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Cell Division: The fission of a Cell. It includes Cytokinesis, when the Cytoplasm of a cell is divided, and Cell nucleus division.

Cell Division - Prep Student

JoVE 10626

Preparation of Onion Root Tips and Solutions
For the cell cycle experiment using root tips, first, leave an onion suspended over a beaker of water to grow roots for several days.
Then, clean the onion roots of any dirt or debris.
Next, in a 1.5 mL tube, dissolve 10 mcg of nocodazole per 1 mL of dimethyl sulfoxide solution, making 1 tube…

 Lab Bio

Cell Division - Student Protocol

JoVE 10572

Observing the Cell Cycle in a Root Tip
Hypotheses: The experimental hypothesis is that in root tips slices that have been treated with nocodazole, a chemical that interferes with microtubular polymerization, all of the cells will be arrested at the same stage of the cell cycle and that in untreated onion tip slices all of the different stages of the…

 Lab Bio

Cell Division- Concept

JoVE 10571

Cell division is fundamental to all living organisms and required for growth and development. As an essential means of reproduction for all living things, cell division allows organisms to transfer their genetic material to their offspring. For a unicellular organism, cellular division generates a completely new organism. For multicellular organisms, cellular division produces new cells for…

 Lab Bio

An Introduction to Cell Division

JoVE 5640

Cell division is the process by which a parent cell divides and gives rise to two or more daughter cells. It is a means of reproduction for single-cell organisms. In multicellular organisms, cell division contributes to growth, development, repair, and the generation of reproductive cells (sperms and eggs). Cell division is a tightly regulated process, and aberrant cell…

 Cell Biology

Mammalian Cell Division in 3D Matrices via Quantitative Confocal Reflection Microscopy

1Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 2Johns Hopkins Physical Sciences - Oncology Center, Johns Hopkins University, 3Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 4Departments of Oncology and Pathology and Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

JoVE 56364

 Bioengineering

What is the Cell Cycle?

JoVE 10757

The cell cycle refers to the sequence of events occurring throughout a typical cell’s life. In eukaryotic cells, the somatic cell cycle has two stages: interphase and the mitotic phase. During interphase, the cell grows, performs its basic metabolic functions, copies its DNA, and prepares for mitotic cell division. Then, during mitosis and cytokinesis, the cell divides its nuclear and cytoplasmic materials, respectively. This generates two daughter cells that are identical to the original parent cell. The cell cycle is essential for the growth of the organism, replacement of damaged cells, and regeneration of aged cells. Cancer is the result of uncontrolled cell division sparked by a gene mutation. There are three major checkpoints in the eukaryotic cell cycle. At each checkpoint, the progression to the next cell cycle stage can be halted until conditions are more favorable. The G1 checkpoint is the first of these, where a cell’s size, energy, nutrients, DNA quality, and other external factors are evaluated. If the cell is deemed inadequate, it does not continue to the S phase of interphase. The G2 checkpoint is the second checkpoint. Here, the cell ensures that all of the DNA has been replicated and is not damaged before entering mitosis. If any DNA damage is detected that cannot be repaired, the cell may undergo apoptosis, or

 Core: Cell Cycle and Division

Mitosis and Cytokinesis

JoVE 10762

In eukaryotic cells, the cell's cycle—the division cycle—is divided into distinct, coordinated cellular processes that include cell growth, DNA replication/chromosome duplication, chromosome distribution to daughter cells, and finally, cell division. The cell cycle is tightly regulated by its regulatory systems as well as extracellular signals that affect cell proliferation. The processes of the cell cycle occur over approximately 24 hours (in typical human cells) and in two major distinguishable stages. The first stage is DNA replication, during the S phase of interphase. The second stage is the mitotic (M) phase, which involves the separation of the duplicated chromosomes into two new nuclei (mitosis) and cytoplasmic division (cytokinesis). The two phases are separated by intervals (G1 and G2 gaps), during which the cell prepares for replication and division. Mitosis can be divided into five distinct stages—prophase, prometaphase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase. Cytokinesis, which begins during anaphase or telophase (depending on the cell), is part of the M phase, but not part of mitosis. As the cell enters mitosis, its replicated chromosomes begin to condense and become visible as threadlike structures with the aid of proteins known as condensins. The mitotic spindle apparatus b

