensitive to
stimulation. For example, elderly people may not produce as much insulin after a
carbohydrate-rich meal is eaten. It has been suggested that the decrease in function of
the immune system is a result of the reduced size of the thymus gland.

| Biochemistry , Endocrinolgy |

| Food and Nutrition

Can someone die from excessive water intake?


Share|
Excessive water intake is known as water intoxication and is the direct result of drinking
too much water at too quickly a rate. The excess water greatly dilutes the nutrients and
ions in the body. The result is that the body cannot carry out its functions. In particular,
when the sodium ion concentrationdecreases, hyponatremia occurs, which may lead to
coma and death

| Food and Nutrition |


What is bulimia?
Share|
Bulimia is an eating disorder in which individuals binge eat frequently—often several
times a week or even several times per day. Sufferers of this illness may eat an
enormous amount of food in a short time, consuming thousands of calories. Then they
will purge their bodies by vomiting or using laxatives and/or diuretics.

| Biochemistry , Food and Nutrition |


What are the benefits of breastfeeding?
Share|
Breastfeeding provides benefits to both the baby and the mother. A major benefit to the
baby is that breast milk supplies the correct amount of nutrients as the baby grows from
an infant to a healthy toddler. The nutrients in breast milk also protect the infant from
certain childhood illnesses. Finally, recent research has shown that breast milk contains
certain fatty acids (building blocks) that help the infant’s brain develop. In the early days
following childbirth, the mother’s body releases a hormone that makes her uterus
contract and get smaller in response to the baby’s sucking. Breastfeeding also provides
many emotional benefits between mother and child and encourages maternal-infant
bonding. Human breast milk consists of mostly of water (88 percent), sugars (6.5 to 8
percent), lipids (3 to 5 percent), proteins (1 to 2 percent), amino acids, and salts. It also
contains large quantities of lysozymes—enzymes with antibiotic properties. Human milk
is bluish-white in color and sweet. The blue color comes from the protein and the white
comes from the fat. There are approximately 750 calories per liter of breast milk.

| Biochemistry , Food and Nutrition |


Can microorganisms be used to produce vitamins and
amino acids?
Share|
Numerous vitamins are currently produced by industrial fermentations. Vitamin B12, for
example, is used to prevent certain types of anemia in the body, and riboflavin is used
to encourage metabolic processes in the body. Both are produced by bacteria cultivated
in industrial plants. Yeasts are rich in B vitamins and are used as a food supplement.
Among the amino acids produced by microorganisms in industrial processes are
glutamic acid and lysine. Both are used as dietary growth supplements.

| Food and Nutritio

| physiology |
How does blood circulate in the fetus?
Share|
Fetal circulation differs from circulation after birth because the lungs of the fetus are
nonfunctional. Therefore, blood circulation essentially bypasses the lungs in the fetus.
The umbilical vein carries oxygenated blood from the placenta to the fetus. About half of
the blood from the umbilical vein enters the liver, while the rest of the blood bypasses
the liver and enters the ductus venosus. The ductus venosus joins the inferior vena
cava. Blood enters the right atrium of the heart and then flows through the foramen
ovale to the left atrium. Blood then passes into the left ventricle (lower portion of the
heart) and then to the aorta. From the aorta, blood is sent to the head and upper
extremities. It returns to the right atrium of the heart through the superior vena cava.
Some blood stays in the pulmonary trunk to reach the developing lung tissues.

| physiology |
Why is a man’s voice usually lower than a woman’s
voice?
Share|
The pitch of the voice—how high or low it sounds—depends on the length, tension, and
thickness of the vocal cords. Because males have longer vocal cords of up to 1 inch
(2.54 centimeters) in length, the male voice is deeper in pitch, while women and
children with shorter cords have higher-pitched voices. Vocal cords in women average
0.167 inches (0.42 centimeters) in length. Testosterone is the hormone that is
responsible for the increase of length of male vocal cords during puberty.

| Anatomy , physiology |
Does your heart stop beating when you sneeze?
Share|
The heart does not stop beating when you sneeze. Sneezing, however, does affect the
cardiovascular system. It causes a change in pressure inside the chest. This change in
pressure affects the blood flow to the heart, which in turn affects the heart’s rhythm.
Therefore, a sneeze does produce a harmless delay between one heartbeat and the
next, often misinterpreted as a “skipped beat.”

| physiology |
How is the skin involved in the regulation of body
temperature?
Share|
The skin is one of several organ systems participating in maintaining a core
temperature, meaning the temperature near the center of someone’s body.
Temperature sensors in the skin and internal organs monitor core temperature and
transmit signals to the control center located in the hypothalamus, a region of the brain.
When the core temperature falls below its set point, the hypothalamus: 1. Sends more
nerve impulses to blood vessels in the skin that cause the vessels to narrow, which
restricts blood flow to the skin, reducing heat loss. 2. Stimulates the skeletal muscles,
causing brief bursts of muscular contraction, known as shivering, which generates heat.
When the core temperature rises above its set point, the hypothalamus: 1. Sends fewer
nerve impulses to blood vessels in the skin, causing them to dilate, which increases
blood flow to the skin and promotes heat loss. 2. Activates the sweat glands, and when
sweat evaporates off the skin surface it carries a large amount of body heat with it.

| Anatomy , Biochemistry , physiology |


Is all the cartilage in the body the same?
Share|
There are three types of cartilage in the human body: 1) hyaline cartilage; 2) elastic
cartilage; and 3)fibrocartilage. Hyaline cartilage (from the Greek hyalos, meaning
“glass”) is the most common type of cartilage in the body. It has a translucent, pearly,
blue-white appearance resembling glass. Hyaline cartilage provides stiff but flexible
support and reduces friction between bony surfaces. It is found between the tips of the
ribs and the bones of the sternum, at the end of the long bones, at the tip of the nose,
and throughout the respiratory passages. Elastic cartilage is similar to hyaline cartilage
except it is very flexible and resilient. It is ideal for areas that need repeated bending
and stretching. Elastic cartilage forms the external flap of the outer ear and is found in
the auditory canal and epiglottis. Fibrocartilage is often found where hyaline cartilage
meets a ligament or tendon. It is found in the pads of the knees, between the pubic
bones of the pelvis, and between the spinal vertebrae. It prevents bone-to-bone contact.
Cartilage does not contain blood vessels. Oxygen, nutrients, and cellular wastes diffuse
through the selectively permeable matrix. Cartilage transplants are successful because
foreign proteins in the transplanted cells do not have a way to enter the host body’s
circulation and cause an immune response. However, since there are no blood vessels
in cartilage, the healing process is slower than for other tissues

| Anatomy , physiology |
Which types of tissue have the greatest capacity to
regenerate?
Share|
Epithelial and connective tissues have the greatest capacity to regenerate. In small
wounds and injuries, the epithelial and connective tissues often heal with normal tissue.
The ability of muscle tissue to regenerate is very limited. Fibrous connective tissue often
replaces damaged muscle tissue. As a consequence, the organ involved loses all or
part of its ability to function. Nerve tissue has even less capacity to regenerate.
Although neurons outside the brain and spinal cord sometimes regenerate at a very
slow pace, most brain and spinal cord injuries result in permanent damage.

| Anatomy , physiology |
What are the effects of Ageing on respiratory system?
Share|
There is a decline in the efficiency of the respiratory system with ageing. There is a
gradual loss of elastic tissue & the chest wall becomes less capable of expansion.
These changes show up as a reduction in vital capacity (The maximum volume of air
that can be expired after a maximum inspiration). This may decrease by as much as
35% by the age of 70. All other aspects of function decline in performance notably, the
action of cilia & protective activity of white blood cells. This leaves the system more
prone to disease like pneumonia, bronchitis & emphysema.

| Biochemistry , physiology |
How the Urinary tract infections are differentiating?
Share|
Urinary tract infections may occur in the urethra, where they are called urethritis; if they
occur in the bladder, they are referred to as cystitis; and if they develop in the ureters,
they are called ureteritis. Infection of the kidney is generally called pyelonephritis. In
males, inflammation of the prostate gland, called prostatitis, often accompanies urinary
tract infection. It often happens that blood infection with beta- hemolytic streptococci,
Streptococcus pyogenes, leads to inflammation in the kidney. This inflammation is
known as glomerulonephritis (also called Bright’s disease). The disease reflects an
immune complex reaction resulting from activity of the immune system and type III
hypersensitivity. Fever and high blood pressure accompany the disease.

| Biochemistry , physiology |
What is rigor mortis?
Share|
Dead bodies are at first limp. Several hours after death, the skeletal muscles undergo a
partial contraction that fixes the joints. This condition, known as rigor mortis, may
continue for 72 hours or more. When neurons signal living muscle fibers to contract,
they do so with a neurotransmitter that is received at the surface of the muscle fiber.
The signal makes the fiber open calcium ion channels, and it is the calcium that causes
the contraction. The muscle then removes the calcium in two ways: it stores some in its
mitochondria, and it pumps out the rest. When a body dies, stored calcium leaks and
calcium pumps no longer function. The excess calcium causes the actin and myosin
filaments of the muscle fibers to remain linked, stiffening the whole body until the
muscles begin to decompose.

| Anatomy , physiology |
How does the endocrine system differ from the
nervous system?
Share|
Both the endocrine and nervous are regulatory systems that permit
communication between cells, tissues, and organs. A major difference
between the endocrine system and nervous system is the rate of
response to a stimulus. In general, the nervous system responds to a
stimulus very rapidly, often within a few milliseconds, while it may take
the endocrine system seconds and sometimes hours or even days to
offer a response. Furthermore, the chemical signals released by the
nervous system typically act over very short distances (a synapse),
while hormones in the endocrine system are generally carried by the
blood to target organs. Finally, the effects of the nervous system
generally last only a brief amount of time, while those of the endocrine
system are longer lasting. Examples of endocrine control are growth
and reproductive ability.
| physiology |
Which is the only bone that does not touch another
bone?
Share|
The hyoid bone is the only bone that does not touch another bone. Located above the
larynx, it supports the tongue and provides attachment sites for the muscles of the neck
and pharynx used in speaking and swallowing. The hyoid is carefully examined when
there is a suspicion of strangulation, since it is often fractured from such trauma.
| physiology |
Are smooth muscle contractions the same as skeletal
muscle contractions?
Share|
There are similarities, as well as differences, in comparing smooth and skeletal muscle
contractions. Both types of muscles include reactions involving actin and myosin, both
are triggered by membrane impulses and an increase in intracellular calcium ions, and
both use energy from ATP (adenosine triphosphate). One difference between smooth
and skeletal muscle contractions is that smooth muscle is slower to contract and to
relax than skeletal muscle. Smooth muscle can maintain a forceful contraction longer
with a set amount of ATP. In addition, smooth muscle fibers can change length without
changing tautness (as when the stomach is full), while this does not occur in skeletal
muscles.

| physiology |
Which neurotransmitter is depleted in Parkinson’s
disease?
Share|
Parkinson’s disease results from a deficiency of the neurotransmitter
dopamine in certain brain neurons that regulate motor activity.
Parkinson’s disease is characterized by stiff posture, tremors,
slowness of movement, postural instability, and reduced spontaneity
of facial expressions. There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but
certain medications provide relief from the symptoms by increasing
the amount of dopamine in the brain. Patients are usually given
levodopa combined with carbidopa. Carbidopa delays the conversion
of levodopa into dopamine until it reaches the brain. Nerve cells can
use levodopa to make dopamine and replenish the brain’s dwindling
supply.
| physiology |
Why is the blood-brain barrier important?
Share|
The blood-brain barrier is formed by the contacts of special glial cells, called astrocytes,
with blood vessels. It is essential for maintaining homeostasis in the brain. In general,
only lipid-soluble molecules, such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, steroids, and alcohols,
can pass through the blood-brain barrier easily. Water-soluble molecules, such as
sodium, potassium, and chloride ions can pass through the blood-brain barrier only with
the assistance of specific carrier molecules. Some substances cannot pass through the
barrier at all.

| physiology |
Do creatine supplements improve muscular
performance?
Share|
Creatine phosphate (CP) is a molecule stored in muscle that yields energy when the
creatine splits from the attached phosphate. This energy is used to resynthesize the
small amount of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) that is available to the muscle in the
initial seconds of high intensity work (think 100-yard dash or a power lift). Because
greater amounts of CP in the muscle can potentially allow for those high intensity efforts
to be sustained a bit longer or to be performed more effectively, creatine
supplementation has become popular within the last 15 years. Some research indicates
that such supplementation can improve performance in the short term and in high
intensity activities, but for more sustained activities it has little or no effect because of
the ATP’s great dependence on aerobic metabolism. The long-term effect of such
supplementation on the human body is unknown.

| Pharmacology , physiology |
Are there differences between the male and female
skeletons?
Share|
Several general differences exist between the male and female skeletons. The male
skeleton is generally larger and heavier than the female skeleton. The bones of the skull
are generally more graceful and less angular in the female skeleton. A female also has
a wider, shorter breastbone and slimmer wrists. There are significant differences
between the pelvis of a female and a male, which are related to pregnancy and
childbirth. The female pelvis is wider and shallower than the male pelvis. Females have
an enlarged pelvic outlet and a wider, more circular pelvic inlet. The angle between the
pubic bones is much sharper in males, resulting in a more circular, narrower, almost
heart-shaped pelvis.

| physiology |
Is brain size an indication of intelligence? How the
size changes from birth to adulthood?
Share|
There is no correlation between brain size and intelligence. Individuals with the smallest brains (as
small as 46 cubic inches [750 cubic centimeters]) and the largest brains (as large as 128 cubic
inches [2,100 cubic centimeters]) have the same functional intelligence.
Brain cells grow in size and degree of myelination as a child grows from birth to
adulthood. Although the number of neurons does not increase after infancy, the number
of glial cells does increase. An adult brain is approximately three times as heavy as it
was at birth. Between ages 20 and 60, the brain loses approximately 0.033 to 0.10
ounces (1 to 3 grams) a year as neurons die and are not replaced. After age 60 the
annual rate of shrinkage increases to 0.10 to 0.143 ounces (3 to 4 grams) per year.

| physiology |
Are cells in the nervous system replaced during an
individual’s lifetime?
Share|
Neurons have a very limited capacity for regeneration. In general, they neither
replicate themselves nor repair themselves. Axons and dendrites in the peripheral
nervous system may undergo repair if the cell body is intact and if the Schwann cells
are functional. In the central nervous system, however, a damaged or cut axon is
usually not repaired even when the cell body is intact and undamaged. Scientists have
discovered recently that there are a few small concentrations of neuronal stem cells that
remain in adults that can produce a limited number of new neurons.

| physiology |
Newer PostsOlder PostsHome

How sex occurs in bacteria?


