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Blood Cells: The cells found in the body fluid circulating throughout the Cardiovascular system.

Blood Withdrawal I

JoVE 10246

Source: Kay Stewart, RVT, RLATG, CMAR; Valerie A. Schroeder, RVT, RLATG. University of Notre Dame, IN


Blood collection is a common requirement for research studies that involve mice and rats. The method of blood withdrawal in mice and rats is dependent upon the volume of blood needed, the frequency of the sampling, the health status of the …

 Lab Animal Research

Physiology of the Circulatory System- Concept

JoVE 10625

Homeostasis

Conditions in the external environment of an organism can change rapidly and drastically. To survive, organisms must maintain a fairly constant internal environment, which involves continuous regulation of temperature, pH, and other factors. This balanced state is known as homeostasis, which describes the processes by which organisms maintain their optimal internal…

 Lab Bio

Paracrine Signaling

JoVE 10716

Paracrine signaling allows cells to communicate with their immediate neighbors via secretion of signaling molecules. The signal only triggers a response in nearby target cells as the signal molecules degrade quickly or are inactivated by nearby cells if not taken up. Prominent examples of paracrine signaling include nitric oxide signaling in blood vessels, synaptic signaling of neurons, the blood clotting system, tissue repair/wound healing, and local allergic skin reactions. One of the essential paracrine signaling molecules is the gas nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide is produced by a family of enzymes known as nitric oxide synthases. Blood vessels contain several layers of cells. The innermost layer of cells is the endothelium. Endothelial cells have nitric oxide synthase, which produces nitric oxide that diffuses in all directions. The nitric oxide that reaches the blood does not contribute to signaling but immediately reacts with biochemicals, such as hemoglobin. Nitric oxide molecules that diffuse in the opposite direction, towards the next layer of the blood vessel, participate in some important signaling. The layer just exterior to the endothelium is made up of smooth muscle cells. The function of smooth muscle cells is to contract. When these cells contract, they clamp down on the blood vessel, narrowing its diameter and consequently rais

 Core: Cell Signaling

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

JoVE 10812

Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that divide and produce different types of cells. Ordinarily, cells that have differentiated into a specific cell type are post-mitotic—that is, they no longer divide. However, scientists have found a way to reprogram these mature cells so that they “de-differentiate” and return to an unspecialized, proliferative state. These cells are also pluripotent like embryonic stem cells—able to produce all cell types—and are therefore called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). iPSCs are potentially valuable in medicine, because a patient who needs a particular cell type—for instance, someone with a damaged retina due to macular degeneration—could receive a transplant of the required cells, generated from another cell type in their own body. This is called autologous transplantation, and it reduces the risk of transplant rejection that can occur when tissues are transplanted between individuals. To create iPSCs, mature cells such as skin fibroblasts or blood cells from a person are grown in culture. Then, genes for multiple transcription factors are delivered into the cells using a viral vector, and the transcription factor proteins are expressed using the cell’s machinery. The transcription factors then turn on many other genes that are expressed by embryonic stem cells, re

 Core: Biotechnology

Using a Hemacytometer to Count Cells

JoVE 5048

Many biomedical experiments require manipulation of a known quantity of cells, in order to achieve accurate, reproducible, and statistically-relevant data. Therefore, learning how to count cells is a particularly essential technique for any successful biomedical scientist. The most common way to count cells is by using a hemacytometer - an instrument that bears two laser-etched grids, which…

 Basic Methods in Cellular and Molecular Biology

Inflammation

JoVE 10902

In response to tissue injury and infection, mast cells initiate inflammation. Mast cells release chemicals that increase the permeability of adjacent blood capillaries and attract additional immune cells to the wound or site of infection. Neutrophils are phagocytic leukocytes that exit the bloodstream and engulf invading microbes. Blood clotting platelets seal the wound and fibers create a scaffold for wound healing. Macrophages engulf aging neutrophils to end the acute inflammatory response. Tissue injury and infection are the primary causes of acute inflammation. Inflammation protects the body by eliminating the cause of tissue injury and initiating the removal of cell debris resulting from the initial damage and related immune cell activity. Inflammation involves mediators of both the innate and adaptive immune system. Proper regulation of inflammation is crucial to clear the pathogen and remove cell debris without overly damaging healthy tissue in the process. If inflammatory processes are not properly regulated, chronic inflammation can arise that is often fatal. Mast cells are the first to respond to tissue injury, as they are primarily located in areas that have contact with the exterior: the skin, gut, and airways. Mast cells have an arsenal of receptors on their cell surface and can hence be activated by a wide variety of stimuli, such as mi