 Core: Cell Cycle and Division

Cancer

JoVE 10987

Cancers arise due to mutations in genes involved in the regulation of cell division, which leads to unrestricted cell proliferation. Modern science and medicine have made great strides in the understanding and treatment of cancer, including eradicating cancer in some patients. However, there is still no cure for cancer. This is largely due to the fact that cancer is a large group of many diseases. Tumors may result in a case where two people have the same mutations in an oncogene or tumor suppressor gene. Initially, the tumors may be very similar. However, the uncontrolled cell division results in new random mutations. As the tumor cells continue to divide, they become more varied. As a result, the two tumors will grow at different rates and undergo angiogenesis and metastasis at different times. The two cancers become so distinct from one another that they will not respond in the same way to the same therapy. This demonstrates why even a particular type of cancer, breast cancer, for example, can be a myriad of different cancers, each disease case with its unique properties, potentially requiring unique treatment approaches. As such, new cancer research and clinical trials focus on tailoring therapeutic approaches specifically for each patient’s genomic and molecular landscape. This is called personalized medicine. On the other hand, chemotherapy a

 Core: Cell Cycle and Division

Cleavage and Blastulation

JoVE 10908

After a large-single-celled zygote is produced via fertilization, the process of cleavage occurs while zygotes travel through the uterine tube. Cleavage is a mitotic cell division that does not result in growth. With each round of successive cell division, daughter cells get increasingly smaller.

At the beginning of embryogenesis, maternal mRNAs control development. However, by the eight-cell stage of cleavage, embryonic genes become activated in a process called zygotic genome activation (ZGA). As a result, maternal mRNAs get degraded, and ZGA causes a transition from maternal to zygotic genetic control of developing an embryo. Although maternal mRNAs get degraded, previously translated proteins may remain in the embryo through later stages of development. Cleavage patterns vary between organisms depending on the presence and distribution of egg yolk amongst other factors. For example, mammals have a holoblastic rotational cleavage pattern. They are holoblastic because they have sparse, but evenly distributed yolk and therefore end up with a cleavage furrow that extends through the entire embryo as opposed to being meroblastic where the cleavage furrow does not extend through the yolk-dense portion of the cytoplasm. At the onset of cleavage, rotational cleavage begins when the zygote first divides to form two smaller daughter cells called blas

 Core: Reproduction and Development

Live Cell Imaging of Mitosis

JoVE 5642

Mitosis is a form of cell division in which a cell’s genetic material is divided equally between two daughter cells. Mitosis can be broken down into six phases, during each of which the cell’s components, such as its chromosomes, show visually distinct characteristics. Advances in fluorescence live cell imaging have allowed scientists to study this process in…

 Cell Biology

Fertilization

JoVE 10907

During fertilization, an egg and sperm cell fuse to create a new diploid structure. In humans, the process occurs once the egg has been released from the ovary, and travels into the fallopian tubes. The process requires several key steps: 1) sperm present in the genital tract must locate the egg; 2) once there, sperm need to release enzymes to help them burrow through the protective zona pellucida of the egg; and 3) the membranes of a single sperm cell and egg must fuse, with the sperm releasing its contents—including its nucleus and centrosome—into the egg’s cytoplasm. If these steps are successful, the genetic material of the male and female gametes combine, and mitotic cell division commences, giving rise to a diploid embryo. The binding of the sperm and egg cell brings about various changes, among them the production of waves of calcium ions (Ca2+) pulsing through the egg cell. Such oscillations are initiated by sperm-egg fusion and result from both the release and uptake of endogenous Ca2+ in the endoplasmic reticulum of an egg cell and the simultaneous discharge and intake of such ions from the egg’s extracellular environment. Importantly, calcium signaling modifies the egg by causing vesicles, called cortical granules, that lay directly below its plasma membrane to release their contents into the open space bene