Share|
The occurrence of sex in bacteria was first described by Joshua Lederberg and Edward
Tatum in 1946 (Nature, volume 158, page 558), who were studying mixed cultures of E.
coli strains with various nutritional mutations. The mutant strains differed from the wild
type strains in lacking the ability to synthesize growth factors such as amino acids and
vitamins, similar to the strains in the present problem.
In one experiment, two triple mutants of E. coli, one requiring threonine, leucine, and
thiamine, and the second requiring biotin, phenylalanine, and cystine were grown in
mixed cultures. At very low frequency, recombinant strains with no growth-factor
requirement were obtained. They ruled out spontaneous mutations and transformation
by the culture medium as the source of recombinant strains. In the words of Lederberg
and Tatum, "These experiments imply the occurrence of a sexual process in the
bacterium Escherichia coli."

| bacteriology , Molecular Biology |


Newer PostsOlder PostsHome

| Blood Chemistry |
What is diapedesis?
Share|
Diapedesis is the ability of white blood cells to squeeze between the cells that form
blood vessel walls. Once these white blood cells are outside the blood, they move
through interstitial spaces using a form of primitive movement called amoeboid motion.
Neutrophils and monocytes are the most active of these white blood cells. These
leukocytes engulf bacterial cells, organic molecules in bacterial cells, and other large
objects such as parasites. Neutrophils and monocytes frequently become so full of
bacterial toxins and other related products that they also die.

| Biochemistry , Blood chemistry |


Why are red blood cells disc shaped ?
Share|
Red blood cells are perhaps the most specialized cells in the human body. They are a
biconcave (donut) shape with a thin central disc. This shape is important because the
disc increases the surface-area-to-volume ratio for faster exchange of gases and it
allows red blood cells to stack, one on another, as they flow through very narrow
vessels. Also, since some capillaries are as narrow as 0.00015748 inches (0.004
millimeters), red blood cells can literally squeeze through narrow vessels by changing
shape.
Animal Behaviour
What hormone can be used to overcome jet lag?
Share|
Jet lag occurs when an individual’s biological clock is out of sync with local time. As a
general rule it takes about a day for each hour of time zone change to recover from jet
lag. Melatonin, available as a dietary supplement, is sometimes used to induce sleep
when traveling. It is more useful when traveling east and may be taken before, during,
or after traveling. It is best taken approximately five to seven hours before the usual
bedtime in the old time zone. Travelers should consult their physicians before using
melatonin. It is not recommended for pregnant or breast-feeding women and children.

| Anatomy , Animal Behaviour |


Are humans the only animals who can think?
Share|
Before one can answer this question, one must define what is meant by thought.
Thought can be defined in several ways: is it philosophical rumination or the processing
of perceptions of the natural world? Because we are still trying to translate animal
communication into human language, it is difficult to provide definitive proof of
philosophical thought processes. Current studies by animal behaviorists indicate that
animals that have a varied social life (such as chimpanzees) perceive the world in ways
similar to humans. However, since we do not share a common verbal language with
animals, it is impossible to know what they are thinking.

| Animal Behaviour , Evolution


Neurobiology |
How many cranial nerves are in the human body?
Share|
The cranial and spinal nerves constitute the somatic peripheral nervous system. These
nerves connect the brain and spinal cord to peripheral structures such as the skin
surface and the skeletal muscles. The peripheral nerves measure approximately 93,000
miles (150,000 kilometers) in length.There are twelve pairs of cranial nerves in the
human body. The cranial nerves are designated by Roman numerals and names. The
Roman numerals indicate the order in which they emerge from the brain. The name
indicates an anatomical feature of function. The trigeminal nerve is the largest, although
not the longest, cranial nerve.

| Neurobiology |
How are the neurotransmitter molecules inactivated
after they are released at a synapse?
Share|
After a chemical neurotransmitter has been released from the synaptic terminal, its
action must be terminated in some way. Otherwise, the continued presence of the
transmitter in the extracellular space would continuously activate the post synaptic cell.
The action of a neurotransmitter can be terminated in either of 2 ways: 1) The
transmitter molecules are removed from the extracellular space by uptake into
surrounding glial cells & neurons (including the presynaptic terminal that originally
released the transmitter), as the neurotransmitter diffuses away from its site of release.
2) The neurotransmitter molecules are chemically degraded into inactive substances. At
the neurotransmitter junction, this mechanism is used to inactivate Acetylcholine
released from the synaptic terminals of the motor neurons.

| Biochemistry , Neurobiology |
How the molecular biological technique is used to
study the nervous system?
Share|
As with other fields of biology, recent advances in molecular biological technique allow
manipulations of the nervous system at the molecular level in precise & specific ways.
Also genetics has long been a valuable tool for analyzing complex biological systems &
establishing the functional role of a protein. In the nervous system, genetics has played
an important role in unraveling the molecular basis of neural function. Traditionally, the
genetic approach has relied on naturally occurring or experimentally created mutation
that affect a gene important for the biological system of interest. In the case of the
nervous system, such mutations are often detected by their effect on some aspect of
behavior. More recently, new techniques (genetic & transgenic approaches, functional
expression of genes & mutagenesis) have been developed that allow targeted
disruption of a particular gene.

| dermatology |
How is hair color determined and why it turns grey?
Share|
Genes determine hair color by directing the type and amount of pigment that epidermal
melanocytes produce. If these cells produce an abundance of melanin, the hair is dark.
If an intermediate quantity of pigment is produced, the hair is blond. If no pigment is
produced, the hair appears white. A mixture of pigmented and unpigmented hair is
usually gray. Another pigment, trichosiderin, is found only in red hair. The pigment in
hair, as well as in the skin, is called melanin. There are two types of melanin:
eumelanin, which is dark brown or black, and pheomelanin, which is reddish yellow.
Both are made by a type of cell called a melanocyte that resides in the hair bulb and
along the bottom of the outer layer of skin, or epidermis. The melanocytes pass this
pigment to adjoining epidermal cells called keratinocytes, which produce the protein
keratin—hair’s chief component. When the keratinocytes eventually die, they retain the
melanin. Thus, the pigment that is visible in the hair and in the skin lies in these dead
keratinocyte bodies. Gray hair is simply hair with less melanin, and white hair has no
melanin at all. It remains unclear as to how hair loses its pigment. In the early stages of
graying, the melanocytes are still present but inactive. Later, they seem to decrease in
number. Genes control this lack of deposition of melanin. In some families, many
members’ hair turns white in their 20s. Generally speaking, among Caucasians 50
percent are gray by age 50. There is, however, wide variation. Premature gray hair is
hereditary, but it has also been associated with smoking and vitamin deficiencies. Early
onset of gray hair (from birth to puberty) is often associated with various medical
syndromes, including dyslexia.

| cosmetology , dermatology |
What are age spots?
Share|
Age spots—also known as sunspots, liver spots, or lentigines—
are caused by long term exposure to the sun. Age spots are flat,
irregular, brown discolorations of the skin that usually occur on
the hands,neck, and face of people older than forty. They are not
harmful and are not cancerous
| dermatology |
Which layers of skin are damaged by burns?
Share|
Burns may be caused by heat generated by radioactive, chemical, or electrical agents.
Two factors affect burn severity: the depth of the burn and the extent of the burned
area. There are three categories of burns: First-degree burns—Burns that are red and
painful, but not swollen and blistering, such as from a sunburn, and damage only the
epidermis. Second-degree burns—Burns that are red, painful, and blistering, these
burns involve injury to the epidermis and the upper region of the dermis. Third-degree
burns—Burns that are severely painful, giving the skin a white or charred appearance;
they destroy all layers of the skin, including blood vessels and nerve endings. Skin
damaged by third-degree burns does not regenerate. Damage to the skin affects the
body’s ability to retain fluids.

| dermatology , surgery |
| Gynacology |

Are there differences between the male and female


skeletons?
Share|
Several general differences exist between the male and female skeletons. The male
skeleton is generally larger and heavier than the female skeleton. The bones of the skull
are generally more graceful and less angular in the female skeleton. A female also has
a wider, shorter breastbone and slimmer wrists. There are significant differences
between the pelvis of a female and a male, which are related to pregnancy and
childbirth. The female pelvis is wider and shallower than the male pelvis. Females have
an enlarged pelvic outlet and a wider, more circular pelvic inlet. The angle between the
pubic bones is much sharper in males, resulting in a more circular, narrower, almost
heart-shaped pelvis

| Anatomy , Gynacology |
How does blood circulate in the fetus?
Share|
Fetal circulation differs from circulation after birth because the lungs of the fetus are
nonfunctional. Therefore, blood circulation essentially bypasses the lungs in the fetus.
The umbilical vein carries oxygenated blood from the placenta to the fetus. About half of
the blood from the umbilical vein enters the liver, while the rest of the blood bypasses
the liver and enters the ductus venosus. The ductus venosus joins the inferior vena
cava. Blood enters the right atrium of the heart and then flows through the foramen
ovale to the left atrium. Blood then passes into the left ventricle (lower portion of the
heart) and then to the aorta. From the aorta, blood is sent to the head and upper
extremities. It returns to the right atrium of the heart through the superior vena cava.
Some blood stays in the pulmonary trunk to reach the developing lung tissues.

| Biochemistry , Gynacology , Immunology |


What is the general course of development for cases
of syphilis?
Share|

The etiologic agent of syphilis is the spirochete Treponema pallidum. The organism is
motile and can be observed moving about under the dark- field microscope. It is
extremely difficult to cultivate in the laboratory, and direct observation is usually required
for diagnosis. The organism is transmitted among humans by sexual contact, such as
during sexual intercourse.

The development of syphilis is generally an involved series of events. The primary stage
consists of a painless, hard sore called a chancre at the site where spirochetes have
entered the body(usually on the external or internal genital organs). After several
weeks, the chancre disappears and a latent period ensues. The secondary stage
appears many weeks or months later. The secondary stage is accompanied by a skin
rash with pustular lesions and skin eruptions. The hair on the head and eyebrows is
often lost. Liver inflammation is common, and an influenza like syndrome may appear.
The person is highly contagious at this point. After some time, the lesions heal and
another latent stage develops. A tertiary stage may appear years later. This stage is
characterized by the formation of gummas, which are gummy, granular lesions that
form in the brain and major blood vessels. The patient often becomes paralyzed and
usually suffers permanent damage to the blood vessels. In addition, the symptoms of
dementia may occur. Death usually accompanies destruction of the heart and blood
vessel tissues.

One of the dangers of syphilis is the possible development of congenital syphilis. In this
instance, the spirochetes cross the placenta and enter the fetal blood from the mother’s
blood. Newborns show signs such as notched incisors (Hutchinson’s teeth), a
perforated palate, an aged- looking face, and damage to the nose. Congenital syphilis
may also result in stillbirth.

Virology
What happens once the DNA from the HIV particle
enters the cell nucleus?
Share|
When physicians in Los Angeles and other cities noted an unusually large number of
opportunistic microbial infections. Destruction of T lymphocytes of the immune system
cells were associated with these infections, and it soon became obvious that an
epidemic of disease was in progress. By 1984 the responsible virus had been identified,
and in 1986 it was given the name human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV is a very
fragile virus, and for this reason it does not survive long periods of exposure outside the
body.
In infected individuals, HIV infects T lymphocytes by combining its spike glycoproteins
with the CD4 receptor sites of T lymphocytes. The nucleocapsid enters the cytoplasm of
the T lymphocyte, and the viral enzyme reverse transcriptase synthesizes a DNA
molecule using the RNA of HIV as a template (for this reason, the virus is called a
retrovirus). The DNA molecule migrates to the cell nucleus and becomes part of a
chromosome in the T lymphocyte nucleus.
The DNA molecule, known as a provirus, assumes a relationship with the DNA of the T
lymphocyte, and the provirus enters the state of lysogeny. From this point in the
nucleus, the provirus encodes new HIV particles, which acquire their envelope by
budding through the membrane of the T lymphocyte. The human body attempts to keep
up with the mass of new viral particles, but eventually the newly emerging strains of HIV
overwhelm the body defenses and the T lymphocyte count begins to drop. Normally, it
is approximately 800 T lymphocytes per cubic millimeter of blood, but as the disease
progresses, the count drops into the low hundreds and tens. This drop may occur as
soon as weeks after infection or as long as 20 years or more after infection. Thus far,
vaccines are not available against HIV. Two glycoproteins called gp120 and gp160 from
the envelope are being investigated as possible vaccines. Vaccine development is
hampered however, since it is difficult to find volunteers who would become antibody-
positive and could suffer discrimination as a result of antibody presence. Nevertheless,
candidate vaccines have been prepared with gp120 and gp160. Many candidate
vaccines are now in the testing stage
General
How an enzyme synthesis & breakdown is regulated?
Share|
The amount of a particular enzyme present in a cell or tissue changes according to the
rates of its synthesis and degradation. Factors affecting the rate of synthesis include the
level of induction or repression of the gene encoding the enzyme and also the rate of
degradation of the mRNA produced from that gene. Many key enzymes at control points
in metabolic pathways have particularly short-lived mRNAs and the rate of enzyme
synthesis is thus readily controlled by factors that affect the rate of gene transcription.
The rate of degradation of an enzyme is reflected in its half-life – the time taken for 50%
of the protein to be degraded. Most enzymes that are important in metabolic regulation
have short half-lives, and are termed labile enzymes.

