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October, 2006
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Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome: An acquired defect of cellular immunity associated with infection by the human immunodeficiency virus (Hiv), a Cd4-positive T-lymphocyte count under 200 cells/microliter or less than 14% of total lymphocytes, and increased susceptibility to opportunistic infections and malignant neoplasms. Clinical manifestations also include emaciation (wasting) and dementia. These elements reflect criteria for Aids as defined by the Cdc in 1993.

Retrovirus Life Cycles

JoVE 10825

Retroviruses have a single-stranded RNA genome that undergoes a special form of replication. Once the retrovirus has entered the host cell, an enzyme called reverse transcriptase synthesizes double-stranded DNA from the retroviral RNA genome. This DNA copy of the genome is then integrated into the host’s genome inside the nucleus via an enzyme called integrase. Consequently, the retroviral genome is transcribed into RNA whenever the host’s genome is transcribed, allowing the retrovirus to replicate. New retroviral RNA is transported to the cytoplasm, where it is translated into proteins that assemble new retroviruses. Particular drugs have been developed to fight retroviral infections. These drugs target specific aspects of the life cycle. One class of antiretroviral drugs, fusion inhibitors, prevents the entry of the retrovirus into the host cell by inhibiting the fusion of the retrovirus with the host cell membrane. Another class of antiretrovirals, reverse transcriptase inhibitors, inhibits the reverse transcriptase enzymes that make DNA copies of the retroviral RNA genome. Reverse transcriptase inhibitors are competitive inhibitors; during the process of reverse transcription, the drug molecules are incorporated into the growing DNA strand instead of the usual DNA bases. Once incorporated, the drug molecules block further progress by the r

 Core: Biology

Overview of Bioprocess Engineering

JoVE 5791

Bioprocessing is a method that uses living organisms to produce a desired target product. Often, bioprocessing refers to the use of bioreactors to produce protein products from genetically engineered organisms. This field is responsible for the large-scale manufacture of biotherapeutics; drugs that have become essential to improving the quality of life for many with…


Fundamental Attribution Error

JoVE 11053

According to some social psychologists, people tend to overemphasize internal factors as explanations—or attributions—for the behavior of other people. They tend to assume that the behavior of another person is a trait of that person, and to underestimate the power of the situation on the behavior of others. They tend to fail to recognize…

 Core: Psychology

Group Design

JoVE 11025

The most basic experimental design involves two groups: the experimental group and the control group. The two groups are designed to be the same except for one difference— experimental manipulation. The experimental group gets the experimental manipulation—that is, the treatment or variable being tested—and the control group does not. Since…

 Core: Psychology

Cofactors and Coenzymes

JoVE 10975

Enzymes require additional components for proper function. There are two such classes of molecules: cofactors and coenzymes. Cofactors are metallic ions and coenzymes are non-protein organic molecules. Both of these types of helper molecule can be tightly bound to the enzyme or bound only when the substrate binds.

Cofactors are present in ~30% of mature proteins. They are frequently incorporated into an enzyme as it is folded and are involved in the enzyme’s catalytic activity. Magnesium is an essential cofactor for over 300 enzymes in the human body, including DNA polymerase. In this case, the magnesium ion aids in the formation of the phosphodiester bond on the DNA backbone. Iron, copper, cobalt, and manganese are other common cofactors. Many vitamins are coenzymes, as they are nonprotein, organic helper molecules for enzymes. For example, biotin—a type of B vitamin—is important in a variety of enzymes that transfer carbon dioxide from one molecule to another.  Biotin, vitamin A and other vitamins must be ingested in our diet, as they cannot be made by human cells.

 Core: Biology


JoVE 10858

Vision is the result of light being detected and transduced into neural signals by the retina of the eye. This information is then further analyzed and interpreted by the brain. First, light enters the front of the eye and is focused by the cornea and lens onto the retina—a thin sheet of neural tissue lining the back of the eye. Because of refraction through the convex lens of the eye, images are projected onto the retina upside-down and reversed. Light is absorbed by the rod and cone photoreceptor cells at the back of the retina, causing a decrease in their rate of neurotransmitter release. In addition to detecting photons of light, color information is also encoded here, since different types of cones respond maximally to different wavelengths of light. The photoreceptors then send visual information to bipolar cells near the middle of the retina, which is followed by projection to ganglion cells at the front of the retina. Horizontal and amacrine cells mediate lateral interactions between these cell types, integrating information from multiple photoreceptors. This integration aids in the initial processing of visual information, such as detecting simple features, like edges. Along with glial cells, the axons of the retinal ganglion cells make up the optic nerve, which transmits visual information to the brain. The optic nerve partially cro

 Core: Biology

Lipid Digestion

JoVE 10832

Lipids are large molecules that are generally not water-soluble. Since most of the digestive enzymes in the human body are water-based, there are specific steps the body must take to break down lipids and make them available for use.

Lingual lipase is an enzyme secreted by the acinar cells of the sublingual gland that aids lipid digestion. Although found in saliva, it plays only a minimal role in breaking down lipids in the mouth. Interestingly, lingual lipase has a pH optimum of 3.5-6.0 and is not activated until chewed food enters the acidic environment of the stomach. Gastric lipase is an acidic lipase that is secreted by the gastric chief cells in the lining of the stomach. Lingual lipase and gastric lipase comprise the two acidic lipases found in the human digestive system. These lipases are active in the stomach but rapidly inactivated by bile acids in the duodenum. Together, gastric lipase and lingual lipase account for 10-30% of lipid hydrolysis that occurs in human adults, with gastric lipase contributing the most. Given the low concentrations of pancreatic lipase and bile salts in the neonatal phase, the acidic lipases are critical for lipid digestion and account for 50% of lipid hydrolysis in neonates. Bile contains bile salts, lecithin, and cholesterol-derived substances, so it acts as an emulsifier in the duodenum of the small i

 Core: Biology

Proper Adjustment of Patient Attire during the Physical Exam

JoVE 10147

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

In order to optimize the predictive value of the physical examination, the provider must perform maneuvers correctly. The proper use of drapes is an important component of correctly performing…

 Physical Examinations I

Introduction to Serological Pipettes and Pipettors

JoVE 5034

The serological pipette is frequently used in the laboratory for transferring milliliter volumes of liquid, from less than 1 ml to up to 50 ml. The pipettes can be sterile, plastic, and disposable or sterilizable, glass and reusable. Both kinds of pipettes use a pipet-aid, for the aspiration and dispensation of liquids. Different sizes of pipettes can be used with the same …

 General Laboratory Techniques
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