 Core: Reproduction and Development

Microtubules

JoVE 10693

There are three types of cytoskeletal structures in eukaryotic cells—microfilaments, intermediate filaments, and microtubules. With a diameter of about 25 nm, microtubules are the thickest of these fibers. Microtubules carry out a variety of functions that include cell structure and support, transport of organelles, cell motility (movement), and the separation of chromosomes during cell division. Microtubules are hollow tubes whose walls are made up of globular tubulin proteins. Each tubulin molecule is a heterodimer, consisting of a subunit of α-tubulin and a subunit of β-tubulin. The dimers are arranged in linear rows called protofilaments. A microtubule usually consists of 13 protofilaments, arranged side by side, wrapped around the hollow core. Because of this arrangement, microtubules are polar, meaning that they have different ends. The plus end has β-tubulin exposed, and the minus end has α-tubulin exposed. Microtubules can rapidly assemble—grow in length through polymerization of tubulin molecules—and disassemble. The two ends behave differently in this regard. The plus end is typically the fast-growing end or the end where tubulin is added, and the minus end is the slow-growing end or the end where tubulin dissociates—depending on the situation. This process of dynamic instability, where microtu

 Core: Cell Structure and Function

Replication in Eukaryotes

JoVE 10789

In eukaryotic cells, DNA replication is highly conserved and tightly regulated. Multiple linear chromosomes must be duplicated with high fidelity before cell division, so there are many proteins that fill specialized roles in the replication process. Replication occurs in three phases: initiation, elongation, and termination, and ends with two complete sets of chromosomes in the nucleus.

Eukaryotic replication follows many of the same principles as prokaryotic DNA replication, but because the genome is much larger and the chromosomes are linear rather than circular, the process requires more proteins and has a few key differences. Replication occurs simultaneously at multiple origins of replication along each chromosome. Initiator proteins recognize and bind to the origin, recruiting helicase to unwind the DNA double helix. At each point of origin, two replication forks form. Primase then adds short RNA primers to the single strands of DNA, which serve as a starting point for DNA polymerase to bind and begin copying the sequence. DNA can only be synthesized in the 5’ to 3’ direction, so replication of both strands from a single replication fork proceeds in two different directions. The leading strand is synthesized continuously, while the lagging strand is synthesized in short stretches 100-200 base pairs in length, called Okazaki fragments. Once the bu

 Core: DNA Structure and Function

Binary Fission

JoVE 10759

Fission is the division of a single entity into two or more parts, which regenerate into separate entities that resemble the original. Organisms in the Archaea and Bacteria domains reproduce using binary fission, in which a parent cell splits into two parts that can each grow to the size of the original parent cell. This asexual method of reproduction produces cells that are all genetically identical. Though its speed varies among species, binary fission is generally rapid and can yield staggering growth. In the amount of time it takes bacterial cells to undergo binary fission, the number of cells in the bacterial culture doubles. Thus, this period is the doubling time. For example, Escherichia coli cells typically divide every 20 minutes. Bacterial growth, however, is limited by factors including nutrient and space availability. Thus, binary fission occurs at much lower rates in bacterial cultures that have encountered a growth-limiting factor (i.e., entered a stationary growth phase). In addition to organisms in the Archaea and Bacteria domains, some organelles in eukaryotic cells also reproduce via binary fission. Mitochondria, for example, divide by prokaryotic binary fission. This process requires the division of mitochondrial proteins and DNA.

 Core: Cell Cycle and Division

Mutations

JoVE 10793

Mutations are changes in the sequence of DNA. These changes can occur spontaneously or they can be induced by exposure to environmental factors. Mutations can be characterized in a number of different ways: whether and how they alter the amino acid sequence of the protein, whether they occur over a small or large area of DNA, and whether they occur in somatic cells or germline cells.