Do cardiac muscle cells continue to divide throughout


a person’s life?
Share|
The vast majority of heart muscle cells are thought to stop
dividing by the time a person reaches the age of nine. These cells
then pump blood for the rest of a healthy person’s life. In people
stricken by a heart attack, the cells die and are replaced by scar
tissue.
| cardiology |
Do creatine supplements improve muscular
performance?
Share|
Creatine phosphate (CP) is a molecule stored in muscle that yields energy when the
creatine splits from the attached phosphate. This energy is used to resynthesize the
small amount of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) that is available to the muscle in the
initial seconds of high intensity work (think 100-yard dash or a power lift). Because
greater amounts of CP in the muscle can potentially allow for those high intensity efforts
to be sustained a bit longer or to be performed more effectively, creatine
supplementation has become popular within the last 15 years. Some research indicates
that such supplementation can improve performance in the short term and in high
intensity activities, but for more sustained activities it has little or no effect because of
the ATP’s great dependence on aerobic metabolism. The long-term effect of such
supplementation on the human body is unknown.

| Pharmacology , physiology |
What are Killed (inactivated) vaccines?
Share|
When safe live vaccines are not available, either because attenuated strains have not
been developed or else because reversion to wild type occurs too readily, it may be
possible to use an inactivated preparation of the virulent organism to immunize the host.
The organism is propagated in bulk, in vitro, and inactivated with either
betapropiolactone or formaldehyde. These vaccines are not infectious and are therefore
relatively safe. However, they are usually of lower immunogenicity and multiple doses
may be needed to induce immunity. In addition, they are usually expensive to prepare.
In subcellular fractions ,when protective immunity is known to be directed against only
one or two proteins of an organism, it may be possible to use a purified preparation of
these proteins as a vaccine. The organism is grown in bulk and inactivated, and then
the protein of interest is purified and concentrated from the culture suspension. These
vaccines are safe and fewer local reactions occur at the injection site. However, the
same disadvantages of poor immunogenicity and the need for multiple boosters apply.

| Microbiology , Pharmacology |
What is triclosan?
Share|
Triclosan has properties of a phenol and is extremely popular in antibacterial products
such as hand sanitizers, antibacterial soaps, lotions, toothpastes, and even as an
antimicrobial additive in plastics. Resistance to triclosan occurs in some bacterial
species, and there is concern that resistance to triclosan may provide cross- resistance
to antibiotics. This is of particular concern with antibiotic resistant strains of
Staphylococcus aureus.

| Pharmacology |
How are fingerprints used for computer security and
why?
Share|
An individual’s fingerprints remain the same throughout his or her entire life. Minor cuts or
abrasions, and some skin diseases such as eczema or psoriasis, may cause temporary
disturbances to the fingerprints, but upon healing the fingerprints will return to their original pattern.
More serious injuries to the skin that damage the dermis might leave scars that change or disrupt the
ridge pattern of the fingerprints, but examining the skin outside the area of damage will reveal the
same fingerprint pattern.
Recent technological advances using optical scanners and solid-state readers use
software to analyze the geometric pattern of fingerprints and compare it with those of
registered, legitimate users of a network system.Less expensive models of these
devices have false acceptance rates of less than 25 per million and false rejection rates
of less than three percent.Possible applications include using fingerprints instead of
passwords for computers, linking to individual bank accounts and automated teller
machines, and for credit cards and Internet transactions.

| criminology , Facts |
Why is a woman’s voice usually higher than a man’s
voice?
Share|
The pitch of the voice—how high or low it sounds—depends on the length, tension, and
thickness of the vocal cords. Because males have longer vocal cords of up to 1 inch
(2.54 centimeters) in length, the male voice is deeper in pitch, while women and
children with shorter cords have higher-pitched voices. Vocal cords in women average
0.167 inches (0.42 centimeters) in length. Testosterone is the hormone that is
responsible for the increase of length of male vocal cords during puberty.

| Anatomy , Facts |
Why is it dangerous to talk while eating?
Share|
If a person talks while eating, food may be inhaled into the lungs. Normally, after food is
swallowed, it passes into the pharynx and then into the esophagus. Food is prevented
from entering the larynx (the passageway to the lungs) by the epiglottis, a spade-
shaped cartilage flap that covers the pharynx. If food does enter the larynx, a cough
reflex is usually initiated, although food may lodge in the larynx, causing a blockage of
the airway.

| Anatomy , Facts |
How is IQ calculated?
Share|
IQ, or the intelligence quotient, was originally computed as the ratio of a person’s
mental age to his chronological age, multiplied by 100. Following this method, a child of
10 years old who performed on the test at the level of an average 12 year old (mental
age of 12), was assigned an IQ of 12/10 x 100 = 120. More recently, the concept of
“mental age” has fallen into disrepute and IQ is computed on the basis of the statistical
percentage of people who are expected to have a certain IQ. An IQ of 100 is considered
average. An IQ of 70 or below indicates mental retardation, and an IQ of 130 or above
indicates gifted abilities.

| Facts |
What information can a forensic scientist determine
from a human hair?
Share|
A single strand of human hair can identify the age and sex of the owner, drugs and
narcotics the individual has used (up to 90 days previously), and, through DNA
evaluation and sample comparisons, from whose head the hair came.

| Genetics , Technology |
What is a gene chip?
Share|
Agene chip is part of the process of microarray profiling; it is also known as a biochip or
a DNA chip. It is about the size of a postage stamp and is based on a glass
wafer,holding as many as 400,000 tiny cells. Each tiny cell can hold DNA from a
different human gene and can perform thousands of biological reactions in a few
seconds.These chips can be used by pharmaceutical companies to discover what
genes are involved in various disease processes. They can also be used to type single
nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which are base pair differences that are found
approximately every 500 to 1,000 base pairs in DNA. There are more than 3 million
SNPs in the human genome. They are very important in DNA typing because they
represent about 98 percent of all DNA polymorphisms.

| Technology |
Why is there a “popping” sound when you crack your
knuckles, and is it dangerous to crack them?
Share|

A number of reasons have been given for the


characteristic “popping” sound associated with
someone cracking their knuckles. One reason is that
when a joint is contracted, small ligaments or muscles
may pull tight and snap across the bony protuberances
of the joint. Another possibility is that when the joint is
pulled apart, air can pop out from between the bones,
creating a vacuum that produces a popping sound. A
third reason, discovered by British scientists in 1971, is
that when the pressure of the synovial fluid is reduced
by the slow articulation of a joint tiny gas bubbles in the
fluid may burst, producing the popping
sound. Research has not shown any connection
between knuckle cracking and arthritis. One study
found that knuckle cracking may be the cause of soft
tissue damage to the joint capsule and a decrease in
grip strength. The rapid, repeated stretching of the
ligaments surrounding the joint is most likely the cause
of damage to the soft tissue. Some researchers believe
that since the bones of the hand are not fully ossified
until approximately age 18, children and teenager who
crack their knuckles may deform and enlarge the
knuckle bones. However, most researchers believe
knuckle cracking does not cause serious joint damage.
| Anatomy , Psycology |
What are the stages of sleep?
Share|
Data collected from EEGs (electroencephalograms) of brain activity during sleep have shown at
least four separate stages of sleep. During stage 1, heart and breathing rates decrease slightly, the
eyes roll slowly from side to side, and an individual experiences a floating sensation. Stage 1 sleep
is not usually classified as “true” sleep. This stage generally lasts only five minutes. Individuals
awakened during stage 1 sleep will often insist that they were not sleeping, but merely “resting their
as
eyes.” Stage 2 sleep is characterized by the appearance of short bursts of waves known
“sleep spindles” along with “K complexes,” which are high-voltage bursts
that occur before and after a sleep spindle. Eyes are generally still and
heart and breathing rates decrease only slightly. Sleep is not deep. Stage 3
sleep is intermediate sleep and is characterized by steady, slow breathing,
a slow pulse rate, and a decline in temperature and blood pressure. Only a
loud noise awakens sleepers in stage 3 sleep. Stage 4 sleep, known as
oblivious sleep, is the deepest stage. It usually does not begin until about
an hour after falling asleep. Brain waves become even slower, and heart
and breathing rates drop to 20 or 30 percent below those in the waking
state. The sleeping individual in stage 4 sleep is not awakened by external
stimuli, such as noise, although an EEG will indicate that the brain
acknowledges such stimuli. Stage 4 sleep continues for close to an hour,
after which the sleeper will gradually drift back into stage 3 sleep, followed
by stages 2 and then 1, before the cycle begins again.
| Psycology |
What is seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?
Share|
Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that affects some individuals during
the winter months when there is less sunlight. One hypothesis is that since there are
fewer hours of daylight during the winter months, the production of melatonin is
affected, resulting in physical ailments such as drowsiness and lethargy. Additional
symptoms of SAD include a craving for carbohydrates, increased appetite, weight gain,
and mood swings. Many researchers believe light therapy is an effective treatment for
SAD. Light therapy, also called phototherapy, involves sitting near a specially designed
light box that produces a strong light. Most light boxes emit a light of 2,500 to 10,000
lux, which is between the average living room lighting of 100 lux and a bright sunny day
of about 100,000 lux.

| Psycology |
Why is it difficult to remember dreams?
Share|
Almost all dreams occur during REM (rapid eye movement )sleep. Scientists do not
understand why dreaming is important, one theory is that the brain is either cataloging
the information it acquired during the day and discarding the data it does not want, or is
creating scenarios to work through situations causing emotional distress. Regardless of
its function, most people who are deprived of sleep or dreams become disoriented,
unable to concentrate, and may even have hallucinations.
It appears that the content of dreams is stored in short-term memory and cannot be
transferred into long-term memory unless they are somehow articulated. Sleep studies
show that when individuals who believe they never dream are awakened at various
intervals during the night when they are in the middle of a dream.

| Psycology |
Why is chemistry important for understanding the
human body?
Share|
The universe and everything in it is composed of matter. Matter is anything that
occupies space and has mass. The 92 naturally occurring chemical elements are the
fundamental forms of matter. Twenty-six different elements are found in the human
body. The continually ongoing chemical reactions in the body underlie all physiological
processes of the body, including movement, digestion, the pumping of the heart,
respiration, and sensory and neural processes.

| chemistry |
How do chloroplasts work?
Share|
Chloroplasts are able to capture solar energy to perform photosynthesis. the reduction
of carbon dioxide to simple carbohydrates. This process entails a series of reactions
that result in the chemical splitting of water and the release of oxygen into the
environment. During the light phase, chlorophyll molecules absorb energy from light and
their electrons become energized. These excited electrons pass energy from one
chlorophyll molecule to another, resulting in the production of ATP and a special nucleic
acid-type carrier known as NADPH. This molecule carries the electrons to the next
stage of photosynthesis, the dark phase. The dark reactions manufacture sugars using
the energy stored during NADPH and ATP. The conversion of carbon dioxide present in
the atmosphere into carbon atoms in living organisms is called carbon fixation.

||
What are the stages of mitosis?
Share|
Mitosis involves the replication of DNA and its separation into two new daughter cells.
while only four phases of mitosis are often listed. the entire process is actually
comprised
of six phases:
• Interphase: Involves extensive preparation for the division process.
• Prophase: The condensation of chromosomes; the nuclear membrane disappears;
formation of the spindle apparatus; chromosomes attach to spindle fibers.
• Metaphase: Chromosomes, attached by spindle fibers. align along the mid-line of a
cell.
• Anaphase: The centromere splits and chromatin move apart.
• Telophase: The nuclear membrane reforms around newly divided chromosomes.
• Cytokinesis: The division of cytoplasm, cell membranes, and organelles occur. In
plants. a new cell wall forms.

| cell biology , cell signaling , cell structure , Molecular Biology |


What is the controversy surrounding Bt corn and the
monarch butterfly?
Share|
Bt corn was specifically engineered to control the European corn borer, which in 2003
caused an estimated $1 billion worth of damage to U.S. farmers. In 1999 a study was
released, based on controlled laboratory feeding experiments, that showed that corn
pollen from Bt-altered plants would kill monarch butterflies. In the study, threeday- old
monarch butterfly larvae were fed milkweed leaves dusted with Bt corn pollen. The
larvae ate less, grew slower, and had a higher mortality rate than those fed milkweed
with no corn pollen or milkweed coated with non-8t corn pollen. However, the laboratory
study did not provide information on the number of 8t pollen grains that were consumed
by the monarch larvae in order to observe the lethal effects. Also, no information was
provided on the effects on older, larger larvae, which would be expected to have a
higher tolerance to Bt toxicity. Headlines such as "Attack of the Killer Corn" and "Nature
at Risk" triggered regulatory action on the part of the European Union to ban the
importation and use of 8t corn varieties in Europe.
In response, other researchers described the use of 8t as a biocontrol agent since 1938
because of its selective toxicity to certain species within a given insect order. After
extensive studies dealing with the likelihood that 8t corn pollen would be found on
milkweed plants near cornfields that are close to the habitats of monarch butterflies,
safeguards were set to decrease the risk of Bt corn pollen to monarchs: 1) farmers in
monarch-rich areas should choose to grow 8t corn with [Lower toxicity levels; 2) plant a
border of 000-8t corn around a Bt cornfield to decrease the problem of pollen drift to
milkweed plants; and 3) plant milkweeds at sites away from cornfields to increase the
probability of female monarchs encountering milkweed plants that are uncontaminated
with corn pollen.

|
What is green fluorescent protein (GFP) ?
Share|
Green fluorescent protein is a protein found in a luminescent jellyfish (Aquorea victoria)
that lives in the cold waters of the northern Pacific. Bioluminescence is the production of
light by living organisms. These jellyfish contain two proteins: a bioluminescent protein
called aequorin that emits blue light, and an accessory green fluorescent protein (GFP).
However, what we actually see when the jellyfish fluoresces is the conversion of the
blue light emitted by aequorin to a green Iight-a metabolic reaction facilitated by the
GFP. Since GFP is simply a protein, it is often used both as a marker for gene transfer
and for localization of proteins. There are a variety of green fluorescent proteins that
can glow different colors.

| Biochemistry , Molecular Biology , Protein |


Amino acid sequence directs protein folding?
Share|
Question

Insulin possesses two polypeptide chains denoted A and B that are linked by disulfide
bonds. Upon denaturation by reduction of the SH groups of insulin, followed by
reoxidation, only 7% of the hormone activity is recovered. This is the level of activity
expected for random pairing of cysteine residues to form disulfide bonds. How can
these data be reconciled with the hypothesis that the amino acid sequence directs
protein folding?

Answer
Insulin is synthesized as preproinsulin that is proteolytically processed in the β cells of
the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, to give proinsulin. After synthesis and folding,
a section of the molecule (the C peptide) is excised, leaving the A and B peptides
connected via disulfide bonds. Thus, native insulin, lacking the C peptide, lacks some of
the information necessary to direct the folding process.

| Protein |
Are humans the only animals who can think?
Share|
Before one can answer this question, one must define what is meant by thought.
Thought can be defined in several ways: is it philosophical rumination or the processing
of perceptions of the natural world? Because we are still trying to translate animal
communication into human language, it is difficult to provide definitive proof of
philosophical thought processes. Current studies by animal behaviorists indicate that
animals that have a varied social life (such as chimpanzees) perceive the world in ways
similar to humans. However, since we do not share a common verbal language with
animals, it is impossible to know what they are thinking.

| Animal Behaviour , Evolution |


What is the significance of On the Origin of Species?
Share|
Charles Darwin (1809-1882) first proposed a theory of evolution based on natural
selection in his treatise On the Origin of Species. The publication of On the Origin of
Species ushered in a new era in our thinking about the nature of man. The intellectual
revolution it caused and the impact it had on man's concept of himself and the world
were greater than those caused by the works of Isaac Newton 0642-1727) and other
individuals. The effect was immediate-the first edition sold out on the day of publication
(November 24,1859). Origin has been referred to as "the book that shook the world."
Every modern discussion of man's future, the population explosion, the struggle for
existence, the purpose of man and the universe, and man's place in nature rests on
Darwin.
The work was a product of his analyses and interpretations of his findings from his
voyages on the HMS Beagle. In Darwin's day the prevailing explanation for organic
diversity was the story of creation in the book of Genesis in the Bible. Origin was the
first publication to present scientifically sound, well-organized evidence for the theory of
evolution. Darwin's theory was based on natural selection in which the best,or fittest,
individuals survive more often than those who are less fit. If there is a differ-450 ence in
the genetic endowment among these individuals that correlates with fitness,the species
will change over time and will eventually resemble more closely (as a group) the fittest
individuals. It is a two-step process: the first consists of the production of variation, and
the second, of the sorting of this variability by natural selection in which the favorable
variations tend to be preserved.

| Evolution |
Why is it so difficult for many people to accept the
notion of evolution?
Share|
Evolution, as applied to the biological world, is in conflict with a literal interpretation of
the biblical story of creation described in Genesis. In the biblical account, each creature
was created separately by divine action and supposedly reproduces its own kind with
little change through the generations. In our own time, the scientific creationists contend
that a relative fixity of species is still a correct view and the earth’s span should be
measured in tens of thousands of years rather than the 4.6 billion years usually
accepted by the evolutionary biologists. For those who are oriented to fundamentalist
views, evolution becomes a challenge to religious convictions.

