Biology Made Easy: How Reversible Enzyme Inhibitors Work

Posted by Eden on 8/14/17 6:04 PM

Inhibitors play an important role in regulating enzyme function. In this review, we will cover three broad categories of reversible enzyme inhibitors and discuss their impact on two important statistics related to enzyme function: the maximum velocity () of an enzyme and the Michaelis constant () of an enzyme.

To start, lets define and.is the maximum rate at which a reaction will occur. You can think of it as the rate of the reaction when there is enough substrate present that there is substrate in every enzyme’s active site.  

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Tags: biology

How do enzymes work? Catalytic strategies and models of substrate fit

Posted by Eden on 7/19/17 4:05 PM

In this post, we are going to do a brief Q and A to review what enzymes do and how they work. This post will be slightly beyond a basic introduction so it is probably most appropriate for a student who already has a sense of what enzymes are.

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Tags: biology

What is CRISPR-Cas9?

Posted by Eden on 7/3/17 2:08 PM

In this blog post, we will be covering one of the most important developments in the field of biology in my lifetime, CRISPR-Cas9. You may or may not cover CRISPR in an intro biology course, but you likely will cover it in upper level courses. Regardless, this topic is important enough that any new biologist should understand the very basics even if it is not “on the test”. This post will certainly not tell you everything you need to know about CRISPR, but hopefully it will give you enough information to have a sense of what it is and why it is widely considered to be such a significant addition to the field of biology.

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Tags: biology

What is the phospholipid bilayer and what determines its fluidity?

Posted by Eden on 6/16/17 4:46 PM

All cells are surrounded by a cell membrane that forms a barrier between the cell and its surroundings. This membrane is often referred to as the phospholipid bilayer. As you can probably tell from the name, a phospholipid bilayer is made up of two layers of lipids. The fluidity of this membrane must be maintained within a certain range for the cell to function properly.  There are a number of factors that help influence membrane fluidity. Before we review those factors, lets start with a quick review of the structure of the bilayer.

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Tags: biology

An Introduction to Blood Types: Genotype, Phenotype, Inheritance, Transfusion, and More!

Posted by Eden on 6/2/17 4:54 PM

In this post, one of our biology tutors reviews how we determine blood type, why your blood type is relevant to your doctor, and how it is inherited. 

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Tags: biology

Biology Tutor: How Do We Classify Mutations?

Posted by Eden on 5/12/17 6:08 PM

In the previous post, we discussed some of the built in mechanisms that help to prevent mutations. Sometimes, however, mutations occur in spite of these systems. There are a few different ways that mutations are typically classified in an intro biology course and there are often overlaps between these categories. Here is a brief review of some of the ways that you may see mutations classified:

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Tags: biology

Preventing and Repairing DNA Mistakes During the Cell Cycle

Posted by Eden on 4/14/17 9:00 AM

If you are currently studying biology, you have probably learned that mistakes in DNA can create very big problems, including cancer. These DNA errors often (but not always) occur during replication. Whenever they occur, it is very important for the cell to have a set of systems in place to both prevent and repair these errors. In this blog post we will cover some of the common prevention and repair mechanisms built into the cell cycle that might appear in an intro biology course. 

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Tags: biology

Tips for interpreting pedigree charts and understanding inheritance patterns!

Posted by Eden on 3/31/17 2:49 PM

Different traits are inherited in different ways. Many intro biology classes will expect you to be able to identify different patterns of inheritance and parental genotypes based on either a pedigree or the rates of a given phenotype in the offspring. It is helpful to be familiar with the phenotype ratios, pedigree charts, and the specifics of the inheritance mechanisms to solve those kinds of problems. Here is a brief review that will help you master this important content!

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Tags: biology

Essential tips for learning the anterior pituitary hormones

Posted by Eden on 3/1/17 4:33 PM

Learning the anterior pituitary hormones for your biology class or the MCAT can be a little overwhelming. It is easy to get lost in the weeds and struggle to see how it all connects. One thing that helped me when I was learning the anterior pituitary hormones was to visualize the connections between the most important structures. This both helped me to memorize their function and to see how changes in one part of the pathway may have downstream effects. I often have students practice the pituitary hormones by filling in a simplified blank diagram of the hormones and where they act.

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Tags: biology

A Comprehensive Break Down of Nephron Functioning into Six Easy Steps!

Posted by Eden on 2/23/17 10:34 AM

The nephron is the kidney’s smallest functional unit. It works to ensure that the urine you excrete leaves your body in the correct volume and concentration. This is a complicated process, but once you master it, it is exciting to understand this important function of the human body! Here is a labeled diagram of a nephron followed by a general overview of the process:

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Tags: biology