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Cell Death: The termination of the cell's ability to carry out vital functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, responsiveness, and adaptability.

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

An Introduction to Endocytosis and Exocytosis

JoVE 5646

Cells can take in substances from the extracellular environment by endocytosis and actively release molecules into it by exocytosis. Such processes involve lipid membrane-bound sacs called vesicles. Knowledge of the molecular architecture and mechanisms of both is key to understanding normal cell physiology, as well as the disease states that arise when they become…

 Cell Biology

The TUNEL Assay

JoVE 5651

One of the hallmarks of apoptosis is the nuclear DNA fragmentation by nucleases. These enzymes are activated by caspases, the family of proteins that execute the cell death program. TUNEL assay is a method that takes advantage of this feature to detect apoptotic cells. In this assay, an enzyme called terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase catalyzes the addition of dUTP…

 Cell Biology

Detecting Reactive Oxygen Species

JoVE 5654

Reactive oxygen species are chemically active, oxygen-derived molecules capable of oxidizing other molecules. Because of their reactive nature, there are many deleterious effects associated with unchecked ROS production, including structural damage to DNA and other biological molecules. However, ROS can also be mediators of physiological signaling. There is accumulating…

 Cell Biology

Nucleotide Excision Repair

JoVE 10792

Exposure to mutagens can damage DNA and result in bulky lesions that distort the double-helix structure or impede proper transcription. Damaged DNA can be detected and repaired in a process called nucleotide excision repair (NER). NER employs a set of specialized proteins that first scan DNA to detect a damaged region. Next, NER proteins separate the strands and excise the damaged area. Finally, they coordinate the replacement with new, matching nucleotides. Cells are regularly exposed to mutagens—factors in the environment which can damage DNA and generate mutations. UV radiation is one of the most common mutagens and is estimated to introduce a significant number of changes to DNA. These include bends or kinks in the structure which can block DNA replication or transcription. If these errors are not fixed, the damage can cause mutations which in turn can result in cancer or disease depending on which sequences are disrupted. Nucleotide excision repair relies on specific protein complexes to recognize damaged regions of DNA and flag them for removal and repair. In prokaryotes, the process involves three proteins—UvrA, UvrB, and UvrC. The first two proteins work together as a complex, traveling along the DNA strands to detect any physical aberrations. Once identified, the strands at the damaged location are separated, and endon

 Core: Biology

Ionic Bonds

JoVE 10665

When atoms gain or lose electrons to achieve a more stable electron configuration they form ions. Ionic bonds are electrostatic attractions between ions with opposite charges. Ionic compounds are rigid and brittle when solid and may dissociate into their constituent ions in water. Covalent compounds, by contrast, remain intact unless a chemical reaction breaks them.

Ionic bonds are reversible electrostatic interactions between ions with opposing charges. Elements that are the most reactive (i.e., have a higher tendency to undergo chemical reactions) include those that only have one valence electron, (e.g., potassium) and those that need one more valence electron (e.g., chlorine). Ions that lose electrons have a positive charge and are referred to as cations. Ions that gain electrons have a negative charge and are called anions. Cations and anions combine in ratios that result in a net charge of 0 for the compound they form. For example, the compound potassium chloride (KCl) contains one chloride ion for each potassium ion, because the charge of potassium is +1 and the charge of chloride is -1. The compound magnesium chloride (MgCl2) contains two chloride ions for each magnesium ion because magnesium’s charge is +2. The electrostatic forces holding ionic compounds together are strong when the compounds are in solid form. Since t

 Core: Biology

Histological Sample Preparation for Light Microscopy

JoVE 5039

Histology is the study of cells and tissues, which is typically aided by the use of a light microscope. The preparation of histological samples can vary greatly based on the inherent properties of the samples such as size and hardness as well as expected post-processing which includes planned staining techniques or other down-stream applications. As described in this video, specimen…

 General Laboratory Techniques


JoVE 10733

The addition or removal of phosphate groups from proteins is the most common chemical modification that regulates cellular processes. These modifications can affect the structure, activity, stability, and localization of proteins within cells as well as their interactions with other proteins.

During phosphorylation, protein kinases transfer the terminal phosphate group of ATP to specific amino acid side chains of substrate proteins. Serine, threonine, and tyrosine are the most commonly phosphorylated amino acids. Accordingly, protein kinases are classified as serine/threonine kinases, tyrosine kinases, or dual action kinases if they can phosphorylate all three amino acids. Conversely, protein phosphatases catalyze the removal of the phosphate group (dephosphorylation), restoring the original properties of the protein. Under physiological conditions, phosphorylation and dephosphorylation are tightly regulated to prevent prolonged changes in protein structure and function. Disruption of this balance can cause diseases, including cancer and various neurodegenerative disorders. For instance, a protein called tau is hyperphosphorylated in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Physiologically, tau regulates the shape, structure, and development of neurons. The tau protein contains over 80 serine, threonine, and tyrosine residues, of which only a fraction is usually pho

 Core: Biology

Electrical Safety Precautions and Basic Equipment

JoVE 10114

Source: Ali Bazzi, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT.

Electric machines and power electronics experiments involve electrical currents, voltages, power, and energy quantities that should be handled with extreme diligence and care. These may include three-phase AC voltage (208 V, 230 V, or 480 V), up …

 Electrical Engineering
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