Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Biology Trivia: Cell Bits

Cell Bits Edition

I've decided to try out a new blog topic: Biology trivia! All of the five things below are either something that is indeed true about a topic pertaining to Biology, or something that I made up. Can you pick out which one of these statements are facts and which is completely false?
  1. Aquaporins: A channel protein has been discovered in cell membranes that has been named aquaporin. As you might have guessed, these channels are basically pores that allow water molecules to be more easily transported through the membrane. 
  2. Endoplasmic Reticulum:  This organelle, also called ER, usually comes in two different types: rough and smooth, with the rough having ribosomes attached. However, bacterial ER only comes in the smooth type as the bacterial ribosomes are unable to attach to the membrane surface.
  3. Actin and Myosin: The motor protein actin and the cytoskeletal filament myosin form bundles in your muscle cells. Using energy from ATP, actin moves along the myosin to cause the muscle to contract. 
  4. Mitochondria: Those amazing organelles known as the mitochondria have their own DNA which is inherited completely differently from the DNA in the nucleus. Whereas nuclear DNA comes from both parents, the nature of egg and sperm mean that mitochondria DNA is only passed from mother to offspring.
  5. Lysosomes: Normally acting to break down molecules in the cell, lysosomes are capable of killing the cell if they break open.
Feel free to reply with your guesses. Answers can be found here.


  1. My guess is that Lysosome's relation to apoptosis is historically over-stated and new evidence suggests that lysosomes can actually patch cell membrane holes. So I don't think they are generally able to kill cells by breaking open. Their digestive enzymes are typically specific to waste products that need to be removed from the cell.

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