Science is a Process, not an Object.

Advanced Honors Biology

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Signaling Introduction

We will go over a brief primer of signaling. I want everyone to have the tools to read some of what they are working on as well as providing the rest of the class with the tools to understand.
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Transport Proteins

The short intro I did in class is found here.
One of the main things a membrane has to be able to do is control what flows through it. Sometime, that's just opening a channel and letting the dissolved thing flow "down gradient." But, sometime the cell has to do active work to pump ions to one side or the other of a membrane.
Once that gradient is established, it can be used to do work…and in fact used in myriad ways you can hardly imagine. Since it is so important, we will spend some time on it.
By the way, the figure is a cartoon of a protein called "aquaporin." Guess what it transports. It's a fascinating protein. Think about how you can make a protein that allows water…and only water…to pass through.
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Cells Intro

The image above was lifted from an article in "The Daily Mail," found here.
It is a really bad representative cell, since it is a famous cancer cell line known as HeLa cells and it behaves in ways very much unlike good, normal cells. But, you can see a nucleus (stained for DNA in blue) and some fibers that are part of the "cytoskeleton." To see those, the researchers have used a technique to make them glow either red (microtubules) or green (actin fibers…or microfilaments.
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Enzyme Cofactors

Many enzymes use "cofactors" to help carry out their function. The one above is a "Heme." We will see a lot of these and similar structures. The ring is called a porphyrin ring. A heme is a porphyrin ring with an iron in it. The iron can carry oxygen molecules. We discussed hemoglobin earlier. That protein carries oxygen in your blood. Or, to be more correct, that protein carries a 4 heme groups, each of which carries an iron, each of which carries oxygen.
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