Most adherents to particular religious faiths have no problem reconciling their religious
convictions with an evolutionary perspective, but spiritual concerns did discourage many
at an earlier time. Darwin himself was concerned with how his espousal of evolution
would affect his wife’s pious sensibilities.
A second problem arises from the fact that evolution removes humans from the center
of the living world and ends the traditional separation of ‘‘lower’’ animals from ‘‘higher’’
humans. Humans have long been regarded as the goal and ultimate fulfillment of the
creative process. That humans are just one of many advanced groups that have arisen
from distant ancestors may be a blow to the collective ego of humankind.
An argument has been raised by some nonscientists that a belief in evolution may
encourage a dehumanization of shared social values. If we are merely highly evolved
animals, then perhaps the sanctity of human life may be ignored in the name of
expediency. Evolution may create a more permissive moral climate according to its
critics. At the same time, evolution’s immersion in continual change presents a
challenge to the stability of traditions that check our more aggressive tendencies.
Scientists do not generally accept these criticisms; they feel that the truths of science
are not instruments for directing human activity but are worthwhile in and of themselves.
The grandeur of life, which should inspire our conduct and concepts, is probably best
illuminated by the perspective of evolution.

| Evolution |
What are the major differences between apes and
humans?
Share|
o The earliest difference, clearly encountered even in early forms of
australopithecines, is an upright posture and an efficient bipedalism (walking on the
hind legs) in humans. Associated with the erect posture is the tendency of the skull
to sit roughly centered atop the vertebral column. In apes, the column attaches to the
rear of the skull. In upright human forms, this repositioning of the skull provides
greater support for the cranium and encourages a straight vertical position for the
entire body.
o In apes, the big toe of the foot is long and opposable to the other toes. In all
members of Homo, the toe is smaller and is in line with the other toes. Although the
human foot is no longer readily prehensile, the five aligned toes provide a better
base support for the upright animal.
o Both the jaws and the teeth are considerably reduced in humans. This makes the
snout narrower. The lips are extremely motile and more readily serve such social
functions as speaking and kissing.
o The brow ridges of the ape are considerably reduced in humans. Instead, a smooth,
high forehead exists and is associated with extra cranial room for the forebrain.
o Closely associated with the increased brain size, especially in H. sapiens, was the
creation of a complex symbolic culture. Among the characteristics of that culture was
an elaborate toolmaking ability.

| Evolution
What is DNA origami?
Share|
DNA nanostructures in which a single long strand of DNA is folded so that it runs
through every double helix. The term is by analogy with the Japanese art of paper
folding in which a single sheet of paper is folded, without cuts, to create elaborate three-
dimensional shapes. Conceptually, there are two types of DNA origami. In single
stranded DNA origami, the structure is formed entirely by a single long strand and the
folding is due to interactions of the long strand with itself. In scaffolded DNA origami, the
folds are formed by the interaction of a long single strand and hundreds of short DNA
strands called “staples”. Single-stranded origami structures have the advantage of being
clonable, potentially exponentially reproducible like living things. So far, an almost-
single-stranded DNA octahedron with just five staples has been reported. Scaffolded
DNA origami structures have been easier to design and synthesize; a half dozen two-
dimensional shapes including a star, rectangle, triangle and smiley face, as well as a
threedimensional hexagonal tube have been reported. Scaffolded DNA origami
structures are easily connected to other nanoscale objects such as carbon nanotubes
and proteins, and might be used to organize them into complex nanocircuits or
nanofactories.

| Nanobiotechnology |
How the DNA nanoarchitecturing works?
Share|
DNA nanoarchitectures constructs that can be self-assembled from branched DNA
molecules. Their components may be simple branched species or more complex
structural motifs. Simple branched DNA junctions have been produced that contain 3–
12 double helices flanking a branch point. The species can be assembled and/ or
ligated into DNA stick polyhedra, where the edges are DNA double helices and the
vertices correspond to the branch points of the junctions. The first such molecule was a
DNA molecule with the connectivity of a cube. Other polyhedra produced to date include
a tetrahedron, an octahedron and a truncated octahedron. Branched junctions are
somewhat floppy, so only the branching and linking topologies of polyhedral are well
defined unless all the faces are triangles. Other individual objects that have been built
are topological targets, such as knots and Borromean rings. DNA is an ideal species to
use as a topological building block because a half-turn of DNA is equivalent to a node,
which is the fundamental topological feature of a knot or a catenane. The DNA double-
crossover (DX) molecule is another key element in DNA nanoarchitectures. This motif
consists of two helices joined twice by strands that connect them, leading to parallel
helix axes; the connection points are separated typically by Two-dimensional DNA
lattice. one and two double helical turns. Each of the connection points is a four-arm
junction, so the motif can be described as two four-arm junctions joined twice to each
other at adjacent arms. These are robust motifs, usually three to six double helical turns
in length and their structures can be reliably predicted. This system can be extended,
leading to molecules containing three or more helices joined laterally. Although most
often built to be roughly planar motifs, angles can be varied between pairs of helices,
using the helicity of DNA, e.g. a six-helix cyclic motif has been reported that
approximates a hexagonal tube (→DNA nanotubes). DX molecules and their relatives
can be exploited as tiles to produce two-dimensional crystalline arrangements by self-
assembly (→DNA self-assembly). An extra motif can be included in these tiles, visible
when the crystal is viewed in an atomic force microscope. The accompanying picture
shows how arrangements of two 16 × 4 nm tiles produce 32-nm stripes (top) or four tiles
produce 64-nm stripes (bottom). In addition to periodic arrangements, aperiodic patterns
can also be generated algorithmically. Single-stranded bacteriophages have been used
to produce greatly extended versions of the parallel DNA motif, capable of yielding
highly elaborate patterns, in a method called DNA origami. This is done by using the
bacteriophage genome (several thousand nucleotides) as a template to which a large
number of “staple strands” are added to fold the genome into a specific shape, including
holes in the middle; the addition of strands containing extra domains enable the
generation of further features. Smiley faces and a map of the western hemisphere are
examples of patterns generated by this method.

| Molecular Biology , Nanobiotechnology |


How does comparative biochemistry provide evidence
for evolution?
Share|
The evolutionary relationship between many organisms can be traced back to a
common ancestor. A common ancestor is an individual from which two or more related
species could have evolved. With the passage of time, organisms change and diverge
from their common ancestor to form new species. The following evidence for evolution
demonstrates the concept of the common ancestor. DNA, RNA, the genetic code and
protein synthesis are similar in all organisms. The greater the genetic and molecular
similarity between species, the closer their common ancestor. Humans and
chimpanzees have 98% of their genes in common. The remaining 2% is what
distinguishes these two species from each other. Humans did not descend from
chimpanzees but from primitive humans. However, at some point in evolutionary history,
primitive humans and primitive chimpanzees probably diverged from a common
ancestor. Diabetics can use insulin from cows and pigs because insulin from these
animals is almost identical to human insulin. In addition, hemoglobin in humans, which
has almost 600 amino acids, is almost identical to hemoglobin in all other vertebrates.
This similarity in chemical structure demonstrates that all vertebrates can be traced
back to a common ancestor.

| Ecology |
What are the strengths and weaknesses of an
ecological perspective in understanding life?
Share|
The great strength of ecology is that it deals with living things in terms of their natural
surroundings rather than in artificial isolation. Other branches of biology focus upon
particular aspects of organisms and may thereby lose the reality of connections and
interrelationships that are vital to understanding life in its entirety. Ecology, by its very
nature of focusing on the context within which organisms develop and function, brings
together a variety of disciplines. Evolution, which provides a central structure in the
study of biology, can be fully appreciated only from
the ecological vantage point of populations interacting with their environment.Anatomy,
systematics, biochemistry, and even molecular biology becomemore fully focused when
utilized in analyses of ecosystems.Onamore practical level, the study of existing
ecosystems has vitalized the conservation movement and enhanced the active effort to
maintain ecosystems or even individual species of plants or animals threatened with
extinction. Apossible weakness of ecology stems from the broad spectrum of its
concerns—it tends to be diffuse. Individual ecologists do focus on particular aspects of
communities or the physical environment but the novice might find the field daunting by
its very breadth. In its descriptive phase, that breadth was more easily handled.The
recentemphasis on experimentation tends to encourage a specialization within the field
but experimentation introduces another problem. With experimentation, controlled
conditions may not be readily obtained in a field situation. Ecosystems can be studied
froma passive approach, in which the experimenter merely observes such phenomena
as energy flow, diversity of species, etc., but more ambitious attempts to establish an
ecological science require interventions that may be difficult to isolate and control.
Some success has been achieved, particularly where clear boundaries to a habitat
exist, such as on islands

| Ecology |
Do creatine supplements improve muscular
performance?
Share|
Creatine phosphate (CP) is a molecule stored in muscle that yields energy when the
creatine splits from the attached phosphate. This energy is used to resynthesize the
small amount of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) that is available to the muscle in the
initial seconds of high intensity work (think 100-yard dash or a power lift). Because
greater amounts of CP in the muscle can potentially allow for those high intensity efforts
to be sustained a bit longer or to be performed more effectively, creatine
supplementation has become popular within the last 15 years. Some research indicates
that such supplementation can improve performance in the short term and in high
intensity activities, but for more sustained activities it has little or no effect because of
the ATP’s great dependence on aerobic metabolism. The long-term effect of such
supplementation on the human body is unknown.

| Pharmacology , physiology |
What are Killed (inactivated) vaccines?
Share|
When safe live vaccines are not available, either because attenuated strains have not
been developed or else because reversion to wild type occurs too readily, it may be
possible to use an inactivated preparation of the virulent organism to immunize the host.
The organism is propagated in bulk, in vitro, and inactivated with either
betapropiolactone or formaldehyde. These vaccines are not infectious and are therefore
relatively safe. However, they are usually of lower immunogenicity and multiple doses
may be needed to induce immunity. In addition, they are usually expensive to prepare.
In subcellular fractions ,when protective immunity is known to be directed against only
one or two proteins of an organism, it may be possible to use a purified preparation of
these proteins as a vaccine. The organism is grown in bulk and inactivated, and then
the protein of interest is purified and concentrated from the culture suspension. These
vaccines are safe and fewer local reactions occur at the injection site. However, the
same disadvantages of poor immunogenicity and the need for multiple boosters apply.

| Microbiology , Pharmacology |
What is triclosan?
Share|
Triclosan has properties of a phenol and is extremely popular in antibacterial products
such as hand sanitizers, antibacterial soaps, lotions, toothpastes, and even as an
antimicrobial additive in plastics. Resistance to triclosan occurs in some bacterial
species, and there is concern that resistance to triclosan may provide cross- resistance
to antibiotics. This is of particular concern with antibiotic resistant strains of
Staphylococcus aureus.

| Pharmacology |
How did scientists decide that DNA was the genetic
material for all cellular organisms?
Share|
The proof that the material basis for a gene is DNA came from the work of Oswald
T.Avery (1877-1955), Colin M. MacLeod (1909-1972), and Maclyn McCarty (1911-) in a
paper published in 1944. This group of scientists followed the work of Griffith in order to
discover what causes nonlethal bacteria to transform to a lethal strain. Using specific
enzymes, all parts of the S (lethal) bacteria were degraded, including the sugar like
coat, the proteins, and the RNA. The degradation of these substances by enzymes did
not affect the transformation process. Finally, when the lethal bacteria were exposed to
DNase, an enzyme that destroys DNA, all transformation activity ceased. The
transforming factor was DNA.

||
Can we make artificial cells?
Share|
Research in progress at the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) is
focused on artificial cells as a means to deliver medicine in outer space; these cells are
able to withstand dehydration and thus can be safely stored for long periods. Artificial
cells are made of a polymer that acts like a cell membrane, but the polymer is stronger
and more manageable than real membranes. These polymers are called polymersomes
and can be made to cross-link with other polymers. Researchers feel that many different
kinds of molecules can be encapsulated within these polymersomes and then delivered
to specific target organs. An example would be an artificial blood cell that not only
delivers oxygen but also medication as it travels through the body.

| Molecular Biology |
How do brain cells store memories?
Share|
The part of your brain responsible for processing memory is the hippocampus. It is
believed that memories are formed at the level of individual nerve cells. The synapse is
the point at which adjoining nerve cells touch. and it is this juncture that is the building
block of memory systems. Information moves across the synapse-the information signal
is carried inside a cell by a second messenger (known as CAMP), which then activates
other cell machinery. The end result is the switching on of a gene that regulates
memory. The product of the gene, a protein, promotes synaptic growth and can convert
short term memory to long term memory.

| cell signaling |
How DNA Repair can happen?
Share|
A. DNA damage caused by ultraviolet light: 1. cyclobutane-type pyrimidine dimer is
the major photoproduct formed 2. a second product, the 6-4 photoproduct, is formed in
about 10 % of UV induced pyrimidine dimmers 3. the cyclobutane type dimer can be
reversed by a process called photoreactivation (a) this is carried out by an enzyme
called DNA photolyase (photoreactivating enzyme) (b) importance of the photolyase
enzyme in humans is questionable 4. DNA photoproducts can also be repaired by
excision repair

B. Spontaneous deamination of cytosine: 1. deamination of cytosine is common and


results in the conversion of cytosine to uracil 2. can be repaired by excision repair
process (i) uracil-DNA glycosylase hydrolyzes N-glycosidic bond to remove uracil base
(ii) AP endonuclease removes deoxyribose-phosphate (iii) gap is extended by
exonuclease (iv) gap is filled by DNA polymerase I and nick is sealed by DNA ligase

C. Depurination: Pathway is similar to that above except that excision repair begins
with AP endonuclease
D. DNA damaged by alkylating agents: 1. Some simple alkylating agents 2. examples
of products of alkylating agents 3. many of these products can be repaired by excision
repair that is initiated by specific glycosylases 4. some damage resulting from
methylation can be reversed by methyltransferases (a) O6-methylguanine-DNA
methyltransferase

E. Mismatch repair: 1. mismatches can occur when DNA polymerase inserts the wrong
nucleotide during replication 2. mismatch repair is “coupled” to replication

F. Recombinational repair: 1. occurs during DNA replication 2. major steps: (a) DNA
polymerase skips over damaged DNA leaving a gap opposite the lesion (b) the
undamaged parental strand recombines into the gap (this is facilitated by recA protein in
E. coli) (c) the new gap in the parental strand is filled by DNA polymerase and ligase

G. Genetic Defects in DNA repair and human disease: 1. Xeroderma pigmentosum


is an inherited disease that is characterized by severe photosensitivity and a very high
incidence of skin cancers. It is due to defective excision repair. 2. Bloom’s syndrome. 3.
Cockayne’s syndrome 4. Fanconi’s anemia 5. Ataxia telangiectasia

| Biochemistry , Molecular Biology |


Newer PostsOlder PostsHome

What are the stages of mitosis?