Mutations that occur at a single nucleotide are called point mutations. When point mutations occur within genes, the consequences can vary in severity depending on what happens to the encoded amino acid sequence. A silent mutation does not change the amino acid identity and will have no effect on an organism. A missense mutation changes a single amino acid, and the effects might be serious if the change alters the function of the protein. A nonsense mutation produces a stop codon that truncates the protein, likely rendering it nonfunctional. Frameshift mutations occur when one or more nucleotides are inserted into or deleted from a protein-coding DNA sequence, affecting all of the codons downstream of the location of the mutation. The most drastic type of mutation, chromosomal alteration, changes the physical structure of a chromosome. Chromosomal alterations can include deletion, duplication, or inversion of large stretches of DNA within a single chromosome, or integration o

 Core: DNA Structure and Function

Cell Cycle Analysis

JoVE 5641

Cell cycle refers to the set of events through which a cell grows, replicates its genome, and ultimately divides into two daughter cells through the process of mitosis. Because the amount of DNA in a cell shows characteristic changes throughout the cycle, techniques known as cell cycle analysis can be used to separate a population of cells according to the different phases …

 Cell Biology

An Introduction to Cell Metabolism

JoVE 5652

In cells, critical molecules are either built by joining together individual units like amino acids or nucleotides, or broken down into smaller components. Respectively, the reactions responsible for this are referred to as anabolic and catabolic. These reactions require or produce energy typically in the form of a “high-energy” molecule called ATP. Together,…

 Cell Biology

Reproductive Cloning

JoVE 10816

Reproductive cloning is the process of producing a genetically identical copy—a clone—of an entire organism. While clones can be produced by splitting an early embryo—similar to what happens naturally with identical twins—cloning of adult animals is usually done by a process called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT).

In SCNT, an egg cell is taken from an animal and its nucleus is removed, creating an enucleated egg. Then a somatic cell—any cell that is not a sex cell—is taken from the animal to be cloned. The nucleus of the somatic cell is then transferred into the enucleated egg—either by direct injection or by fusion of the somatic cell to the egg using an electrical current. The egg now contains the nucleus, with the chromosomal DNA, of the animal to be cloned. It is stimulated to divide, forming an embryo, which is then implanted into the uterus of a surrogate mother. If all goes well, it develops normally and the clone is born. Although this process has been used to successfully clone many different types of animals—including sheep, cows, mules, rabbits, and dogs—its success rate is low, with only a small percentage of embryos surviving to birth. Cloned animals that survive to birth also appear to age and die prematurely. This is because their DNA comes from adult cells that have unde

 Core: Biotechnology

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

Genomic DNA in Eukaryotes

JoVE 10760

Eukaryotes have large genomes compared to prokaryotes. To fit their genomes into a cell, eukaryotic DNA is packaged extraordinarily tightly inside the nucleus. To achieve this, DNA is tightly wound around proteins called histones, which are packaged into nucleosomes that are joined by linker DNA and coil into chromatin fibers. Additional fibrous proteins further compact the chromatin, which is recognizable as chromosomes during certain phases of cell division. Most cells in the human body contain about 6 billion base pairs of DNA packaged into 23 pairs of chromosomes. It is hard to imagine exactly how much DNA these numbers represent, and therefore it is difficult to grasp how densely packed DNA must be to fit into a cell. We can gain some insight by expressing the genome in terms of length. If we were to arrange the DNA of a single diploid cell into a straight line, it would be about two meters long! Note that humans do not have unusually large genomes. Many fish, amphibians, and flowering plants have much larger genomes than humans. For example, the haploid genome of the Japanese flowering plant Paris japonica contains about 50 times more DNA than the human haploid genome. These figures emphasize the astonishing work that histones and other chromatin remodeling proteins must do to package DNA.

 Core: Cell Cycle and Division

Mismatch Repair

JoVE 10791

Organisms are capable of detecting and fixing nucleotide mismatches that occur during DNA replication. This sophisticated process requires identifying the new strand and replacing the erroneous bases with correct nucleotides. Mismatch repair is coordinated by many proteins in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes.

