Medical research

Lack of cellular enzyme triggers switch in glucose processing

A study investigating how a cellular enzyme affects blood glucose levels in mice provides clues to pathways that may be involved in processes including the regulation of longevity and the proliferation of tumor cells. In ...

Medical research

New technique could eliminate inherited mitochondrial disease

Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have developed an experimental technique with the potential to prevent a class of hereditary disorders passed on from mother to child. The technique, as yet conducted ...

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Cytoplasm

The cytoplasm is the part of a cell that is enclosed within the plasma membrane. In eukaryotic cells, the cytoplasm contains organelles, such as mitochondria, which are filled with liquid that is kept separate from the rest of the cytoplasm by biological membranes. The contents of the cell nucleus are not part of the cytoplasm and are instead called the nucleoplasm. The cytoplasm is the site where most cellular activities occur, such as many metabolic pathways like glycolysis, and processes such as cell division. The inner, granular mass is called the endoplasm and the outer, clear and glassy layer is called the cell cortex or the ectoplasm.

The part of the cytoplasm that is not held within organelles is called the cytosol. The cytosol is a complex mixture of cytoskeleton filaments, dissolved molecules, and water that fills much of the volume of a cell. The cytosol is a gel, with a network of fibers dispersed through water. Due to this network of pores and high concentrations of dissolved macromolecules, such as proteins, an effect called macromolecular crowding occurs and the cytosol does not act as an ideal solution. This crowding effect alters how the components of the cytosol interact with each other.

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