Share|
Mitosis involves the replication of DNA and its separation into two new daughter cells.
while only four phases of mitosis are often listed. the entire process is actually
comprised
of six phases:
• Interphase: Involves extensive preparation for the division process.
• Prophase: The condensation of chromosomes; the nuclear membrane disappears;
formation of the spindle apparatus; chromosomes attach to spindle fibers.
• Metaphase: Chromosomes, attached by spindle fibers. align along the mid-line of a
cell.
• Anaphase: The centromere splits and chromatin move apart.
• Telophase: The nuclear membrane reforms around newly divided chromosomes.
• Cytokinesis: The division of cytoplasm, cell membranes, and organelles occur. In
plants. a new cell wall forms.
| cell biology , cell signaling , cell structure , Molecular Biology |
| cell signaling |
What is the structural basis of activation of
heterotrimeric G proteins?
Share|
Heterotrimeric G proteins are composed of α, β, and γ polypeptide chains. Usually, the
α and γ chains are anchored to the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane by lipid
anchors that consist of a fatty acid that is linked to a cysteine side chain by a thioester
bond. , the binding of a signaling ligand leads to exchange of a molecule of GDP for a
molecule of GTP, bound to the Gα subunit. Concurrently, the Gα subunit dissociates
from the GβGγ subunit. This allows both the Gα and the GβGγ subunits to interact with
other signaling molecules.There are multiple copies of the genes for the Gα, Gβ, and
Gγ polypeptides in eukaryotic genomes. In the human genome there are at least 15
different Gα subunits, 5 Gβ subunits, and 10 Gγ subunits. Hence, there are potentially
~1000 different combinations of these subunits, with different possible physiological
effects that depend on which G protein-coupled receptor(s) they become associated.

| cell signaling

A simple overview of Cancer and Malignant growth


Share|
Cancer is a disease of the body’s cells. It occurs when cells in the body become
abnormal and grow out of control. A change which makes the gene faulty is called a
mutation. Some special genes, called control genes, instruct the cell to copy its genes
correctly, and to divide in an orderly manner. They stop controlling cell division, which is
cancer.
Benign Tumors: Tumors arise with great frequency, especially in older animals and
humans, but most pose little risk to their host because they are localized and of small
size. The surface interaction molecules that hold tissues together keep benign tumor
cells, like normal cells, localized to appropriate tissues. A fibrous capsule usually
delineates the extent of a benign tumor.
Malignant tumor: In contrast, the cells composing a malignant tumor, or cancer,
express some proteins characteristic of the cell type from which it arose, and a high
fraction of the cells grow and divide more rapidly than normal. Some malignant tumors
remain localized and encapsulated, at least for a time; an example is carcinoma in situ
in the ovary or breast. Most, however, do not remain in their original site; instead, they
invade surrounding tissues, get into the body’s circulatory system, and set up areas of
proliferation away from the site of their original appearance. The spread of tumor cells
and establishment of secondary areas of growth is called metastasis; most malignant
cells eventually acquire the ability to metastasize. Thus the major characteristics that
differentiate metastatic (or malignant) tumors from benign ones are their invasiveness
and spread. They are usually less well differentiated than normal cells or benign tumor
cells. The presence of invading cells is the most diagnostic indication of a malignancy.
Cancer cells can multiply in the absence of growth-promoting factors required for
proliferation of normal cells and are resistant to signals that normally program cell death
(apoptosis). Both primary and secondary tumors require angiogenesis, the recruitment
of new blood vessels, in order to grow to a large mass. Cancer cells, which are closer in
their properties to stem cells than to more mature differentiated cell types, usually arise
from stem cells and other proliferating cells.
Following are the types of Cancer:
1. Carcinoma: It includes tumors of brain, breast, skin, cervical region. These are
derived from epithelial tissue, originating from either ectoderm or endoderm. These
occurs as solid tumors, located in the nervous tissue on the body surface or associated
glands.
2. Sarcoma: They are the cancers of connective tissues, cartilage, bone or muscles
which are mesodermal in origin.
3. The leukemias: A class of sarcomas, grow as individual cells in the blood, whereas
most other tumors are solid masses. (The name leukemia is derived from the Latin for
“white blood”: the massive proliferation of leukemic cells can cause a patient’s blood to
appear milky)
4. Lymphoma: Lymph nodes, bone marrow, liver and spleen produces excessive
lymphocytes. Cancer in them are called as lymphomas eg. Hodgkin’s disease.

| Cancer Biology |

Fructose intolerance - Why is it life-threatening?


Share|
Question
An inborn error of liver fructose-1-phosphate aldolase (aldolase B) leads to a condition
known as fructose intolerance. The condition is characterized by life-threatening liver
damage that can occur after consuming fructose in the diet. Why is it life-threatening?

Answer
Fructokinase catalyzes the formation of fructose 1-phosphate from fructose and ATP. It
is a very rapid reaction that has minimal product inhibition by fructose 1-phosphate.
Normally, fructose 1-phosphate enters glycolysis after aldolase B has catalyzed its
scission to yield glyceraldehyde and dihydroxyacetone phosphate; then
dihydroxyacetone phosphate passes via triosephosphate isomerase to glyceraldehyde
3-phosphate and then into the final part of glycolysis, generating pyruvate. This
pyruvate leads to regeneration of ATP. If aldolase B is inactive, then phosphate
becomes trapped in fructose 1-phosphate which seriously compromises ATP
regeneration. As a result, ATP concentrations in the liver fall dramatically, leading to a
failure of the many ATP-dependent reactions including those that pump ions across the
plasma membrane. This leads to irreversible damage of the hepatocytes. Even in
normal individuals, the activity of aldolase B is sometimes a little lower than that of
fructokinase so, in general, ingesting large doses of fructose is not advisable.

| Metabolism

Why do many marine fish drink seawater, whereas


freshwater fish do not drink at all?
Share|
Marine fish, living in a hypertonic environment, suffer from a shortage of available water.
They drink seawater and extract the water from the salt solution for their metabolic
needs. However, they are left with excess salts, which must then be excreted. This is
largely accomplished through glands in the gills that excrete NaCl. A variety of ATPases
participate in the reaction, which is highly endergonic. In some marine fish, special
rectal glands excrete excess salts into the terminus of the digestive tract, where they
pass into the external environment.

Since freshwater fish are surrounded by a hypotonic environment, their problem is quite
different. They must get rid of the fresh water that is constantly moving into their bodies.
To drink water would be counterproductive, and so they never drink. Instead, the little
salt that is present in the water around them is drawn in across the gills. This process
also requires energy and involves the participation of ATP-splitting enzymes in glands
within the gill.

| zoology |
| Genetics |
What is an example of gene control?
Share|
An elegant example of gene control in bacteria is the operon system. A cluster of genes
that is responsible for synthesizing a particular protein is called an operon. This cluster
of genes typically includes a promoter region, an operator gene, a regulatory gene, and
a number of structural genes that actually encode the protein. Operon systems can be
inducible (meaning they are normally “off ”) or repressible (meaning they are normally
“on”).

| Genetics , Molecular Biology |


Is a gene the same as a DNA molecule?
Share|
Genes are the units of heredity. A gene is a segment or section of a DNA molecule.
This segment of DNA provides a genetic code for the synthesis of proteins. The nucleic
acid language of the gene is written as a sequence of bases on the DNA molecule.
Such a sequence might read G- C- T- T- A- C- C- G- A- T- T. . . . This is the molecular
“language” that will ultimately specify an amino acid sequence in a protein.

| Genetics , Molecular Biology |


What are the features of hnRNA?
Share|
Heterogeneous nuclear RNA (hnRNA)- The primary precursor mRNA transcript made in
the eukaryotic nucleus are called "hnRNA," an abbreviation for "heterogeneous nuclear
RNA. Features are as follows:
Introns: Since many eukaryotic nuclear genes are interrupted by introns, RNA
transcripts of intron-containing genes have intronic RNA sequences.
Poly A tails at the 3'-end: Poly A tails added to the 3'-end of most, but not all hnRNAs
during nuclear RNA processing. These tails are retained in the processed mRNA.
5'-Cap structure: A modified GTP is covalently attached to the 5'-end of most precursors
to mRNA. This cap structure is also retained in the processed mRNA.
Base Composition and relation to template strand: RNA is synthesized from a DNA
template. The sequence of the RNA is complementary to the DNA template strand, and
opposite in polarity. C and T in the DNA template are transcribed by RNA polymerase
as G and A in the hnRNA, respectively. A and G in the DNA template are transcribed as
U and C in hnRNA. Thus hnRNA and mRNA are sequences of A, G, C and U's.

| Genetics , Molecular Biology |


How DNA-RNA hybridization occurs
Share|
Both DNA and RNA are able to form hybrids in solution with other DNA or RNA
molecules that have complementary base pairing. Double-stranded DNA can be
"denatured" by heating to high temperature. If the resulting single-stranded DNAs are
slowly cooled, the separated DNA strands can reanneal to reform the DNA duplex.
Notice that A pairs with T and G pairs with C when a DNA strand hybridizes with
another DNA strand. An RNA molecule can also form a base-paired DNA-RNA duplex
molecule with a DNA that has complementary base pairing. The most common source
of DNA complementary to an mRNA is the DNA coding strand that was the template for
synthesis of the RNA. In DNA-RNA hybrid formation, G base pairs with C, A of the RNA
pairs with T of the DNA, and U or the RNA pairs with A of the DNA.

| Genetics , Molecular Biology |


What is self-catalytic RNAs?
Share|
Ribozymes - The term "ribozyme" was originally suggested by Thomas R. Cech, Nobel
Prize winning biochemist, who first discovered this class of RNA molecules. A ribozyme
is an RNA molecule that can catalyze a biochemical reaction. Prior to the discovery of
ribozymes, it was generally assumed that protein enzymes were the only class of
biological catalysts. Cech's discovery was truly revolutionary in upsetting this dogma.
The first ribozymes discovered were introns that could catalyze their own splicing, i.e. a
special type of intron within a pre-RNA molecule was found to catalyze all steps needed
for intron removal and joining of the exons together at the biologically correct site.
Ribozymes with other types of biological activity have since been discovered. One
intriguing potential ribozyme is the peptidyl transferase activity of the ribosome. Many
believe that peptide bond formation is catalyzed by the 23S ribosomal RNA, a potential
ribozyme, rather than ribosomal proteins.

| Genetics , Molecular Biology |


What information can a forensic scientist determine
from a human hair?
Share|
A single strand of human hair can identify the age and sex of the owner, drugs and
narcotics the individual has used (up to 90 days previously), and, through DNA
evaluation and sample comparisons, from whose head the hair came.

| Genetics , Technology |
What is genetic engineering?
Share|
Genetic engineering, also popularly known as molecular cloning or gene cloning, is the
artificial recombination of nucleic acid molecules in a test tube; their insertion into a
virus, bacterial plasmid, or other vector system; and the subsequent incorporation of the
chimeric molecules into a host organism in which they are capable of continued
propagation. The construction of such molecules has also been termed gene
manipulation because it usually involves the production of novel genetic combinations
by biochemical means. Genetic engineering techniques include cell fusion and the use
of recombinant DNA or gene-splicing. In cell fusion the tough outer membranes of
sperm and egg cells are removed by enzymes, and then the fragile cells are mixed and
combined with the aid of chemicals or viruses. The result may be the creation of a new
life form from two species (a chimera). Recombinant DNA techniques transfer a specific
genetic activity from one organism to the next through the use of bacterial plasmids
(small circular pieces of DNA lying outside the main bacterial chromosome) and
enzymes, such as restriction endonucleases (which cut the DNA strands); reverse
transcriptase (which makes a DNA strand from an RNA strand); DNA ligase (which joins
DNA strands together); and Taq polymerase (which can make a double-strand DNA
molecule from a single-strand "primer" molecule). The recombinant DNA process
begins with the isolation and fragmentation of suitable DNA strands. After these
fragments are combined with vectors, they are carried into bacterial cells, where the
DNA fragments are "spliced" on to plasmid DNA that has been opened up. These hybrid
plasmids are then mixed with host cells to form transformed cells. Since only some of
the transformed cells will exhibit the desired characteristic or gene activity, the
transformed cells are separated and grown individually in cultures. This methodology
has been successful in producing large quantities of hormones (such as insulin) for the
biotechnology industry. However, it is more difficult to transform animal and plant cells.
Yet the technique exists to make plants resistant to diseases and to make animals grow
larger. Because genetic engineering interferes with the processes of heredity and can
alter the genetic structure of our own species, there is much concern over the ethical
ramifications of such power, as well as the possible health and ecological
consequences of the creation of these bacterial forms.
Some applications of genetic engineering in various fields are:
• Agriculture: Crops having larger yields, disease- and drought-resistancy; bacterial
sprays to prevent crop damage from freezing temperatures; and livestock improvement
through changes in animal traits.
• Industry: Use of bacteria to convert old newspaper and wood chips into sugar; oil- and
toxin-absorbing bacteria for oil spill or toxic waste cleanups; and yeasts to accelerate
wine fermentation.
• Medicine: Alteration of human genes to eliminate disease (experimental stage); faster
and more economical production of vital human substances to alleviate deficiency and
disease symptoms (but not to cure them); substances include insulin, interferon (cancer
therapy), vitamins, human growth hormone ADA, antibodies, vaccines, and antibiotics.
• Research: Modification of gene structure in medical research, especially cancer
research.
• Food processing: Rennin (enzyme) in cheese aging.

| cell biology , Genetics , Molecular Biology |


What is cosmid?
Share|
Genetically engineered vector containing phage and plasmid genetic elements which
accepts inserts of larger length (average of 45 kb) than phage (15 kb) or plasmid (1–10
kb) derived vectors. The replication origin and antibiotic resistance gene come from
plasmids. The cos sites required for packaging come from phages. Cosmids are
packaged into capsids and are able to infect host cells, thus efficiently injecting the
vector DNA which is then amplified and maintained as a giant plasmid in the host cell.