The human genome has more than 3 billion base pairs of DNA per cell. Prior to cell division, that vast amount of genetic information needs to be replicated. Despite the proofreading ability of the DNA polymerase, a copying error occurs approximately every 1 million base pairs. One type of error is the mismatch of nucleotides, for example, the pairing of A with G or T with C. Such mismatches are detected and repaired by the Mutator protein family. These proteins were first described in the bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli), but homologs appear throughout prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Mutator S (MutS) initiates the mismatch repair (MMR) by identifying and binding to the mismatch. Subsequently, MutL identifies which strand is the new copy. Only the new strand requires fixing while the template strand needs to remain intact. How can the molecular machinery identify the newly synthesized strand of DNA? In many organisms, cytosine and adenine bases of the new strand receive a methyl group some time after replication. Therefore,

 Core: DNA Structure and Function

Golgi Apparatus

JoVE 10970

As they leave the Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER), properly folded and assembled proteins are selectively packaged into vesicles. These vesicles are transported by microtubule-based motor proteins and fuse together to form vesicular tubular clusters, subsequently arriving at the Golgi apparatus, a eukaryotic endomembrane organelle that often has a distinctive ribbon-like appearance.

The Golgi apparatus is a major sorting and dispatch station for the products of the ER. Newly arriving vesicles enter the cis face of the Golgi—the side facing the ER—and are transported through a collection of pancake-shaped, membrane-enclosed cisternae. Each cisterna contains unique compositions of enzymes and performs specific protein modifications. As proteins progress through the cis Golgi network, some are phosphorylated and undergo removal of certain carbohydrate modifications that were added in the ER. Proteins then move through the medial cisterna, where they may be glycosylated to form glycoproteins. After modification in the trans cisterna, proteins are given tags that define their cellular destination. Depending on the molecular tags, proteins are packaged into vesicles and trafficked to particular cellular locations, including the lysosome and plasma membrane. Specific markers on the membranes of these vesicles allow them to dock

 Core: Cell Structure and Function

Formation of Species

JoVE 10955

Speciation describes the formation of one or more new species from one or sometimes multiple original species. The resulting species are discrete from the parent species, and barriers to reproduction will typically exist. There are two primary mechanisms, speciation with and without geographic isolation—allopatric and sympatric speciation, respectively.

In allopatric speciation, gene flow between two populations of the same species is prevented by a geographic barrier, like a mountain range or habitat fragmentation. This is known as vicariance. For example, a drought may cause the water levels in a large lake to drop, leaving two or more smaller bodies of water in which the inhabitants are cut off from one another. Once in isolation, the individuals in these populations may face different external pressures, such as climate, resource availability or predation. These differences in natural selection combined with genetic drift and mutation over many generations of separation eventually result in the two populations becoming discrete species. This has been observed in lakes containing African cichlid fish, which display a vast array of species, many of which likely evolved due to allopatry. Dispersal can also produce allopatric speciation. For example, the parasitic sea anemone species Edwardsiella lineata lives on the east

 Core: Speciation and Diversity

Yeast Reproduction

JoVE 5097

Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a species of yeast that is an extremely valuable model organism. Importantly, S. cerevisiae is a unicellular eukaryote that undergoes many of the same biological processes as humans. This video provides an introduction to the yeast cell cycle, and explains how S. cerevisiae reproduces both asexually and sexually Yeast reproduce asexually …

 Biology I

C. elegans Development and Reproduction

JoVE 5110

Ceanorhabditis elegans is a powerful tool to help understand how organisms develop from a single cell into a vast interconnected array of functioning tissues. Early work in C. elegans traced the complete cell lineage and structure at the electron microscopy level, allowing researchers unprecedented insight into the connection between genes, development and disease. …

