Evolution. Views by Crow James F.

By Crow James F.

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Their cytoskeletons provide the ability to deform. Rods of a protein called spectrin form a meshwork beneath the plasma membrane, strengthening the cell. 12). Spectrin molecules also attach to microfilaments and microtubules. Spectrin molecules are like steel girders, and ankyrins are like nuts and bolts. If either molecule is absent, the red blood cell collapses. In hereditary spherocytosis, the ankyrins are abnormal, and parts of the red blood cell plasma membrane disintegrate. In Their Own Words A Little Girl with Giant Axons A nerve cell (neuron) communicates by receiving electrochemical signals at one highly branched end, and sending signals from the other end, which is a single branch called an axon.

However, researchers do not yet know whether iPS cells function exactly as ES cells. For research purposes, human ES cells remain the “gold standard” because they more closely approximate normal development than do iPS cells. Once we learn more about how accurately iPS cells mimic normal development, human ES cells might no longer be required. To return to the college major analogy, the idea of reprogramming a cell is like a senior in college deciding to change his or her major. If, for example, a French major wanted to become a mechanical engineer, he’d have to start over, taking very different courses.

Stem Cell Applications Stem cells are being used in four basic ways. In drug discovery and development, stem cell cultures supply the Blood cells Muscle cells Nerve cells human cells that are affected in a particular disease, which may be difficult or impossible to culture. Drugs are tested on these cells. 24 Using stem cells to heal. (a) Stem cells from donors (bone marrow or umbilical cord useful in testing drugs for blood) are already in use. (b) A person’s cells may be used, unaltered, to replace damaged tissue, such side effects, because the liver as bone marrow.

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