 Core: Immune System

Multiple Allele Traits

JoVE 10777

Multiple allelism describes genes that exist in three or more allelic forms. Although diploid organisms, like humans, normally possess only two alleles of each gene, there are multiple alleles of many (if not most) human genes present in a population. Blood type is one example of multiple allelism. There are three alleles for blood type (HBB gene) in humans: IA, IB, and i. Sickle cell anemia, which is caused by a mutation in the gene encoding beta-globin (HBB), is one example of incomplete dominance. Two copies of the sickle cell allele are required for the disease, with sickle cell homozygotes producing stiff, crescent-shaped red blood cells that clog blood vessels. On the other hand, individuals homozygous for the normal beta-globin allele make flexible, disc-like erythrocytes that travel easily through the vasculature. However, heterozygotes that have one normal allele and one sickle cell allele make both normal (disc-shaped) and sickle-shaped red blood cells, and are said to possess the sickle cell trait. These individuals rarely suffer from complications of the disease, unless, for example, they encounter low oxygen levels. This is an example of incomplete dominance, since a heterozygote exhibits an intermediate phenotype between that of healthy and sickle-shaped cells. At the molecular lev

 Core: Classical and Modern Genetics

What is the Immune System?

JoVE 10895

The immune system comprises diverse biological structures and processes that protect the body from disease. These processes can be classified into innate and adaptive immunity. To work effectively, the immune system needs to detect pathogens by distinguishing the body’s own structures from foreign elements. If this determination fails, autoimmune diseases occur in which the immune system reacts against the body’s own tissue. The innate immune system is the first line of defense against infection. It comprises physical barriers and a variety of cells that act quickly and non-specifically against elements that are foreign to the host (i.e., non-self). Examples of physical barriers in mammals are skin, the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, and secretions, such as mucus or saliva. Once an invader overcomes physical barriers, cells of the inflammatory response are recruited to the entry site: mast cells release a plethora of chemicals that attract other cells of the innate immune system and activates the adaptive immune system. Phagocytic cells, such as neutrophils and macrophages, ingest and destroy pathogens. Natural killer cells, a special type of white blood cell, destroy virus-infected cells. Together, cells of the innate immune system eradicate the invader or hinder its spread, and activate the adaptive immune system. How can an organism

 Core: Immune System

Humoral Immune Responses

JoVE 10897

The humoral immune response, also known as the antibody-mediated immune response, targets pathogens circulating in “humors,” or extracellular fluids, such as blood and lymph. Antibodies target invading pathogens for destruction via multiple defense mechanisms, including neutralization, opsonization, and activation of the complement system. Patients that are impaired in the production of antibodies suffer from severe and frequent infections by common pathogens and unusual pathogens. B lymphocytes, also called B cells, detect pathogens in the blood or lymph system. Although B cells originate in the bone marrow, their name is derived from a specialized organ in birds in which B cells were first discovered, the bursa of Fabricius. After release from the bone marrow, B cells mature in secondary lymphoid tissues, such as the spleen, lymph nodes, tonsils and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue throughout the body. B cells bind to specific parts of a pathogen, called antigens, via their B cell receptors. In addition to antigen binding, B cells require a second signal for activation. This signal can be provided by helper T cells or, in some cases, by the antigen itself. When both stimuli are present, B cells form germinal centers, where they proliferate into plasma cells and memory B cells. All cells that are derived from a common ancestral B c

 Core: Immune System

Peripheral Vascular Exam Using a Continuous Wave Doppler

JoVE 10123

Source: Joseph Donroe, MD, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT


Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a common condition affecting older adults and includes disease of the peripheral arteries and veins. While the history and physical exam offer clues to its diagnosis, Doppler ultrasound has become a…

 Physical Examinations I

Macromolecules- Concept

JoVE 10590

Biomolecules

Organisms contain a wide variety of organic molecules with numerous functions which depend on the chemical structures and properties of these molecules. All organic molecules contain a carbon backbone and hydrogen atoms. The carbon atom is central in the formation of a vast variety of organic molecules ranging in size, shape and complexity; inorganic molecules on the other…

 Lab Bio

Cell-mediated Immune Responses

JoVE 10896

The cell-mediated immune system is the host’s primary response against invasive bacteria and viruses that cause intracellular infections. It is also essential for fighting against and destroying cancer cells. Furthermore, the cell-mediated immune system plays a role in the rejection of organ transplants or graft tissue.