 Biology I

An Introduction to Saccharomyces cerevisiae

JoVE 5081

Saccharomyces cerevisiae (commonly known as baker’s yeast) is a single-celled eukaryote that is frequently used in scientific research. S. cerevisiae is an attractive model organism due to the fact that its genome has been sequenced, its genetics are easily manipulated, and it is very easy to maintain in the lab. Because many yeast proteins are similar in sequence and function…

 Biology I

Yeast Maintenance

JoVE 5095

Research performed in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has significantly improved our understanding of important cellular phenomona such as regulation of the cell cycle, aging, and cell death. The many benefits of working with S. cerevisiae include the facts that they are inexpensive to grow in the lab and that many ready-to-use strains are now commercially available. Nevertheless,…

 Biology I

Non-nuclear Inheritance

JoVE 11007

Most DNA resides in the nucleus of a cell. However, some organelles in the cell cytoplasm—such as chloroplasts and mitochondria—also have their own DNA. These organelles replicate their DNA independently of the nuclear DNA of the cell in which they reside. Non-nuclear inheritance describes the inheritance of genes from structures other than the nucleus.

Mitochondria are present in both plants and animal cells. They are regarded as the “powerhouses” of eukaryotic cells because they break down glucose to form energy that fuels cellular activity. Mitochondrial DNA consists of about 37 genes, and many of them contribute to this process, called oxidative phosphorylation. Chloroplasts are found in plants and algae and are the sites of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis allows these organisms to produce glucose from sunlight. Chloroplast DNA consists of about 100 genes, many of which are involved in photosynthesis. Unlike chromosomal DNA in the nucleus, chloroplast and mitochondrial DNA do not abide by the Mendelian assumption that half an organism’s genetic material comes from each parent. This is because sperm cells do not generally contribute mitochondrial or chloroplast DNA to zygotes during fertilization. While a sperm cell primarily contributes one haploid set of nuclear chromosomes to the zygote, an egg cell contrib

 Core: Classical and Modern Genetics

Bacterial Growth Curve Analysis and its Environmental Applications

JoVE 10100

Source: Laboratories of Dr. Ian Pepper and Dr. Charles Gerba - Arizona University
Demonstrating Author: Luisa Ikner


Bacteria are among the most abundant life forms on Earth. They are found in every ecosystem and are vital for everyday life. For example, bacteria affect what people eat, drink, and breathe, and there are actually more…

 Environmental Microbiology

Adult Stem Cells

JoVE 10810

Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that divide and produce more stem cells or progenitor cells that differentiate into mature, specialized cell types. All the cells in the body are generated from stem cells in the early embryo, but small populations of stem cells are also present in many adult tissues including the bone marrow, brain, skin, and gut. These adult stem cells typically produce the various cell types found in that tissue—to replace cells that are damaged or to continuously renew the tissue. The epithelium lining the small intestine is continuously renewed by adult stem cells. It is the most rapidly replaced tissue in the human body, with most cells being replaced within 3-5 days. The intestinal epithelium consists of thousands of villi that protrude into the interior of the small intestine—increasing its surface area to aid in the absorption of nutrients. Intestinal stem cells are located at the base of invaginations called crypts that lie between the villi. They divide to produce new stem cells, as well as daughter cells (called transit amplifying cells) that divide rapidly, move up the villi and differentiate into all the cell types in the intestinal epithelium, including absorptive, goblet, enteroendocrine, and Paneth cells. These mature cells continue to move up the villi as they carry out their functions, except Paneth cell

 Core: Biotechnology

DNA Packaging

JoVE 10785

Eukaryotes have large genomes compared to prokaryotes. In order to fit their genomes into a cell, eukaryotes must pack their DNA tightly inside the nucleus. To do so, DNA is wound around proteins called histones to form nucleosomes, the main unit of DNA packaging. Nucleosomes then coil into compact fibers known as chromatin.

