Big Kids: Definitions


Negative staining - a method of preparation of samples for electron microscopy that reveals the structure of an object by virtue of the exclusion of a stain. With this method, the purified vault particle is covered with a stain that surrounds it and settles in surface depressions to reveal its unusual outline and contours. For example, if there was an invisible soccor ball, you could veveal its structure by throwing black paint over it. The paint would settle around the ball, defining the shape of the object and settle in the depressions of the ball revealing the pattern in the balls cover.

Lysosomes - a cell organelle that serves as recycling and disposal center for the cell.

Coated vesicle - a cell organelle involved in protein transplant.

Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) - are very large (~125 MD) structures composed of 8 spokes mounted between a pair of asymmetric rings which span the outer and inner membranes of the nuclear envelope. A plug which may be lost during isolation of the NPC (or may be an artifact representing material caught in transit through the pore) is often found within the center of the spoke complex. NPCs have been estimated to contain over a hundred individual components, however, not all of these components have been cloned and sequenced and to date none of these appear to be components of the central plug.

TEM - Transmission Electron Microscope

STEM - Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope

Vaulted ceilings - The arches inside gothic cathedrals are referred to as vaulted. See for example the image of the vaulted Nave of St. Etienne at right.

Dictyostelium - Dictyostelium discoideum is a cellular slime mold studied because of its unique life cycle and the ability to manipulate it genetically.

SDS-PAGE - Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in the presence of the detergent sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) is a common method for separating individual proteins by size.

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