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October, 2006
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Organelles: Specific particles of membrane-bound organized living substances present in eukaryotic cells, such as the Mitochondria; the Golgi apparatus; Endoplasmic reticulum; Lysosomes; Plastids; and Vacuoles.


JoVE 10653

Taxonomy is the science of defining and naming groups of biological organisms based on shared characteristics. It uses a hierarchy of increasingly inclusive categories with Latin names. The smallest units of taxonomy, species and genus, are used to assign a formal, taxonomic name to each species in a system. This classification system, referred to as binomial nomenclature, was formalized by Carolus Linnaeus in the 18th century. The hierarchy that Carolus Linnaeus first proposed is still used today, although it has been expanded upon. The order of ranking—from the highest or largest group to the smallest or most specific—is as follows: domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species. Beginning from the smallest unit of taxonomy, similar species are grouped into the same genus. For example, the arctic hare and the black-tailed jackrabbit both belong to the genus Lepus; however, they belong to different species—arcticus and californicus, respectively. Within an organism’s taxonomic name, both the genus and species are italicized, and the first letter of the genus is capitalized. This two-part format for naming and categorizing specific organisms is referred to as binomial nomenclature. Members of the same genus belong to the same family. For example, hares and rabbits belong t

 Core: Biology

Diffusion and Osmosis- Concept

JoVE 10622

Cell Membranes and Diffusion

In order to function, cells are required to move materials in and out of their cytoplasm via their cell membranes. These membranes are semipermeable, meaning that certain molecules are allowed to pass through, but not others. This movement of molecules is mediated by the phospholipid bilayer and its embedded proteins, some of which act as transport channels…

 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 Structure - Prep Student

JoVE 10631

Visualizing Onion and Cheek Cells
Immediately before the experiment, wash and peel onion bulbs for the class.
Remove the entire brown outer skin and cut the onion in half with a knife. Pull apart the layers of the onion. The thin, nearly transparent film layers within the onion will be used by the students.
Place the onion film into a Petri…

 Lab Bio

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

Introduction to Plant Diversity

JoVE 11086

From Water to Land

Kingdom Plantae first appeared about 410 million years ago as green algae transitioned from water to land. This land was a relatively uncolonized environment with ample resources. Terrestrial environments also offered more light and carbon dioxide, required by plants to grow and survive.

However, the stark differences between land and sea posed a formidable challenge to early colonizing species prompting many new adaptations that have resulted in the wide variety of plant forms observed today. One early adaptation was the development of an outer waxy coating, called a cuticle. Cuticles serve to protect plants from desiccation, by trapping moisture inside. However, this adaptation prevented the direct exchange of gases across the surface of plants. As a result, pores developed on the outer surfaces of plants that allowed the absorption of carbon dioxide and release of oxygen. Additional structures were necessary to facilitate the transport of water and nutrients from soil to the superior portions of the plant. As a result, vascular tissue developed that not only serves to transport water and nutrients to all areas of the plant but also provided structural support as stems grow taller and stronger. To accommodate reproduction on land, terrestrial plants developed gametangia - reproductive structur

 Core: Biology

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: Biology

Synaptic Signaling

JoVE 10717

Neurons communicate at synapses, or junctions, to excite or inhibit the activity of other neurons or target cells, such as muscles. Synapses may be chemical or electrical.

Most synapses are chemical. That means that an electrical impulse—or action potential—spurs the release of chemical messengers. These chemical messengers are also called neurotransmitters. The neuron sending the signal is called the presynaptic neuron. The neuron receiving the signal is the postsynaptic neuron. The presynaptic neuron fires an action potential that travels through its axon. The end of the axon, or axon terminal, contains neurotransmitter-filled vesicles. The action potential opens voltage-gated calcium ion channels in the axon terminal membrane. Ca2+ rapidly enters the presynaptic cell (due to the higher external Ca2+ concentration), enabling the vesicles to fuse with the terminal membrane and release neurotransmitters. The space between presynaptic and postsynaptic cells is called the synaptic cleft. Neurotransmitters released from the presynaptic cell rapidly populate the synaptic cleft and bind to receptors on the postsynaptic neuron. The binding of neurotransmitters instigates chemical changes in the postsynaptic neuron, such as opening or closing ion channels. This, in turn, alters the membrane potential of the postsynapti

 Core: Biology

Plant Diversity- Concept

JoVE 10598

From Water to Land

Kingdom Plantae first appeared about 410 million years ago as green algae transitioned from water to land. Though challenging, this transition benefited early colonizers in several ways. Initially, most living organisms (including plants and animals) were ocean dwelling, making aquatic environments crowded and highly competitive. In contrast, land was a relatively…

 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
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