Phagocytic cells of the innate immune system, such as macrophages or dendritic cells, are the first to recognize a foreign particle. These cells engulf the foreign particle and digest it. Small molecules of the foreign particle, called antigens, remain intact and are presented at the surface of the phagocytic cell. The presentation is facilitated by proteins of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), which binds the antigen and protrude from the cell. The phagocytic cell is therefore also called an antigen presenting cell (APC). The MHC-antigen complex activates cells of the adaptive immune system, which eventually fight the source of the foreign particle. T cells are a type of lymphocyte that are named after their location of maturation—the thymus. In the thymus, precursor T cells differentiate into two main types, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. These cell types are named after the surface receptor that determines the cell’s function. All T cells carry T-cell receptors, but the coreceptor CD4

 Core: Immune System

Gas Exchange and Transport

JoVE 10884

Gas exchange, the intake of molecular oxygen (O2) from the environment and the outflow of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the environment, is necessary for cellular function. Gas exchange during respiration occurs largely via the movement of gas molecules along pressure gradients. Gas travels from areas of higher partial pressure to areas of lower partial pressure. In mammals, gas exchange occurs in the alveoli of the lungs, which are adjacent to capillaries and share a membrane with them. When the lungs expand, the resultant decrease in pressure relative to the atmosphere draws oxygen into the lungs. Air entering the lungs from the environment has a higher oxygen concentration and a lower carbon dioxide concentration than the oxygen-depleted blood that travels from the heart to the lungs. Thus, oxygen diffuses from the alveoli to the blood in the capillaries, where it can be delivered to tissue. Carbon dioxide, by contrast, diffuses from the capillaries to the alveoli, where it can be expelled through exhalation. Gas flow is determined by the pressure gradient of each gas, with each gas moving down its gradient. The pressure exerted by an individual gas in a mixture of gases is its partial pressure, and each gas moves from a higher to a lower partial pressure. Thus, the movement of O2 and CO2 are not directly related

 Core: Circulatory and Pulmonary Systems

Bone Structure

JoVE 10864

Within the skeletal system, the structure of a bone, or osseous tissue, can be exemplified in a long bone, like the femur, where there are two types of osseous tissue: cortical and cancellous.

Covering the cortical, or compact bone, is a membrane called the periosteum, which contains connective tissue, capillaries, and nerves. The outer, solid layer—found along the diaphysis, the shaft—forms a dense protective shell around the medullary canal—the cavity that stores yellow bone marrow, composed primarily of fat cells. This space is also covered in a thin lining—the endosteum in which bone growth, remodeling, and repair occur. Within the dense layer of cortical bone are osteons—structural units, arranged in concentric rings called lamellae, that contain osteoblasts—cells critical for bone formation and growth. These cells eventually mature into osteocytes in the hollow space, the lacuna. Through the center of each osteon runs the Haversian canal, which contains more blood and lymphatic vessels, as well as nerve fibers. Towards the rounded ends of the long bone, the epiphyses is the second type of osseous tissue, known as the cancellous, or spongy, bone. This inner layer is composed of a honeycomb-like network of trabeculae—grouped arrangements that form along the lines of stress points to maximize strengt

 Core: Musculoskeletal System

Outcomes of Glycolysis

JoVE 11006

Nearly all the energy used by cells comes from the bonds that make up complex, organic compounds. These organic compounds are broken down into simpler molecules, such as glucose. Subsequently, cells extract energy from glucose over many chemical reactions—a process called cellular respiration.