Most cells in the human body contain about 3 billion base pairs of DNA packaged into 23 pairs of chromosomes. It is hard to imagine exactly how much DNA these numbers represent. So how much packing has to happen to fit the genome into a cell? We can gain some insight by expressing the genome in terms of length. If we were to arrange the DNA of a single human cell, like a skin cell, into a straight line, it would be two meters long–over 6.5 feet. The human body contains around 50 trillion human cells. This means that each person has a total of about 100 trillion meters of DNA. In other words, each person has enough DNA to stretch from the Earth to the Sun 300 times! And humans do not have particularly large genomes–those of many fish, amphibians, and flowering plants are much larger. For example, the genome of the flowering plant Paris japonica is 25 times larger than the human diploid genome. These figures emphasize the astonishing task that eukaryotes must accomplish to pack their DNA inside cells.

 Core: DNA Structure and Function

X-Inactivation

JoVE 11002

The human X chromosome contains over ten times the number of genes as in the Y chromosome. Since males have only one X chromosome, and females have two, one might expect females to produce twice as many of the proteins, with undesirable results.

Instead, in order to avoid this potential issue, female mammalian cells inactivate nearly all the genes in one of their X chromosomes during early embryonic development. In the nuclear envelope surrounding the cell nucleus, the inactivated X chromosome condenses into a small, dense ball called a Barr body. In this state, most of the X-linked genes are not accessible to transcription. In placental mammals, the inactivated X chromosome—maternal or paternal—is randomly determined (marsupials, however, preferentially inactivate the paternal X chromosome). X inactivation in one cell is also independent of X inactivation in other cells. Thus, about half the embryonic cells inactivate the maternal X copy; the remaining half inactivate the paternal copy, producing a mosaic. When these cells replicate, they produce cells with the same X chromosome inactivated. Notably, Barr bodies get reactivated in cells within the ovaries that become eggs. X inactivation accounts for the appearance of female tortoiseshell and calico cats. These cats are heterozygous for a gene with alleles for black fur and orange fur lo

 Core: Classical and Modern Genetics

Cytogenetics

JoVE 5545

Cytogenetics is the field of study devoted to chromosomes, and involves the direct observation of a cell’s chromosomal number and structure, together known as its karyotype. Many chromosomal abnormalities are associated with disease. Each chromosome in a karyotype can be stained with a variety of dyes to give unique banding patterns. More recent techniques, including …

 Genetics

An Introduction to Aging and Regeneration

JoVE 5337

Tissues are maintained through a balance of cellular aging and regeneration. Aging refers to the gradual loss of cellular function, and regeneration is the repair of damaged tissue generally mediated by preexisting adult or somatic stem cells. Scientists are interested in understanding the biological mechanisms behind these two complex processes. By doing so, researchers may be able to use…

 Developmental Biology

Development and Reproduction of the Laboratory Mouse

JoVE 5159

Successful breeding of the laboratory mouse (Mus musculus) is critical to the establishment and maintenance of a productive animal colony. Additionally, mouse embryos are frequently studied to answer questions about developmental processes. A wide variety of genetic tools now exist for regulating gene expression during mouse embryonic and postnatal development, which can help…

 Biology II

Le Châtelier's Principle

JoVE 10138

Source: Laboratory of Dr. Lynne O'Connell — Boston College


When the conditions of a system at equilibrium are altered, the system responds in such a way as to maintain the equilibrium. In 1888, Henri-Lewis Le Châtelier described this phenomenon in a principle that states, "When a change in temperature, pressure, or…

 General Chemistry

Imaging- and Flow Cytometry-based Analysis of Cell Position and the Cell Cycle in 3D Melanoma Spheroids

1The Centenary Institute, 2Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, 3The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, Translational Research Institute, The University of Queensland, 4Department of Dermatology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, 5Discipline of Dermatology, University of Sydney

JoVE 53486

 Medicine

Analysis of Combinatorial miRNA Treatments to Regulate Cell Cycle and Angiogenesis

1School of Basic Pharmaceutical and Toxicological Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Louisiana Monroe, 2Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, 3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

JoVE 59460

 Cancer Research
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