Cells Watch

KingCarol
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How would I go about answering a question that requires me to identify organelles through this experiment :
"An experiment was carried out to determine what happens to amino acids after they are absorbed by animal cells. The cells were incubated for 5 minutes in a medium containing radioactive labelled amino acids. The radioactive amino acids were then washed off and the cells were incubated in a medium containing only non-radioactive amino acids.
Samples of the cells were removed from the medium every five minutes for forty minutes. For each samble the levels of radioactivity in the three different organelles, A,B And C, were determined"
And then I'm presented with a graph below.
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macpatgh-Sheldon
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Hi Your Highness (! ),

The radioactivity would be higher (greater with Geiger counter before days of tech) wherever the [radioactively] labelled amino acids traverse. I assume that your graph is a plot of radioactivity (y axis) against time (x axis).

The a.a.-s would first enter the cells so on the left side of the plot, you would see more radioactivity in the cytoplasm (if incuded in the graph), then the a.a.-s would end up (gradually) closer to and then within the RER (incl ribosomes), so after several minutes radioactivity would be high in RER.

Once the a.a.-s are incorporated into polypeptides (on the RER, as you know, [read up your info on protein synthesis if you don't]), they will be transferred to the Golgi for processing, and attachment to carbohydrates (glycosylation) to form glycoproteins (this happens in Golgi), so towards the later times (rightward on your graph), the trace with the highest activity would indicate the plot for Golgi.

Hope this helps you to identify the organelles!

Easy peasy lemon squeezy, yeah? [sorry to regress you back to nursery school!]

M (specialist biology tutor)
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KingCarol
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Thanks a lot
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