Cellular respiration can take place in the presence or absence of oxygen, referred to as aerobic and anaerobic respiration, respectively. In the presence of oxygen, cellular respiration starts with glycolysis and continues with pyruvate oxidation, the citric acid cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation. Both aerobic and anaerobic cellular respiration start with glycolysis. Glycolysis yields a net gain of two pyruvate molecules, two NADH molecules, and two ATP molecules (four produced minus two used during energy-requiring glycolysis). In addition to these major products, glycolysis generates two water molecules and two hydrogen ions. In cells that carry out anaerobic respiration, glycolysis is the primary source of ATP. These cells use fermentation to convert NADH from glycolysis back into NAD+, which is required to continue glycolysis. Glycolysis is also the primary source of ATP for mature mammalian red blood cells, which lack mitochondria. Cancer cells and stem cells rely on aerobic glycolysis for ATP. Cells that use aerobic respiration cont

 Core: Cellular Respiration

Mitochondria

JoVE 10694

Mitochondria and peroxisomes are organelles that are the primary sites of oxygen usage in eukaryotic cells. Mitochondria carry out cellular respiration—the process that converts energy from food into ATP—the primary form of energy used by cells. Peroxisomes carry out a variety of functions, primarily breaking down different substances such as fatty acids.

Peroxisomes contain up to 50 enzymes and are surrounded by a single membrane. They carry out oxidative reactions that break down molecules and produce hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as a by-product. H2O2 is toxic to cells, but the peroxisome contains an enzyme—catalase—that converts H2O2 into harmless water and oxygen. In addition, catalase uses H2O2 to break down alcohol in the liver into aldehyde and water. However, since H2O2 is produced in very low quantities in the body, other enzymes primarily degrade alcohol. A critical function of the peroxisome is to break down fatty acids in a process called β oxidation. The resulting product—acetyl-CoA—is released into the cytosol and can travel to the mitochondria, where it is used to produce ATP. In mammalian cells, the mitochondria also carry out β oxidation, as well as using products from the catabolism o

 Core: Cell Structure and Function

Symbiosis

JoVE 10944

Symbiotic relationships are long-term, close interactions between individuals of different species that affect the distribution and abundance of those species. When a relationship is beneficial to both species, this is called mutualism. When the relationship is beneficial to one species but neither beneficial nor harmful to the other species, this is called commensalism. When one organism is harmed to benefit another, the relationship is known as parasitism. These types of relationships often result in co-evolution and contribute to the complexity of community structure. Mutualism occurs when both species benefit from a close relationship. One common example is the relationship between ants and aphids. Aphids feed on the phloem of plant stems with their piercing mouthparts and excrete a sugary fluid. Ants, which feed on this excretion, have evolved a complex relationship with the aphids similar to that between farmers and dairy cattle. Ants will carry the aphids to different food sources, protect the aphids from predation, and remove aphids infected by fungal parasites. The ants then benefit by consuming the sugary excretions produced by the aphids. Commensal relationships benefit one species, but neither hurt nor harm the other. For example, epiphytes (such as Spanish moss) use trees and other plants for structural support to grow but do not harm or b

 Core: Population and Community Ecology

Cellular Respiration- Concept

JoVE 10567

Autotrophs and Heterotrophs

Living organisms require a continuous input of energy to maintain cellular and organismal functions such as growth, repair, movement, defense, and reproduction. Cells can only use chemical energy to fuel their functions, therefore they need to harvest energy from chemical bonds of biomolecules, such as sugars and lipids. Autotrophic organisms, namely…

 Lab Bio

What is Monogastric Digestion?

JoVE 10829

The human body contains a monogastric digestive system. In a monogastric digestive system, the stomach only contains one chamber in which it digests food. Several other animal species also have monogastric digestive systems, including pigs, horses, dogs, and birds. This chapter, however, focuses on the human digestive system.

