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BiolSci 219 Cell Biology Activity 1: The cell as a system Due 01-29-2019, 9PM

Homework

Name and ID: Debra Duval 3031673


In this activity, you will:
 Generate questions and testable hypotheses about biological problems
 Appreciate the dynamic nature of the cell
 Understand basic mechanisms for cell movement and environment sensing

Watch the video “Neutrophil chasing a bacterium” that is on the Panopto site on Canvas (watching this
in a small window looks better than a large window because the resolution of the old video is not
great). Then complete the homework assignment that is in the Activity 1 module. As a group, discuss
the ideas and answers, however, each student must submit their own individually written assignment. It
is not acceptable for students to submit answers that have been written by others. Note that answers
that have been copied and pasted from other students are flagged automatically by Canvas as
plagiarized. Upload the completed assignment to Canvas by 9:00PM Tuesday 1/29/2019. The
assignment will be graded on a scale of 1-3 for quality of effort.

This video, taken in the 1950's of a blood film (a thin layer of blood spread on a microscope slide), shows
a neutrophil chasing a bacterium across the slide. The two main events are "The Chase" and "The Catch".
In this exercise, we will break down these events even further to enhance your understanding of the
processes you see. You will work together to generate insightful questions about these processes and
begin to address the mechanisms that enable them.

As scientists, we observe phenomena and ask questions about what is happening. From these questions,
we generate hypotheses or explanations for these phenomena. These hypotheses must be testable by
experimentation to confirm or refute the predictions of the hypothesis. Once data is collected, analyzed
and repeated the hypothesis can be verified. In this exercise, you will formulate questions and testable
hypothesis. We will use the video as an example, but your working through this exercise will allow you to
perform these types of analyses throughout the course (and for the exams and quizzes). While we do
not want you to memorize the details in how a macrophage chases a bacterium, we want you to think
about the processes happening and how we can use what we will learn about cell biology to explore and
explain what we see.

With your group, complete the following questions and post your answers to Blackboard (each
member of the team must submit an assignment whose answers they wrote up). Your responses
are due by Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at 9PM.

1. There are three types of cells in this video, a human neutrophil (polymorphonuclear leukocyte),
blood cells (red blood cells and platelets) and bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus). Identify each of
the following cells (Hint: think about cell size and function).

A
..

B
C .

B is a human neutrophil cell. A is a red blood cell as it is too large and abundant to be a platelet. C is a bacteria.
Bacteria is a prokaryote, which is less complex than a eukaryote and therefore much smaller as well.

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BiolSci 219 Cell Biology Activity 1: The cell as a system Due 01-29-2019, 9PM
Homework

2. List 3 things you find interesting about this video that can be used to generate a testable
hypothesis (an idea you can test).
Example: The neutrophil appears to have a front that is chasing the bacteria.

The neutrophil appears to have a trailing end that does not directly impact motion.

The exact location of the organelles is dynamic within the cell.

The bacteria is responsive and moves as a result of the approaching neutrophil.

3. Scientists observe biological events and ask questions about what is happening. From these
questions, they generate hypotheses or explanations for these phenomena. Convert your ideas in
Question 2 into three questions that can be experimentally tested.
Example Question: Does the neutrophil have a front and a back?
Better Question: Are there specific molecular markers that distinguish the “front” of the neutrophil
from its “back”?

Is a trailing end a required consequence of motion/can there only be one general direction of
microtubule growth at a time within a cell.

How does the movement of the organelles within the cytosol affect the coordinated movement of
organelles by motor proteins within the cell.

Does the bacteria detect chemical or electrical signals through receptors as an indication of the
incoming neutrophil?

Before the video started the neutrophil was crawling among the blood cells. In order for "The Chase"
to begin, the neutrophil had to recognize the presence of the bacteria while ignoring the blood cells.
You hypothesize that the bacterium is making something the neutrophil could sense.

4. Propose three kinds of molecules the bacteria could be making that the neutrophil might be
sensing.

The bacteria could be releasing a trail of carbon dioxide as a molecular waste product.

The bacteria could be leaving behind a trail of secreted pheromones.

The neutrophil could also be detecting a trail of toxins excreted as waste.

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BiolSci 219 Cell Biology Activity 1: The cell as a system Due 01-29-2019, 9PM
Homework

5. What experiments could you do to test your hypotheses in Question 4? What are the predicted
outcomes of your proposed experiment?

To test what may the neutrophil may secrete that affects the premediated movement of the neutrophil,
a blood film without the bacteria will be needed.

To test whether the neutrophil responds to the presence of carbon dioxide, the rate of motion the
neutrophils motion can be compared for a blood film with increased levels of carbon dioxide to one with
low levels of carbon monoxide. To test the rate of motion, the movement of the center of mass can be
compared. If the neutrophil has a higher rate of movement in a carbon dioxide rich environment then an
additional experiment to test whether it has an attraction to the molecule could be to isolate a carbon
dioxide rich environment within a membrane and place this within a blood film and compare the trends
of the movement of neutrophils in the surrounding area relative to the location of the carbon rich
environment.