| Genetics |
What is Barr body Genes?
Share|
Located inside the nuclear envelope, it is a densely staining object that is an inactivated
X chromosome in female mammalian cells. Most Barr body genes are not expressed.
They are reactivated in gonadal cells that undergo meiosis to form gametes. Female
mammals are a mosaic of two types of cells, those with an active maternal X and those
with an active paternal X. Which of the two Xs will be inactivated is determined
randomly in embryonic cells. After an X is inactivated, all mitotic descendants will have
the same inactive X. As a consequence, if a female is heterozygous for a sex-linked
trait, about half of her cells will express one allele and the other cells well express the
alternate allele. Examples of this type of mosaicism are coloration in calico cats and
normal sweat gland development in humans. A woman who is heterozygous for this trait
has patches of normal skin and patches of skin lacking sweat glands. X chromosome
inactivation is associated with DNA methylation. Methyl groups (-CH3) attach to
cytosine, one of DNA’s nitrogenous bases. Barr bodies are highly methylated compared
to actively transcribed DNA.
What determines which of the two X chromosomes will be methylated? – A recently
discovered gene, XIST is active only on the Barr body. The product of the XIST gene,
X-inactive specific transcript, is an RNA; multiple copies of XIST attach to the X
chromosome inactivating it.

| Genetics , Molecular Biology |


How Genes can be exchanged between chromatids?
Share|
When two homologous chromosomes physically exchange corresponding segments
during prophase I of meiosis, geneticists call it crossing over. Recombinations occur at
chiasmata during pachytene of meiosis-I. If just a few exchanges occur, genes that are
closer together tend to stay together. The farther apart on the same chromosome genes
are, the more likely they will separate during recombination. The two extremes are
independent assortment and complete or absolute linkage. The progeny resulting from
crossing over appear in repeatable proportions, called the recombinant frequency.
Greater recombination frequencies are observed for genes that are farther apart on the
chromosomes because a chiasma is more likely to cut between genes that are far apart
than genes that are closer together.

| Genetics , Molecular Biology |


Are chromosomes the only parts of bacteria that can
be transformed?
Share|
Bacteria possess extrachromosomal loops of DNA called plasmids. Plasmids are small,
self-replicating loops of DNA with about 10 to 50 genes. They are not essential for the
survival of the bacterium. New segments of DNA acquired in transformation may attach
to the plasmids of a bacterium, or entire plasmids may be recovered from the local
environment. Additionally, plasmids can sometimes be lost in a process called curing,
which can occur spontaneously or can be induced by certain environmental factors.

| Genetics , Microbiology |
Abnormalities in chromosome number give rise to
diseases of karyotype. How might these aberrations
occur?
Share|
Under usual conditions of meiotic division, each tetrad separates into its constituent
homologous chromosomes. One homologue migrates to one pole and the other
homologue to the opposite pole during anaphase of the first meiotic division. If this
separation does not occur, all the tetrads may move to one pole, while the opposite pole
may receive no chromosomes at all. This would eventually produce diploid cells as
gametes (in those organisms in which meiosis is involved in gamete formation). Should
such a diploid gamete unite with a more typical haploid gamete, a zygote would be
produced with three sets of chromosomes, a triploid individual. In
plants, the formation of triploid and even higher orders of polyploidy represents a
mechanism for producing new species of the organism in the course of evolution. This
alteration of ploidy is less common in animals.
More commonly, a single tetrad will fail to separate into its constituent chromosomes.
This will eventually result in gametes that have a double dose of one chromosome and
others that have no representative for that particular chromosome. In Down’s syndrome,
a sperm or egg with two chromosomes 21 unites with a normal haploid sperm or egg to
produce a zygote with three such chromosomes. The failure of tetrads to disjoin is
called nondisjunction, and disorders arising from the phenomenon are known as
diseases of nondisjunction. They include Down’s, Klinefelter’s (XXY male genotype),
and Turner’s (XO, i.e., having only one X chromosome,female genotype) syndromes.
Fragmentaton, deletion, and internal inversion of chromosomes or chromosome parts
may also produce diseases of karyotype.

| Genetics |

| Cell biology |
Are prokaryotes and eukaryotes similar in any
respects?
Share|
Prokaryotes and eukaryotes share common features, among them the possession of
nucleic acids and other organic substances such as proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids.
In addition, they utilize similar metabolic reactions such as glycolysis and chemiosmosis
for the utilization of food and the production of energy and waste. Also, they exhibit
many of the same physiological features such as motion and reproduction, although the
mode of reproduction may be different and different organs of motility may exist.

| Biochemistry , cell biology |


What are the stages of mitosis?
Share|
Mitosis involves the replication of DNA and its separation into two new daughter cells.
while only four phases of mitosis are often listed. the entire process is actually
comprised
of six phases:
• Interphase: Involves extensive preparation for the division process.
• Prophase: The condensation of chromosomes; the nuclear membrane disappears;
formation of the spindle apparatus; chromosomes attach to spindle fibers.
• Metaphase: Chromosomes, attached by spindle fibers. align along the mid-line of a
cell.
• Anaphase: The centromere splits and chromatin move apart.
• Telophase: The nuclear membrane reforms around newly divided chromosomes.
• Cytokinesis: The division of cytoplasm, cell membranes, and organelles occur. In
plants. a new cell wall forms.

| cell biology , cell signaling , cell structure , Molecular Biology |


What is genetic engineering?
Share|
Genetic engineering, also popularly known as molecular cloning or gene cloning, is the
artificial recombination of nucleic acid molecules in a test tube; their insertion into a
virus, bacterial plasmid, or other vector system; and the subsequent incorporation of the
chimeric molecules into a host organism in which they are capable of continued
propagation. The construction of such molecules has also been termed gene
manipulation because it usually involves the production of novel genetic combinations
by biochemical means. Genetic engineering techniques include cell fusion and the use
of recombinant DNA or gene-splicing. In cell fusion the tough outer membranes of
sperm and egg cells are removed by enzymes, and then the fragile cells are mixed and
combined with the aid of chemicals or viruses. The result may be the creation of a new
life form from two species (a chimera). Recombinant DNA techniques transfer a specific
genetic activity from one organism to the next through the use of bacterial plasmids
(small circular pieces of DNA lying outside the main bacterial chromosome) and
enzymes, such as restriction endonucleases (which cut the DNA strands); reverse
transcriptase (which makes a DNA strand from an RNA strand); DNA ligase (which joins
DNA strands together); and Taq polymerase (which can make a double-strand DNA
molecule from a single-strand "primer" molecule). The recombinant DNA process
begins with the isolation and fragmentation of suitable DNA strands. After these
fragments are combined with vectors, they are carried into bacterial cells, where the
DNA fragments are "spliced" on to plasmid DNA that has been opened up. These hybrid
plasmids are then mixed with host cells to form transformed cells. Since only some of
the transformed cells will exhibit the desired characteristic or gene activity, the
transformed cells are separated and grown individually in cultures. This methodology
has been successful in producing large quantities of hormones (such as insulin) for the
biotechnology industry. However, it is more difficult to transform animal and plant cells.
Yet the technique exists to make plants resistant to diseases and to make animals grow
larger. Because genetic engineering interferes with the processes of heredity and can
alter the genetic structure of our own species, there is much concern over the ethical
ramifications of such power, as well as the possible health and ecological
consequences of the creation of these bacterial forms.
Some applications of genetic engineering in various fields are:
• Agriculture: Crops having larger yields, disease- and drought-resistancy; bacterial
sprays to prevent crop damage from freezing temperatures; and livestock improvement
through changes in animal traits.
• Industry: Use of bacteria to convert old newspaper and wood chips into sugar; oil- and
toxin-absorbing bacteria for oil spill or toxic waste cleanups; and yeasts to accelerate
wine fermentation.
• Medicine: Alteration of human genes to eliminate disease (experimental stage); faster
and more economical production of vital human substances to alleviate deficiency and
disease symptoms (but not to cure them); substances include insulin, interferon (cancer
therapy), vitamins, human growth hormone ADA, antibodies, vaccines, and antibiotics.
• Research: Modification of gene structure in medical research, especially cancer
research.
• Food processing: Rennin (enzyme) in cheese aging.
| cell biology , Genetics , Molecular Biology |
Will growth factors can stimulate cells to divide?
Share|
Cyclin-Cdk complexes provide internal control for cell cycle decisions. Cells in
multicellular organisms must divide only when appropriate. They must respond to
external signals, controls called growth factors.
Some cells respond to growth factors provided by other cells.
• Platelets release platelet-derived growth factor, which diffuses to the surface of
Cells to stimulate wound healing.
• Interleukins are released from one type of blood cell to stimulate division of
another type resulting in body immune system defenses.
• The cells of the kidney make erythropoietin, which stimulates bone marrow
Cells to divide and differentiate into red blood cells.
Cancer cells cycle inappropriately because they either make their own growth factors
Or no longer require them to start cycling.

| cell biology |
Are viruses alive?
Share|
In terms of the definition of life viruses are not alive. They are complex associations of
two macromolecules—protein and nucleic acid—but they are neither self-regulating nor
capable of metabolism. Perhaps most crucial is their inability to reproduce
independently. They may be crystallized and kept in an inert state in test tubes for long
periods of time. Their talent lies in their ability to seduce living cells into manufacturing
new viral material following the injection of viral nucleic acid into those cells. The genetic
message of the virus literally captures the protein-synthesizing machinery of the cell
which then carries out the bidding of the viral information tape. The cell also produces
the nucleic acids required for viral replication. At one time, viruses were felt to be links in
the stepwise increasing complexity of macromolecules on their journey toward
becoming full-fledged cells. The more likely explanation offered by many virologists at
this time is that viruses are degenerate products of more complex forms, even of once-
living cells.
Forms resembling living organisms exist that are even simpler than viruses. In 1971, a
scientist at the U.S.Department of Agriculture showed that infections of potato plants
are caused by very small bits of circular RNA lacking a protein coat. These tiny lengths
of naked RNA, soon found to cause a variety of diseases in flowering plants, were
called viroids by their discoverer, T. O. Diener. Although viroids cause disease, they do
not destroy the cells they parasitize. The mechanisms whereby they enter the cell and
take over part of its polynucleotide synthesizing machinery are not fully known.
Several neurological diseases, including scrapie in sheep, arise from an infestation of
central nervous system cells by a self-replicating protein called a priori. Prions have
been isolated from diseased tissues but their mode of action and reproductive strategy
are unknown.

| cell biology |
Are plasma membranes the outer boundaries of all
cells?
Share|
No, in many cells the plasma membrane is encased within an extraneous coat of
nonliving material that usually confers some rigidity on the cell it surrounds. Although
not affecting permeability, this rigid coat affords considerable protection to the
underlying cell, especially in dilute solutions in which the cell might take in water and
tend to swell.The coat is known as a cell wall in plant cells, fungi, and bacteria. Thiswall
is composed of cellulose in all plant cells. Cellulose is the major component of wood
and certain other commercially useful plant products. In fungi,the walls are composed of
chitin, a complex carbohydrate rich in amino-containing sugars. Bacterial cell walls
consistof complex carbohydrates and linked short peptides, but there is considerable
variation in the chemical makeup of these mixed polysaccharide and amino acid chains
in different bacterial strains.
In most animal cells, theremaybe a layer of carbohydrate lying outside the
plasmamembrane, but this is not a separable coat. It is called a glycocalyx and exists in
intimate association with the membrane. The carbohydrates themselves are
generally short chains but are covalently bound to the lipids or proteins of the
membrane to produce a thin, furlike cover for the cell. The glycocalyx contains receptors
for a variety of substances with which the cell may interact. The blood types of humans
are based on the antigenic properties of the glycocalyx of the red blood cell. The sites
on many cells that signal ‘‘self’’ or ‘‘foreigner’’ to the immune systemof host organisms
occur within the glycocalyx as well. Thus, in dealing with the possibility of whether a
transplanted tissue or organ will be rejected, a major focus is on the glycoproteins
formed within the glycocalyx. Collectively, the chief set of such glycoproteins is known
as the major histocompatibility antigens, and these antigens are coded for by a group of
genes known as the major histocompatibility complex (MHC).

In many cells, special structures are formed that anchor the cells firmly together. These
structures, particularly associated with epithelial tissue, include tight junctions, inwhich
there is virtually no intercellular space, and desmosomes,
in which a highly layered, narrow space can be discerned. Such structures may also
play a role in the transport of materials from one cell to another. Animal cells involved in
absorption, such as the cells that line the intestine, often have filaments extending out
from the plasma membrane. These filaments, which are rich in carbohydrates, are
known as microvilli. They increase the absorptive surface of the cell and may also
contain enzymes that function in digestion. Another type of extracellular coat is formed
by the layers of polysaccharide that surround the eggs of many vertebrate and
invertebrate species. These coats, usually added to the egg proper as it passes along
the reproductive tract before hatching, must be penetrated by the sperm at the time of
fertilization. The enzymes associated with the acrosome found in the head of most
sperm cells aid in carrying out this task.Among many protista, a highly elastic pellicle
overlies the plasma membrane, but the function of this structure is not completely clear.
In Euglena, it consists of flexible protein strips.

| cell biology |

| Microbiology |
What are Killed (inactivated) vaccines?
Share|
When safe live vaccines are not available, either because attenuated strains have not
been developed or else because reversion to wild type occurs too readily, it may be
possible to use an inactivated preparation of the virulent organism to immunize the host.
The organism is propagated in bulk, in vitro, and inactivated with either
betapropiolactone or formaldehyde. These vaccines are not infectious and are therefore
relatively safe. However, they are usually of lower immunogenicity and multiple doses
may be needed to induce immunity. In addition, they are usually expensive to prepare.
In subcellular fractions ,when protective immunity is known to be directed against only
one or two proteins of an organism, it may be possible to use a purified preparation of
these proteins as a vaccine. The organism is grown in bulk and inactivated, and then
the protein of interest is purified and concentrated from the culture suspension. These
vaccines are safe and fewer local reactions occur at the injection site. However, the
same disadvantages of poor immunogenicity and the need for multiple boosters apply.
| Microbiology , Pharmacology |
What is the general course of development for cases
of syphilis?
Share|

The etiologic agent of syphilis is the spirochete Treponema pallidum. The organism is
motile and can be observed moving about under the dark- field microscope. It is
extremely difficult to cultivate in the laboratory, and direct observation is usually required
for diagnosis. The organism is transmitted among humans by sexual contact, such as
during sexual intercourse.

The development of syphilis is generally an involved series of events. The primary stage
consists of a painless, hard sore called a chancre at the site where spirochetes have
entered the body(usually on the external or internal genital organs). After several
weeks, the chancre disappears and a latent period ensues. The secondary stage
appears many weeks or months later. The secondary stage is accompanied by a skin
rash with pustular lesions and skin eruptions. The hair on the head and eyebrows is
often lost. Liver inflammation is common, and an influenza like syndrome may appear.
The person is highly contagious at this point. After some time, the lesions heal and
another latent stage develops. A tertiary stage may appear years later. This stage is
characterized by the formation of gummas, which are gummy, granular lesions that
form in the brain and major blood vessels. The patient often becomes paralyzed and
usually suffers permanent damage to the blood vessels. In addition, the symptoms of
dementia may occur. Death usually accompanies destruction of the heart and blood
vessel tissues.