Saliva is a watery substance secreted by the salivary glands into the mouth. Human saliva contains 99.5% water with electrolytes, mucus, white blood cells, epithelial cells, enzymes, and antimicrobial agents. The enzymes found in saliva are essential in beginning the process of digestion. They also play a role in breaking down food particles trapped around the teeth, protecting them from decay. Saliva is obtained easily, inexpensively, and non-invasively from patients which spurs research interest. Ongoing research identified novel ways of using saliva in molecular diagnostics. DNA, RNA, and proteins found in saliva serve as useful sources of diagnostic information in the early detection of various cancers including oral, pancreatic, and gastric cancer. The primary component of gastric acid is hydrochloric acid. Hydrogen and chloride ions released by parietal cells lining the stomach react in the stomach cavity to form hydrochloric acid. Parietal cells are coupled to feedback systems that increase and decrease acid prod

 Core: Nutrition and Digestion

The Nucleus

JoVE 10691

The nucleus is a membrane-bound organelle that contains a eukaryotic organism’s genetic instructions in the form of chromosomal DNA. This is distinct from the DNA in mitochondria or chloroplasts that carry out functions specific to those organelles. While some cells—such as red blood cells—do not have a nucleus, and others—such as skeletal muscle cells—have multiple nuclei, most eukaryotic cells have a single nucleus. The DNA in the nucleus is wrapped around proteins such as histones, creating a DNA-protein complex called chromatin. When cells are not dividing—that is, when they are in the interphase part of their cell cycle—the chromatin is organized diffusely. This allows easy access to the DNA during the transcription process when messenger RNA (mRNA) is synthesized based on the DNA code. When a eukaryotic cell is about to divide, the chromatin condenses tightly into distinct, linear chromosomes. Humans have 46 chromosomes in total. Chromatin is particularly concentrated in a region of the nucleus called the nucleolus. The nucleolus is important for the production of ribosomes, which translate mRNA into protein. In the nucleolus, ribosomal RNA is synthesized and combined with proteins to create ribosomal subunits, which later form functioning ribosomes in the cytoplasm of the cell. The interior of t

 Core: Cell Structure and Function

Autocrine Signaling

JoVE 10973

Secreted signals can act on a variety of target cells. In some cases, the cell that secretes a signal also detects and responds to the signaling molecule it produces; this is called Autocrine Signaling.

Under normal physiological conditions, autocrine signaling is important for homeostasis. This process is well characterized in the macrophages of the immune system. Macrophages secrete a variety of signals including the cytokine Interleukin-1, IL-1. The secreting macrophages also possess membrane receptors for IL-1 that, when bound, can activate an intracellular signaling cascade. The resulting intracellular signals trigger the secretion of additional cytokines including more IL-1 from the target cell. Though IL-1 secreted by these macrophages can also bind to receptors on other cells and cell types, binding to the signaling cell is important in the regulation of signal production. Autocrine signaling is also a major mechanism of cancer cell proliferation. Cancerous cells secrete a variety of growth signals to themselves, through autocrine signaling, and to nearby tissues. For example, progesterone appears to act in an autocrine manner in breast cancer, whereby progesterone binds to progesterone receptors on the signaling cell, stimulating the action of growth-promoting genes. Autocrine signaling can also play a role in the development of skin cancer by stimulat

 Core: Cell Signaling

Cytoplasm

JoVE 10967

The cytoplasm consists of organelles, an aqueous solution called the cytosol, and a framework of protein scaffolds called the cytoskeleton. The cytosol is a rich broth of ions, small organic molecules such as glucose, and macromolecules such as proteins. Several cellular processes including protein synthesis occur in the cytoplasm.

The composition of the cytosol promotes protein folding such that hydrophobic amino acid side chains are oriented away from the aqueous solution and towards the protein core. However, cellular stressors such as aging and changes in pH, temperature, or osmolarity cause protein misfolding. Misfolded proteins may aggregate to form insoluble deposits in the cytoplasm. Insoluble protein aggregates are implicated in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The eukaryotic cytoskeleton consists of three types of filamentous proteins: microtubules, microfilaments, and intermediate filaments. Microtubules–the largest type of filament–are made up of the protein tubulin. Microtubules are dynamic structures that can grow or shrink by adding or removing tubulin molecules from the ends of their strands. They provide structural stability and provide tracks for the transport of proteins and vesicles within the cell. In addition, microtubules play a

 Core: Cell Structure and Function

Transcription Factors

JoVE 10983

Tissue-specific transcription factors contribute to diverse cellular functions in mammals. For example, the gene for beta globin, a major component of hemoglobin, is present in all cells of the body. However, it is only expressed in red blood cells because the transcription factors that can bind to the promoter sequences of the beta globin gene are only expressed in these cells. Tissue-specific transcription factors also ensure that mutations in these factors may impair only the function of certain tissues or body parts without affecting the entire organism. An additional layer of complexity is added by transcription factors in eukaryotes exerting combinatorial control. That means input provided by several transcription factors synchronously regulate the expression of a single gene. The combination of several transcriptional activators and repressors enables a gene to be differentially regulated and adapt to a variety of environmental changes without the need for additional genes.

