Sizes and Rates

APh 162: Weeks 1 & 2

E.WM Fong, JH Kim, AP Lin





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Sizes and Rates: Getting a Feel for Biophysical Quantitation


The goal of this study was to provide a foundation for the study of physical biology by using quantitative tools, such as microscopy and spectrophotometry, to investigate several different biological systems.  Part of this work also forms the basis for our advanced project: sea urchin embroyology. 



1) Microscopic studies of various organisms: To gain an understanding of the dynamic range of biological spatial scales by examining different organisms such as stentor, fibroblasts, C. Elegans, and E. Coli using a variety of different microscopes, techniques, and magnification powers.  Most importantly,  calibration and scale bars were used across all studies.

2) In Vitro Kinetics of β-galactosidase: To gain an understanding of temporal scales by measuring the rates of cellular metabolism, in particluar β-galactosidase enzyme kinetics.  Using spectrophotometry, quantitative measurements of absorbance were measured that directly correlated with the rate of enzymatic degradation. 

3) Lytechnius variegatus (Sea Urchin) Fertilization and Early Development This study combines both quantitative size and rate measurements in the most elegant of ways by observing sea urchin embryology in its early stages of fertilization and development. 


Methods and Results:

The results for each experiment are detailed in each section in the toolbar above: Microscopy, Kinetics, and Embryology for Aims 1,2, and 3, respectively.  Images and movies are shown in each section as well as a detailed description of methods.



The result of this study was to provide a comprehensive understanding of the spatial and temporal scales of quantitative biology.  The selected experiments were successful in providing us with that experience as well as experience with using the tools that are necessary to arrive at the quantitative answers necssary to gain a better understand of biophysics. 



Listed below are some helpful websites that were of value during our studies:

           E. Coli Statistics

           Worm Book: C. Elegan reference

           Micscape Article: Stentor

           Sea Urchin Embryology



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