One of the dangers of syphilis is the possible development of congenital syphilis. In this
instance, the spirochetes cross the placenta and enter the fetal blood from the mother’s
blood. Newborns show signs such as notched incisors (Hutchinson’s teeth), a
perforated palate, an aged- looking face, and damage to the nose. Congenital syphilis
may also result in stillbirth.

| Gynacology , Microbiology |
What happens once the DNA from the HIV particle
enters the cell nucleus?
Share|
The DNA molecule, known as a provirus, assumes a relationship with the DNA of the T
lymphocyte, and the provirus enters the state of lysogeny. From this point in the
nucleus, the provirus encodes new HIV particles, which acquire their envelope by
budding through the membrane of the T lymphocyte. The human body attempts to keep
up with the mass of new viral particles, but eventually the newly emerging strains of HIV
overwhelm the body defenses and the T lymphocyte count begins to drop. Normally, it
is approximately 800 T lymphocytes per cubic millimeter of blood, but as the disease
progresses, the count drops into the low hundreds and tens. This drop may occur as
soon as weeks after infection or as long as 20 years or more after infection.

| Immunology , Microbiology |
Are chromosomes the only parts of bacteria that can
be transformed?
Share|
Bacteria possess extrachromosomal loops of DNA called plasmids. Plasmids are small,
self-replicating loops of DNA with about 10 to 50 genes. They are not essential for the
survival of the bacterium. New segments of DNA acquired in transformation may attach
to the plasmids of a bacterium, or entire plasmids may be recovered from the local
environment. Additionally, plasmids can sometimes be lost in a process called curing,
which can occur spontaneously or can be induced by certain environmental factors.

| Genetics , Microbiology |
Are there any unique ways that humans derive
benefits from microorganisms?
Share|
Humans derive substantial benefits from the activities of microorganisms. For example,
many microbial species live in and on various parts of the body and prevent pathogenic
bacteria from gaining a foothold. These organisms are referred to as normal flora.
Microorganisms produce many of the foods we eat, including fermented dairy products
(sour cream, yogurt, and buttermilk), as well as fermented foods such as pickles,
sauerkraut, breads, and alcoholic beverages. In industrial corporations, microbes are
cultivated in huge quantities and used to produce vitamins, enzymes, organic acids, and
other essential growth factors.

| Microbiology |
How can drug resistance develop in microorganisms?
Share|
The use of antibiotics over the last 60 years has led to the development of drug-
resistant strains of bacteria.These bacterial strains always existed in the microbial
population, but they never needed to use their resistance mechanisms because they
were never confronted with the antibiotic. With widespread antibiotic use, the
susceptible bacteria died off rapidly, and the surviving bacteria were those with
resistance. They
quickly multiplied to form populations of drug- resistant microorganisms. While
methicillin- resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a well- known example of a
drug- resistant strain, many other organisms are showing alarming rates of drug
resistance due to the selective pressures exerted by the increased use of antibiotics.

| Biochemistry , cell structure , Microbiology |


Are bacteria able to move, and, if so, how?
Share|
Bacteria (and other prokaryotes) have the ability to move by means of flagella. Flagella
are composed of the globular protein flagellin. They are extremely long and thin and
cannot be seen by the light microscope unless specially stained. They are, however,
readily visible under the electron microscope. Bacterial flagella propel the organism by a
rotary motion. Each flagellum has three basic parts: the filament, which is the long,
outermost region containing the flagellin; the hook, which is composed of a different
protein and lies at the proximal end of the filament; and the basal body, which anchors
the filament to the cell membrane and cell wall and is composed of a series of rings
encircling a central, small rod (Gram- positive bacteria have only an inner pair of rings,
while Gram- negative bacteria have both inner and outer pairs of rings).

| cell structure , Microbiology |


How do microorganisms influence the carbon cycle
on Earth?
Share|
Most of the organic matter present in soil originates in plant material from leaves, rotting
trees, decaying roots, and other tissues. In the carbon cycle, soil bacteria and fungi
recycle this carbon by using the organic matter in their metabolism. Without the
recycling action of these organisms, life would suffer an irreversible decline as the
nutrients essential for life became tied up in complex molecules.

| Microbiology |
Which microorganisms are involved in the pickling
process in food production?
Share|
In the pickling process, microorganisms grow and ferment the food in a salty
environment while producing large amounts of acid from available carbohydrates.
Species of Leuconostoc and Lactobacillus are commonly used in the pickling process.
To produce sauerkraut, cabbage is grated and salted and allowed to ferment naturally
(since the bacteria are already present among the leaves). For pickled cucumbers, salt
is added to fresh cucumbers, and the naturally occurring bacteria ferment the vegetable
carbohydrates over a period of weeks. Different spices are added to prepare various
forms of sauerkraut and pickled cucumbers.

| Microbiology |
Do all bacteria require oxygen for growth?
Share|
Many bacteria are aerobic; that is, they require oxygen to grow and perform the
biochemical reactions of their metabolism. There are, however, a large number of
bacterial species that are anaerobic and are cultivated in a special apparatus where the
oxygen has been removed. These bacteria (known as anaerobes) live in the absence of
oxygen, and they are found in the muddy bottom of swamps, landfills, and soil. Some
anaerobes are obligate anaerobes, while others are facultative anaerobes, meaning that
they live with or without
oxygen.

| Microbiology |
Which bacterium is responsible for tuberculosis, and
what are the characteristics of the organism?
Share|
Tuberculosis is caused by a slender rod known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This
slow- growing rod is neither Gram- positive nor Gram- negative; rather, it is acid- fast.
When stained with carbolfuchsin, steam must be used to force the stain through the
bacterial cell wall. Once stained, however, the organism cannot be decolorized even if
dilute acid- alcohol is used. This acid- fast characteristic is due to the presence of a very
thick cell wall containing mycolic acid.

| Microbiology |
Why is microbial control necessary and what are
some of the factors that go into the choice of a
particular antimicrobial agent?
Share|
The control of microorganisms is an important way of preventing pathogens from
reaching the body.Sterilizing laboratory equipment, hospital supplies, and industrial
apparatus helps contain contamination.The choice of a particular antimicrobial agent
depends on such things as the kind of material to be treated(living or nonliving), the kind
of croorganism to be controlled, the environmental conditions existing at the time of the
agent’s use (for example, the temperature of the environment and concentration of
microorganisms),
the acidity or alkalinity of the area, and the presence of organic matter.

| Microbiology |
What is the advantage of the attenuated viruses in a
vaccine?
Share|
Attenuated viruses can be taken orally because they will survive passage into the
gastrointestinal tract and will be absorbed into the blood stream. The method of
administration is therefore easier than by injection.However, the drawback is that the
viruses may on certain occasion induce mild symptoms of disease in the body and they
pose more of a risk than the inactivated viruses. They do call forth a more substantial
immune response, however, and for this reason they may be advantageous when an
epidemic is taking place or is anticipated.

| Microbiology |
How is the Gram stain procedure performed in the
microbiology laboratory?
Share|
In the laboratory, a heat- fixed smear of bacteria is stained with crystal violet for one
minute. Then, iodine,which acts as a mordant, is added to the smear for one minute,
and the remainder is washed free. All bacteria are now blue- purple. Alcohol decolorizer
is added to the slide until the free stain is removed. In this step, the Gram- negative
bacteria lose the blue- purple dye, but Gram- positive bacteria retain the dye and remain
blue- purple. In the fourth step, the red dye safranin is added to the smear. The Gram-
negative bacteria will accept the dye and become red- pink, while the Gram- positive
bacteria remain blue- purple. At the conclusion of the procedure, the stains are
examined under the microscope and the color of the bacteria reveals the Gram reaction.

| Microbiology |
Why is tetanus considered a disease of the nervous
system?
Share|
Tetanus is a disease caused by a Gram- positive, spore- forming anaerobic rod called
Clostridium tetani.This organism often exists in the spore form in the human and animal
intestine and passes to the soil inthe feces. Tetanus is usually acquired by puncture of
the skin from a wound with a piece of glass or other pointed object. The etiological
agent grows in the dead tissue and produces a number of toxins, which have their effect
on this tissue. These toxins prevent the destruction of acetylcholine in the synapse and
encourage nerve impulses to pass into the muscles, where they cause continual muscle
contractions symptomatic of tetanus. Since the primary effect is in the nervous system,
tetanus is considered a disease of this
system.

| Microbiology |

| cell structure |
What are the stages of mitosis?
Share|
Mitosis involves the replication of DNA and its separation into two new daughter cells.
while only four phases of mitosis are often listed. the entire process is actually
comprised
of six phases:
• Interphase: Involves extensive preparation for the division process.
• Prophase: The condensation of chromosomes; the nuclear membrane disappears;
formation of the spindle apparatus; chromosomes attach to spindle fibers.
• Metaphase: Chromosomes, attached by spindle fibers. align along the mid-line of a
cell.
• Anaphase: The centromere splits and chromatin move apart.
• Telophase: The nuclear membrane reforms around newly divided chromosomes.
• Cytokinesis: The division of cytoplasm, cell membranes, and organelles occur. In
plants. a new cell wall forms.

| cell biology , cell signaling , cell structure , Molecular Biology |


How can drug resistance develop in microorganisms?
Share|
The use of antibiotics over the last 60 years has led to the development of drug-
resistant strains of bacteria.These bacterial strains always existed in the microbial
population, but they never needed to use their resistance mechanisms because they
were never confronted with the antibiotic. With widespread antibiotic use, the
susceptible bacteria died off rapidly, and the surviving bacteria were those with
resistance. They
quickly multiplied to form populations of drug- resistant microorganisms. While
methicillin- resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a well- known example of a
drug- resistant strain, many other organisms are showing alarming rates of drug
resistance due to the selective pressures exerted by the increased use of antibiotics.

| Biochemistry , cell structure , Microbiology |


Are bacteria able to move, and, if so, how?
Share|
Bacteria (and other prokaryotes) have the ability to move by means of flagella. Flagella
are composed of the globular protein flagellin. They are extremely long and thin and
cannot be seen by the light microscope unless specially stained. They are, however,
readily visible under the electron microscope. Bacterial flagella propel the organism by a
rotary motion. Each flagellum has three basic parts: the filament, which is the long,
outermost region containing the flagellin; the hook, which is composed of a different
protein and lies at the proximal end of the filament; and the basal body, which anchors
the filament to the cell membrane and cell wall and is composed of a series of rings
encircling a central, small rod (Gram- positive bacteria have only an inner pair of rings,
while Gram- negative bacteria have both inner and outer pairs of rings).

| cell structure , Microbiology |


Down syndrome - what might it be?
Share|
Question
In some sufferers of Down syndrome, the somatic cell nuclei do not contain three
chromosomes number 21.There is a chromosomal defect relating to chromosome
number 21; what might it be?

Answer
A fragment, usually the short arm, of chromosome 21 is translocated onto another
chromosome; thus, there are three copies of a fragment of the short arm in any one cell.
This is a relatively rare occurrence.

| cell structure |
Mitochondria - what might be the significance of
having such a complex membranous structure?
Share|
Question
Given that mitochondria do not have the same aggressive autolytic capacity as
lysosomes, what might be the significance of having such a complex membranous
structure? After all, the endoplasmic reticulum and the plasma membrane could
potentially support those enzymes found in mitochondrial membranes.

Answer
In fact, bacteria do not have mitochondria, but some types do have membranous
intrusions into the cytoplasm called mesosomes. These are similar in function to the
inner membrane of mitochondria .The reason mitochondria are distinct from other
membranous structures in higher cells is possibly due to their evolutionary origin as
intracellular symbionts and to the fact that the spatial separations of functions lead to
more advantageous (in terms of natural selection and selective advantage) control of
the various metabolic processes that are now
distributed between distinct compartments.

| cell structure |
what is the primary source of mitochondrial DNA?
Share|
Question:
(a) From what primary source is the DNA in your mitochondria, your mother or your
father? (b) Speculate onpossible inheritance patterns if there were a defect in one or the
other parent’s mitochondria.
Answer:

(a) Mother.
(b) If a defect exists in a mitochondrial gene, all progeny from that female will carry the
defect.
Several well-defined diseases resulting from such a defect have been described.

| cell structure |
What might be the consequence and role of
compartmentation of enzymes?
Share|
Question:
There are two forms of the enzyme carbamyl phosphate synthetase, one in the
mitochondrial matrix and the other in the cytoplasm. What might be the consequence
and role of this compartmentation of enzymes?

Answer:
It enables separate control over the rates of urea and pyrimidine synthesis

| cell structure |
Microsomes - From where do they arise?
Share|
Question:
Microsomes are small spherical membranous vesicles with attached ribosomes. They
sediment, during differential sedimentation, only in the late stages of a preparation when
very high centrifugal velocities are used. They don’t appear in electronmicrographs of a
cell. From where do they arise?

Answer:
Fragments of endoplasmic reticulum are transformed from lipid bilayer sheets, with
attached ribosomes, into spherical vesicles. This is a result of the homogenization used
in preparing the samples and also the tendency of lipid bilayers to spontaneously
reseal.

| cell structure |
What is the biochemical basis of this test?
Share|
Question:
A commonly used test of the viability of cells in tissue culture is whether or not they
exclude a supravital dye such as toluidine blue. If the cells exclude the dye, they are
considered to be viable. What is the biochemical basis of this test?

Answer:
The membranes of all living cells are selectively permeable to ions and other chemical
species. This selectivity is in many cases linked to the supply of ATP, and one feature of
cell death is a low concentration of ATP. In this state, the cell no longer excludes foreign
compounds, such as toluidine dye.

| cell structure |
PAS staining of microscope sections of red blood
cells gives ?
Share|
Question:PAS staining of microscope sections of red blood cells gives a pink stain on
only one side of the cell membrane. Which side is it, the extracellular or the intracellular
side?
Answer:Extracellular. All glycoprotein and glycolipids of the plasma membrane of red
and all other cells are on theoutside of the cell. No oligosaccharides are present on the
inner face of the cell membrane.

| cell structure |
How many red blood cells are produced in an average
70-kg person every second?
Share|
The number is 2.5 million! The average life span of a human red cell is 120 days;
therefore the number produced per second is simply given by the 26 trillion (average
cells in 70kg person), divided by 120 days and expressed in seconds.

| cell structure |
How many red blood cells are there in an average 70-
kg person?
Share|
There are ∼2.6 × 1013, or 26 trillion. The total blood volume is ∼5.5 L, and ~40% of that
is red blood cells;i.e., there are ~2.2 L of red cells. Since each cell has a volume of ∼86
× 10−15 L , the result follows from dividing 2.2 L by this number.

| cell structure |
A person’s lysosomes lack the enzyme β-glucosidase
????
Share|
Question: There is an inherited disease in which a person’s lysosomes lack the
enzyme β-glucosidase What are the clinical and biochemical consequences of this
deficiency?