 Core: Gene Expression

An Introduction to Cell Motility and Migration

JoVE 5643

Cell motility and migration play important roles in both normal biology and in disease. On one hand, migration allows cells to generate complex tissues and organs during development, but on the other hand, the same mechanisms are used by tumor cells to move and spread in a process known as cancer metastasis. One of the primary cellular machineries that make cell movement…

 Cell Biology

Protein Associations

JoVE 10704

The cell membrane—or plasma membrane—is an ever-changing landscape. It is described as a fluid mosaic as various macromolecules are embedded in the phospholipid bilayer. Among the macromolecules are proteins. The protein content varies across cell types. For example, mitochondrial inner membranes contain ~76%, while myelin contains ~18% protein content. Individual cells contain many types ofbrane proteins—red blood cells contain over 50—and different cell types harbor distinct membrane protein sets. Membrane proteins have wide-ranging functions. For example, they can be channels or carriers that transport substances, enzymes with metabolic roles, or receptors that bind to chemical messengers. Like membrane lipids, most membrane proteins contain hydrophilic (water-loving) and hydrophobic (water-fearing) regions. The hydrophilic areas are exposed to water-containing solution inside the cell, outside the cell, or both. The hydrophobic regions face the hydrophobic tails of phospholipids within the membrane bilayer. Membrane proteins can be classified by whether they are embedded (integral) or associated with the cell membrane (peripheral). Most integral proteins are transmembrane proteins, which traverse both phospholipid layers, spanning the entire membrane. Their hydrophilic regions extend from both sides of the membrane, facing cytosol on

 Core: Membranes and Cellular Transport

Fermentation

JoVE 10745

Most eukaryotic organisms require oxygen to survive and function adequately. Such organisms produce large amounts of energy during aerobic respiration by metabolizing glucose and oxygen into carbon dioxide and water. However, most eukaryotes can generate some energy in the absence of oxygen by anaerobic metabolism.

Aerobic respiration proceeds through a series of oxidation-reduction reactions that end when oxygen–the final electron acceptor–is reduced to water. In the absence of oxygen, this reaction cannot proceed. Instead, cells regenerate NADH produced during glycolysis by using an organic molecule, such as pyruvate, as the final electron acceptor. The process of using an organic molecule to regenerate NAD+ from NADH is called fermentation. There are two types of fermentation based on the end products of the reaction: 1) lactic acid fermentation and 2) alcohol fermentation. In mammals, lactic acid fermentation takes place in red blood cells that cannot respire aerobically due to lack of mitochondria, as well as in skeletal muscles during strenuous exercise. It also occurs in certain bacteria, like those found in yogurt. In this reaction, pyruvate and NADH are converted to lactic acid and NAD+. Alcohol fermentation is a two-step process. In the first step, pyruvate is converted to carbon dioxide and acetaldehyde

 Core: Cellular Respiration

Accessory Organs

JoVE 10831

Accessory organs are those that participate in the digestion of food but do not come into direct contact with it like the mouth, stomach, or intestine do. Accessory organs secrete enzymes into the digestive tract to facilitate the breakdown of food.

