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October, 2006
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Meiosis I

JoVE 10767

Meiosis is a carefully orchestrated set of cell divisions, the goal of which—in humans—is to produce haploid sperm or eggs, each containing half the number of chromosomes present in somatic cells elsewhere in the body. Meiosis I is the first such division, and involves several key steps, among them: condensation of replicated chromosomes in diploid cells; the pairing of homologous chromosomes and their exchange of information; and finally, the separation of homologous chromosomes by a microtubule-based network. This last step segregates homologs between two haploid precursor cells that may subsequently enter the second phase of meiosis, meiosis II. The exchange of equivalent segments between homologous chromosomes occurs early on during meiosis I, and is referred to as crossing over. This process relies on the close association of such homologs, which are drawn together by the formation of a connective protein framework called the synaptonemal complex between them. To function correctly, the complex requires three parts: (1) vertical lateral elements, which form along the inward-facing sides of two juxtaposed homologous chromosomes; (2) a vertical central element positioned between the chromosomes; and (3) transverse filaments, or horizontal protein threads that connect the vertical and central components. The result has often been compared to a ladde

 Core: Biology

An Overview of bGDGT Biomarker Analysis for Paleoclimatology

JoVE 10256

Source: Laboratory of Jeff Salacup - University of Massachusetts Amherst

Throughout this series of videos, natural samples were extracted and purified in search of organic compounds, called biomarkers, that can relate information on climates and environments of the past. One of the samples analyzed was sediment. Sediments accumulate…

 Earth Science

Structure Of Ferrocene

JoVE 10347

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

In 1951, Kealy and Pauson reported to Nature the synthesis of a new organometallic compound, ferrocene.1 In their original report, Pauson suggested a structure for ferrocene in which the iron is singly bonded (sigma bonds) to one carbon atom of…

 Inorganic Chemistry


JoVE 11013

During meiosis, chromosomes occasionally separate improperly. This occurs due to failure of homologous chromosome separation during meiosis I or failed sister chromatid separation during meiosis II. In some species, notably plants, nondisjunction can result in an organism with an entire additional set of chromosomes, which is called polyploidy. In humans, nondisjunction can occur during male or female gametogenesis and the resulting gametes possess one too many or one too few chromosomes. When an abnormal gamete fuses with a normal gamete, the resulting zygote has an abnormal number of chromosomes and is called aneuploid. An individual with one too few chromosomes has monosomy (45; 2n-1), while trisomy is the presence of one too many chromosomes for a total of 47 (2n+1). Down Syndrome is one well-studied trisomy, where individuals have three copies of chromosome 21. Aneuploid zygotes account for around 70% of spontaneous abortions during gestation. Nondisjunction is more common in sex chromosomes than autosomes. Individuals can have a variety of sex chromosome combinations, including one or more additional sex chromosomes (e.g., XXY, XXX, XYY) or the presence of only a single sex chromosome (denoted X0). These individuals tend to have normal lifespans, though with sometimes major physiological and reproductive consequences. Nondisjunction appears to be mor

 Core: Biology

Electron Transport Chains

JoVE 10742

The final stage of cellular respiration is oxidative phosphorylation, which consists of (1) an electron transport chain and (2) chemiosmosis.

The electron transport chain is a set of proteins and other organic molecules found in the inner membrane of mitochondria in eukaryotic cells and the plasma membrane of prokaryotic cells. The electron transport chain has two primary functions: it produces a proton gradient—storing energy that can be used to create ATP during chemiosmosis—and generates electron carriers, such as NAD+ and FAD, that are used in glycolysis and the citric acid cycle. Generally, molecules of the electron transport chain are organized into four complexes (I-IV). The molecules pass electrons to one another through multiple redox reactions, moving electrons from higher to lower energy levels through the transport chain. These reactions release energy that the complexes use to pump H+ across the inner membrane (from the matrix into the intermembrane space). This forms a proton gradient across the inner membrane. NADH and FADH2 are reduced electron carriers produced during earlier cellular respiration phases. NADH can directly input electrons into complex I, which uses the released energy to pump protons into the intermembrane space. FADH2 inputs electrons into complex II, the only co

 Core: Biology

16S rRNA Sequencing: A PCR-based Technique to Identify Bacterial Species

JoVE 10510

Source: Ewa Bukowska-Faniband1, Tilde Andersson1, Rolf Lood1
1 Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Division of Infection Medicine, Biomedical Center, Lund University, 221 00 Lund, Sweden

Planet Earth is a habitat for millions of bacterial species, each of which has specific characteristics. Identification of bacterial species is…


A Minority of One: Conformity to Group Norms

JoVE 10331

Source: William Brady & Jay Van Bavel—New York University

It is obvious that we are influenced by those around us, but in the early to mid 1900's, psychologists began to study how potent social influence can be on our thoughts and behaviors. Motivated in part by attempts to explain the behaviors of Nazi soldiers in World War II,…

 Social Psychology

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: Biology

Replication in Prokaryotes

JoVE 10788

DNA replication has three main steps: initiation, elongation, and termination. Replication in prokaryotes begins when initiator proteins bind to the single origin of replication (ori) on the cell’s circular chromosome. Replication then proceeds around the entire circle of the chromosome in each direction from two replication forks, resulting in two DNA molecules.

Replication is coordinated and carried out by a host of specialized proteins. Topoisomerase breaks one side of the double-stranded DNA phosphate-sugar backbone, allowing the DNA helix to unwind more rapidly, while helicase breaks the bonds between base pairs at the fork, separating the DNA into two template strands. Proteins that bind single-stranded DNA molecules stabilize the strands as the replication fork travels along the chromosome. DNA can only be synthesized in the 5’ to 3’ direction, so one strand of the template—the leading strand—is elongated continuously, while the other strand—the lagging strand—is synthesized in shorter pieces of 1000-2000 base pairs called Okazaki fragments. Much of the research to understand prokaryotic DNA replication has been performed in the bacterium Escherichia coli, a commonly-used model organism. E. coli has 5 DNA polymerases: Pol I, II, III, IV, and V. Pol III is responsible for the majority of DN

 Core: Biology
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