Answer:The disease is called Gaucher disease, and it is the most common of the
sphingolipidoses; its incidence in the general population is ∼1:2500. This class of
disease results from defective hydrolysis of membranecomponents, sphingolipids , that
are normally turned over in the cell by hydrolytic breakdown inthe lysosomes. The
sphingolipids are lipid molecules with attached carbohydrate groups. A failure to beable
to remove glucose from these molecules results in their accumulation in the lysosomes.
In fact, over a few years, the cells which have rapid membrane turnover, such as the
liver and spleen, become engorgedwith this lipid breakdown product. Clinically the
patients have a large liver and spleen and may show signs of mental deterioration if
much of the lipid accumulates in the brain as well.

| cell structure |
How may cells be disrupted in order to obtain
subcellular organelles by centrifugal fractionation?
Share|
There are several ways of disrupting cells:
1. Osmotic lysis. The plasma membranes of cells are water-permeable but are
impermeable to large molecules and some ions. Thus if cells are placed into water or
dilute buffer, they swell due to the osmotically driven influx of water. Since the plasma
membrane is not able to stretch very much (the red cell membrane can only stretch by
up to 15% of its normal area before disruption), the cell bursts. The method is effective
for isolated cells but is not so effective for tissues.
2. Homogenizers.
3. Sonication. This involves the generation of shear forces in a cell sample in the vicinity
of a titanium probe (0.5 mm in diameter and 10 cm long) that vibrates at ∼20,000 Hz.
The device contains a crystal of lead zirconate titanate that is piezoelectric; i.e., it
expands and contracts when an oscillatory electric field is applied to it from an
electronic oscillator. The ultrasonic pressure waves cause microcavitation in the
sample, and this disrupts the cell membranes, usually in a few seconds.

| cell structure |
Methods of studying the structure and function of
cells ? Q&A - 1
Share|
Question:Acidic dyes such as eosin and acid fuchsin have a net negative charge at the
pH of usual staining solutions. Therefore they bind to many cellular proteins that have a
net positive charge. Give some regions of a liver cell that might be acidophilic.?

Answer: The cytoplasm, mitochondrial matrix, and inside the smooth endoplasmic
reticulum; all regions have a high protein content.

| cell structure |
Methods of studying the structure and function of
cells ? Q&A - 2
Share|
Question:Basic dyes such as methylene blue or toluidine blue are positively charged at
the pH of most staining solutions used in histology. Thus the dyes bind to acidic
(negatively charged) substances in the cell. These acidic molecules are therefore
referred to as basophilic substances in cells. Give some examples of basophilic
substances?

Answer:Examples of basophilic components are DNA and RNA; the latter includes
messenger RNA and ribosomes.The youngest red blood cells in the blood circulation
contain a basophilic reticulum (network) in their cytoplasm; this is composed of
messenger and ribosomal RNA. The network is slowly dissolved over the first 24h of the
cell’s life in the circulation. This readily identifiable red cell type is called the reticulocyte.

| cell structure |
What does a typical animal cell look like?
Share|
There is no such thing as a typical animal cell, since cells vary in overall size, shape,
and contents of the
various subcellular organelles.

| cell structure |
What type of experiments can we carry out that might
shed light on the origin of life?
Share|
A landmark experiment that was designed to provide some answers to this question
was conducted by Stanley Miller and Harold Urey, working at the University of Chicago
(see Fig. 1-1). Electrical discharges, which simulated lightning,were delivered in a glass
vessel that contained water and the gases methane (CH4), ammonia (NH3), and
hydrogen (H2),in the same relative proportions that were likely on prebiotic Earth. The
discharging went on for a week, and then the contents of the vessel were analyzed
chromatographically. The “soup” that was produced contained almost all the key
building blocks of life as we know it today: Miller observed that as much as 10–15% of
the carbon was in the form of organic compounds. Two percent of the carbon had
formed some of the amino acids that are used to make proteins. How the individual
molecules might have interacted to form a primitive cell is still a mystery, but at least the
building blocks
are known to arise under very plausible and readily reproduced physical and chemical
conditions

| cell structure |
Who first saw cells and sparked a revolution in
biology by identifying these units as the basis of life?
Share|
It was Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (1632–1723), draper of Delft in Holland, and science
hobbyist who ground his own lenses and made simple microscopes that gave
magnifications of ~200 ×. On October 9, 1676, he sent a 17½-page letter
to the Royal Society of London, in which he described animalcules in various water
samples. These small organisms included what are today known as protozoans and
bacteria; thus Leeuwenhoek is credited with the first observation of bacteria. Later work
of his included the identification of spermatozoa and red blood cells from many species.

| cell structure |
What is the general nature of cells?
Share|
All animals, plants, and microorganisms are composed of cells. Cells range in volume
from a few attoliters among bacteria to milliliters for the giant nerve cells of squid; typical
cells in mammals have diameters of 10 to 100 µm and are thus often smaller than the
smallest visible particle. They are generally flexible structures with a delimiting
membrane that is in a dynamic, undulating state. Different animal and plant tissues
contain different types of cells that are distinguished not only by their different structures
but also by their different metabolic activities.

| cell structure |

| Botany |
How do angiosperms differ from gymnosperms?
Share|
First, the seeds of the angiosperms, a more recently evolved and highly successful
division of the tracheophytes, are enclosed within a protective chamber, the ovary. A
ripened ovary containing seeds is called a fruit. The fruit not only encloses the seeds
but may also aid in seed dispersal. The fruit is either carried or eaten by animals that
migrate to distant sites, carrying the seeds with them; the seeds are ultimately dropped
or eliminated from the animals’ digestive tracts.

The seed also forms a little differently in angiosperms. One sperm nucleus from the
pollen tube unites with an egg nucleus to produce the zygote. A second sperm nucleus
unites with two haploid nuclei in the gametophyte (embryo sac) to produce the triploid
endosperm, an important source of food within the seed for such seeds as corn.

In gymnosperms, pollination (transfer of pollen to female reproductive structure) can be


only wind-borne. In flowering plants, pollen may be transferred by wind or by animals.
Although insects have been stressed as prime agents for pollination, recent studies
suggest that mice and other small mammals may also play a role, particularly
in tropical plants.

A major internal modification of the angiosperms is the development of specialized


xylem cells, the vessels and fibers, in addition to tracheids. The vessels are particularly
significant because they are large-bore columnar cells that anastomose (join) end to
end. When their inner cellular contents degenerate, they collectively form long tubes
that greatly facilitate the passage of water in the plant. Fibers, on the other hand,
function solely to provide support. In conifers, the single
xylem elements, the tracheids, represent a more primitive condition

| Botany |
Criticize the following statement: Plants carry on
photosynthesis; animals carry on respiration instead.
Share|
This is an incorrect view. Both plants and animals carry on respiration as a major source
of energy for vital functions. Only plants, however, are also capable of carrying out
photosynthesis. The components of photosynthesis are sequestered within the
chloroplast, whereas the major steps of respiration occur within the mitochondrion.
Thus, both processes may be occurring simultaneously in any plant cell, since the
compartmentalization of these functions precludes their interfering with each other.
Many of the sequences in the pathways of respiration are found as part of the
photosynthetic process; this suggests a close evolutionary association of the two
processes. The balance between respiration and photosynthesis will determine whether
there is a net uptake of O2 or CO2 from a particular plant region.

| Botany |
Describe some asexual processes occurring in animal
reproduction. What is the chief disadvantage of this
form of reproduction?
Share|
Parthenogenetic development of unfertilized eggs as a regular procedure in the
production of male ants and bees and Artificial stimulation of sea urchin eggs induces
cleavage. Although the egg is a sex cell, the development of unfertilized eggs is an
asexual process.Among sponges and hydra, budding is a common occurrence. This
involves an outgrowth of a portion of the parent’s body to produce a new individual.
Occasionally, the new growth will remain attached to the parent stock, but usually the
bud breaks away to produce an individual organism.
In the phylum, Platyhelminthes, a process called fragmentation occurs in which some of
these flatworms spontaneously separate into separate lengths. Each of the fragments
produces a new flatworm.

Related to fragmentation is regeneration, or the restoration of lost parts. Seemingly, this


is a mechanism for compensating for the accidental removal of organs or extended
structures. However, among the echinoderms
(starfish, brittle stars, etc.), the removal of an arm and part of the central disk leads to
the formation of a new organism from that arm, so that the process may be considered
both fragmentation and regeneration.

Asexual reproduction is a simple procedure for producing progeny, but it tends to


minimize the variation which is grist for the mill of evolution. It also tends to eliminate the
existence of parents, except in the instance of budding. In almost all animal organisms,
asexual reproduction is only a supplement to sexual reproduction.

| Botany |
Stripping a thin layer of bark completely around a tree
trunk will kill the tree, but a deep gouge along one
side will not. Why?
Share|
It must be remembered that the bark contains the phloem in its innermost region. The
circumcision of even a thin layer of bark completely disrupts the movement of organic
nutrients from the leaves and upper stem to the lower stem and roots. In a clear sense,
the roots and lower stem would be starved and their functions suspended. Survival
would be impossible.
On the other hand, a deep cut along one side of the trunk would disrupt completely both
nutrient flow in the phloem and fluid movement in the xylem, but only in the narrow band
of elements actually destroyed. The rest of the trunk would continue to provide a conduit
for necessary fluids and the sugars and other organic foodstuffs manufactured by the
leaves. Sometimes, it is possible for trees to survive even though their heartwood has
rotted or burned. Although this diminishes their strength, it does not reduce their ability
to transport nutrients, and so they survive.

| Botany |
| Biomolecules |
What are the structural and chemical reasons why bile
salts don’t form typical micelles?
Share|
Although bile salts possess a polar head group, the hydrocarbon tail usually contains
polar hydroxyl groups. Therefore the rigid ring system gives a tightly packed, almost
solid, nonpolar phase rather than a liquid one. However, like cholesterol, bile salts can
form mixed micelles with phospholipids.

| Biomolecules |
Can cholesterol form micelles and bilayers?
Share|
Cholesterol does not form micelles because it is not sufficiently amphiphilic (even
though it does have an OH group) and its flat, rigid, fused-ring structure gives a solid
rather than a liquid hydrocarbon phase at physiological temperatures. Such fluidity is
required for micelle formation. However, cholesterol can form mixed micelles with
amphiphilic lipids, and it enters monolayers as well where it constitutes ∼25% of the
mass of the lipid bilayer in the plasma membranes of mammalian cells.

| Biomolecules |
What is the chemical basis of this reactivity? β-D-
Glucose
Share|
Question

β-D-Glucose is the most prevalent monosaccharide in the bloodstream. It can react with
many differentcompounds. What is the chemical basis of this reactivity?

Answer
Glucose is an aldehyde and hence is a reducing compound. The aldehyde group is
reactive and can be reduced to form an alcohol, can be oxidized to form a carboxylic
acid, or can react with many other compounds to form a glucosyl adduct with them.

| Biomolecules |
What is the difference between a sugar and a
carbohydrate?
Share|
Sugar is a term that is sometimes used incorrectly to refer to carbohydrates in general,
because many carbohydrates have a sweet taste. But not all carbohydrates are sugars,
e.g., starch. However, in common usage sugar usually refers specifically to sucrose, or
perhaps to a few other simple carbohydrates such as fructose and glucose.

| Biomolecules |
Is it strictly correct to call proline an amino acid?
Share|
No. The side chain of proline bends around and is covalently linked to the backbone
nitrogen atom replacing one of the hydrogen atoms. Thus it is actually an imino acid.

| Biomolecules |
Why is water such an important molecule in living
systems?
Share|
The strength and specificity of interactions between biological molecules depend on the
medium in which they reside. The major biological solvent is water, although fat
deposits readily dissolve hydrophobic molecules such as some pesticides and various
drugs. Because of the large electronegativity of oxygen relative to hydrogen, the oxygen
atom attracts electrons from the two hydrogen atoms, making them more negative and
leaving the hydrogen atoms with a net positive charge. Thus, water molecules are
highly polarized, and they associate with one another through hydrogen bonds. The
angle between the two O—H bonds in water is not 180Degree; hence the molecule is
bent, and hydrogen bonds form in which each water molecule interacts with several
neighbors in a three-dimensional network. Without these interactions, water with a
molecular weight of 18 would be a gas at normal atmospheric temperatures and
pressures, like dinitrogen of molecular weight 28.

| Biomolecules |
What is inside a living cell?
Share|
The inside of a cell is crowded with molecules, and these are in continuous vigorous
motion that is driven by thermal energy. In prokaryotic cells the cytoplasm is the only
compartment; in most eukaryotic cells it is still the largest single compartment. The
cytoplasm (also called the cytosol) is so crowded with small and large molecules that it
is significantly more viscous than a typical aqueous solution encountered in laboratory
experiments.
As molecules in random motion collide, they diffuse throughout the cell; large molecules
diffuse more slowly than
small ones. It is the diffusion and collisions between molecules that enable biochemical
reactions to occur.

| Biomolecules |
What is the nature of the interactions between
biomolecules?
Share|
Interactions between biomolecules depend on the forming and breaking of chemical
bonds.
The covalent bond is the strongest chemical bond. It links individual atoms within a
molecule and involves sharing of a pair of electrons between adjacent atoms. Its
formation requires considerable energy, and its breakage releases this energy. The
formation and breakage of covalent bonds are not readily reversible processes.
Noncovalent bonds are weaker and are often readily reversible. The four major ones
differ in their length,strength, specificity, and response to water. Although noncovalent
interactions are weaker than covalent bonds .

| Biomolecules |
What types of molecules are the foundations of life?
Share|
There are four major classes of biomolecules that are synthesized by living systems:
nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, and polysaccharides (carbohydrates). They are all
polymers of simple building blocks sugar, phosphate, and a nitrogenous base for the
nucleic acids; amino acids for proteins; glycerol and fatty acids for lipids; and simple
sugars (monosaccharides) for polysaccharides. These can be combined in some
specialized biomolecules such as carbohydrate and protein in glycoproteins; lipid and
protein in lipoproteins; and carbohydrate and lipid in glycolipids.

All biomolecules are remarkably similar throughout the evolutionary or phylogenetic


tree. Since living systems primarily exist within an aqueous environment, the unique
structures and properties of biomolecules are determined by their reactions within this
environment. The reactions between small molecules that take place in living systems
depend on higher-order interactions between the larger biomolecules that modify the
aqueous environment.

| Biomolecules |

“What is life?”
Share|
There is no universal definition, but most scholars agree that life
exhibits the following features:
1. Organization exists in all living systems since they are
composed of one or more cells that are the basic
units of life.
2. Metabolism decomposes organic matter (digestion and
catabolism) and releases energy by converting nonliving material
into cell constituents (synthesis).
3. Growth results from a higher rate of synthesis than catabolism.
A growing organism increases in size in many of its components.
4. Adaptation is the accommodation of a living organism to its
environment. It is fundamental to the process of evolution, and the
range of responses of an individual to the environment is
determined by its inherited traits.
5. Responses to stimuli take many forms including basic neuronal
reflexes through to sophisticated actions that use all the senses.
6. Reproduction is the division of one cell to form two new cells.
Clearly this occurs in normal somatic growth, but special
significance is attached to the formation of new individuals by
sexual or asexual means.

Verwandte Interessen