Salivary glands secrete saliva—a complex liquid containing in part water, mucus, and amylase. Amylase is a digestive enzyme that begins breaking down starches and other carbohydrates even before they reach the stomach. The liver, gallbladder, and pancreas are the other accessory organs involved in digestion. All three secrete enzymes into the duodenum of the small intestine via a series of channels called the biliary tree. The liver and gallbladder work together to release bile into the duodenum. The liver produces bile, but it is stored in the gallbladder for secretion when needed. Bile is a mixture of water, bile salts, cholesterol, and bilirubin. Bile salts contain hydrophobic areas and hydrophilic areas which allows it to engage with both fats and water. Thus it breaks down large fat globules into smaller ones—a process called emulsification. Bilirubin is a waste product that accumulates when the liver breaks hemoglobin from red blood cells. The globin is recycled and the heme, which contains iron, is excreted in the bile. The presence of bilirubin is what gives feces its brown color

 Core: Nutrition and Digestion

The DNA Helix

JoVE 10784

Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is the genetic material responsible for passing traits from generation to generation in all organisms and most viruses. DNA is composed of two strands of nucleotides that wind around each other to form a double helix. The discovery of the structure of DNA occurred incrementally over nearly a century, representing one of the most famous and captivating stories in the history of science. Each strand of DNA consists of subunits called nucleotides that contain the sugar deoxyribose, a phosphate group, and one of four nitrogen-containing bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). Adenine and guanine are members of a larger class of chemicals called purines that all contain two-ringed structures. Cytosine and thymine belong to a group of single-ringed structures called pyrimidines. Adjacent nucleotides in the same strand are covalently linked by phosphodiester bonds. The two strands of nucleotides are held together by hydrogen bonds, in which the adenines in one strand pair with thymines at the same position in the other strand, and the cytosines in one strand pair with guanines in the same position in the other strand. This hydrogen bonding is made possible by the antiparallel arrangement of the two DNA strands, in which the 5’ and 3’ ends of the strands are oriented in opposite directions. Withou

 Core: DNA Structure and Function

The Periodic Table and Organismal Elements

JoVE 10655

Elements are the smallest units of matter that cannot be broken down further by chemical processes. There are 118 known elements, but not all of these are naturally-occurring, and fewer still are essential for life. Living matter is composed primarily of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen, with smaller amounts of other elements like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur. Other elements are also necessary for life but only in trace amounts. The periodic table organizes elements based on their physical and chemical properties. The atomic number of an element corresponds to the number of protons found in its nucleus, and each square in the periodic table also provides the full name, chemical symbol, and atomic weight of an element. The number of protons provides information about the size of an element, but it is not the only organizational principle underlying the structure of the periodic table. Elements are organized into columns (groups) and rows (periods) based on other physical and chemical properties, such as reactivity, the location of their outermost electrons, and the ability to make certain types of bonds. Elements in the same group (i.e., column) vary in size but have many chemical properties in common with one another. By contrast, elements in the same period (i.e., row) are more similar in size and have their electrons located in a simi

 Core: Chemistry of Life

Fundamentals of Breeding and Weaning

JoVE 10293

Source: Kay Stewart, RVT, RLATG, CMAR; Valerie A. Schroeder, RVT, RLATG. University of Notre Dame, IN


Millions of mice and rats are bred for use in biomedical research each year. Worldwide, there are several large commercial breeding facilities that supply mice to research laboratories, but many facilities choose to also breed mice and…

 Lab Animal Research

Osmosis

JoVE 10701

Approximately 60% to 95% of the weight of living organisms is attributed to water. Therefore, maintaining appropriate water balance within cells is of paramount importance. Osmosis is the movement of water across a semipermeable membrane, such as a cell’s plasma membrane. In living organisms, water plays a crucial role as a solvent—a molecule that dissolves other molecules.

Both diffusion and osmosis are types of passive transport—cellular transport that does not require additional energy. Diffusion is the transport of a substance (solute) dissolved in a liquid (solvent) from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration. Diffusion may also occur across a membrane if the membrane is permeable for that solute. A membrane that hinders the passage of a specific solute is a semipermeable membrane. While the semipermeable membrane stops the flow of the solute, the solvent moves freely—a process called osmosis. Osmosis occurs when there is more solute on one side of the semipermeable membrane than on the other. The ratio of water to solute is called osmolarity. During osmosis, water flows from the side with low osmolarity (more water relative to solute) to the side with high osmolarity (less water relative to solute) until the osmolarity on both sides is approximately equal. For instance, a cell surrounded by a semiperme

 Core: Membranes and Cellular Transport

Development of the Chick

JoVE 5155

The chicken embryo (Gallus gallus domesticus) provides an economical and accessible model for developmental biology research. Chicks develop rapidly and are amenable to genetic and physiological manipulations, allowing researchers to investigate developmental pathways down to the cell and molecular levels.


This video review of chick development begins by describing the…

 Biology II

Diagnostic Necropsy and Tissue Harvest

JoVE 10294

Source: Kay Stewart, RVT, RLATG, CMAR; Valerie A. Schroeder, RVT, RLATG. University of Notre Dame, IN


Many animal experiments rely on final data collection time points that are gathered from the harvesting and testing of organs and tissues. The use of appropriate methods for the collection of organs and tissues can impact the quality of…

 Lab Animal Research

Imaging Biological Samples with Optical and Confocal Microscopy

JoVE 10476

Source: Peiman Shahbeigi-Roodposhti and Sina Shahbazmohamadi, Biomedical Engineering Department, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut


Optical microscopes have been around for centuries, and while they reached their theoretical limitation of resolution decades ago, new equipment and techniques, such as confocal…

 Biomedical Engineering

High-frequency Ultrasound Imaging of the Abdominal Aorta

JoVE 10397

Source: Amelia R. Adelsperger, Evan H. Phillips, and Craig J. Goergen, Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana


High-frequency ultrasound systems are used to acquire high resolution images. Here, the use of a state-of-the-art system will be demonstrated to image the morphology and …

 Biomedical Engineering

Sound Waves and Doppler Shift

JoVE 10411

Source: Arianna Brown, Asantha Cooray, PhD, Department of Physics & Astronomy, School of Physical Sciences, University of California, Irvine, CA


Waves are disturbances that propagate through a material medium or empty space. Light waves can travel through a vacuum and some forms of matter, and are transverse in nature, which means …

 Physics II

Synthesis of an Oxygen-Carrying Cobalt(II) Complex

JoVE 10430

Source: Deepika Das, Tamara M. Powers, Department of Chemistry, Texas A&M University


Bioinorganic chemistry is the field of study that investigates the role that metals play in biology. Approximately half of all proteins contain metals and it is estimated that up to one third of all proteins rely on metal-containing active sites to…

 Inorganic Chemistry

Generation of Integration-free Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells from Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells Using Episomal Vectors

1State Key Laboratory of Experimental Hematology, Institute of Hematology and Blood Disease Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, 2Division of Regenerative Medicine, Department of Medicine, Loma Linda University, 3Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Loma Linda University, 4Center for Stem Cell Medicine, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, 5Department of Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine, Peking Union Medical College, 6Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, 7Tianjin Key Laboratory of Blood Cell Therapy and Technology

JoVE 55091

 Developmental Biology

Assessment of the Synaptic Interface of Primary Human T Cells from Peripheral Blood and Lymphoid Tissue

1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Thomas Jefferson University, 2Department of Microbiology and Institute for Immunology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 3Department of Medicine Huddinge, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, 4Departments of Microbiology and Immunology and Medical Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University

JoVE 58143

 Immunology and Infection

Continuous Blood Sampling in Small Animal Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography Enables the Measurement of the Arterial Input Function

1Institute of Anatomy, Rostock University Medical Center, 2Department of Nuclear Medicine, Rostock University Medical Center, 3Core Facility Multimodal Small Animal Imaging, Rostock University Medical Center, 4Rudolf-Zenker-Institute for Experimental Surgery, Rostock University Medical Center

JoVE 59701

 Medicine

A Semi-automated Approach to Preparing Antibody Cocktails for Immunophenotypic Analysis of Human Peripheral Blood

1Human Immune Monitoring Laboratory, Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, Providence Cancer Center, Providence Portland Medical Center, 2Sony Biotechnology, 3Beckman Coulter, Inc. Life Sciences, 4Bristol-Myers Squibb

JoVE 53485

 Immunology and Infection

Processing of Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid and Matched Blood for Alveolar Macrophage and CD4+ T-cell Immunophenotyping and HIV Reservoir Assessment

1Research Institute McGill University Health Centre, 2Department of Biological Sciences, Université de Québec à Montréal, 3Department of Microbiology & Immunology, McGill University, 4Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, McGill University, 5Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, 6Département de microbiologie, infectiologie et immunologie, Université de Montréal

JoVE 59427

 Immunology and Infection
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