interpreting electron micrographs of cells

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question 1.
It relates to Book 1 Chapters 2 and 3 and Activity 3.1.

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interpreting electron micrographs of cells
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a.Examine the transmission electron micrograph (TEM) images of three different types of cells in Figure 1.

For each of the three cells A, B and C, name the general type of organism (bacterium, animal or plant), and in each case identify two distinctive features of the cell that helped you to distinguish the cell type. (15 marks).

Figure 1 TEM images of different cell types.

High resolution image of cell A

High resolution image of cell B

High resolution image of cell C

b.What is the diameter of the nucleus of the cell in image C? You should base your answer on the high resolution image. (3 marks).

c.Briefly describe how immunolabelling would allow you to identify where a particular type of protein is located in a cell. (Up to 150 words) (8 marks).

d.Compare and contrast the two different centrifugation methods that can be used to separate different subcellular components following homogenisation of cells (i.e. in cell fractionation). Your answer should include an account of the principles underlying the two methods and a comment on their effectiveness. (Up to 150 words) (14 marks).


question 2.
It requires you to write a plan for an essay based mainly on Book 1, Chapters 2 and 3.

Write a plan for a short essay to compare and contrast prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells in terms of their main structural features and subcellular organisation, and their diversity.

Before starting work on this question, you should read the advice on planning and writing essays given in the ‘Assessment’ area of the S294 website. There you will find links to online resources on essay writing and how to reference your work.

Your plan should consider the following:

the title (1 mark)

the introduction (4 marks)

the main body of the essay (including brief descriptions of any figures you might wish to use) (20 marks)

the conclusion (2 marks)

references you need to include (a guide to the OU Harvard style of referencing can be found on the OU Library Services, ‘Help and Support’ page) (3 marks).

Your essay plan should not exceed 200 words, excluding references (this is an advisory word limit). The plan could be in bullet list or note form, but you should indicate clearly what you plan to write in each part of the essay. It is also useful to indicate where you intend to use pictures or diagrams to illustrate your report. Non-linear plans, such as mind maps or flow charts, are also perfectly acceptable, so long as these indicate the intended final structure of the report. You will not be expected to include material from outside the module, but if you do, you must reference these sources appropriately.


question 3.

Van Noorden, R. (2009). ‘RNA world easier to make’, Nature, 13 May [Online]. Available at (Accessed 7 August 2017).

Service, R.F. (2016) ‘RNA world’ inches closer to explaining origins of life’, Science, 12 May [Online]. Available at (Accessed 7 August 2017).

The first news article refers to work that, at the time of the article’s publication, had recently been published by John Sutherland and co-workers at Manchester University. The second article refers to the work of Thomas Carell and co-workers at the University of Munich. Both articles are concerned with the origins of life on Earth and in particular with the chemical evolution of ribonucleic acid (RNA). You have already encountered this subject area in S294 Book 1 Chapter 1 (Section 1.1.1).

You should read both articles and relevant material in Book 1 Section 1.1.1 before answering this question. You will need to draw on what you have learned in your studies so far as well as extracting information from the articles.

a.Both articles refer to the ‘RNA world’ hypothesis, which proposes that early life was based on self-replicating RNA molecules. In terms of storage of hereditary information, how do present-day living organisms differ from the early lifeforms proposed by this hypothesis? (2 marks).

b.How have the experimental studies described in the articles sought to support the ‘RNA world’ hypothesis? (3 marks).

c.Aside from the potential to self-replicate, what property does RNA have that argues in favour of the ‘RNA world’ hypothesis? (3 marks).

d.According to Van Noorden (2009), the early attempts of chemists to simulate primordial synthesis of ribonucleotides were unsuccessful. What was this initial approach? (3 marks).

e.Van Noorden (2009) reports that Sutherland and co-workers were eventually successful in synthesising two of the four ribonucleotides of which RNA is composed. Which ribonucleotides did they synthesise? (3 marks).

f.Van Noorden (2009) mentions that other researchers did not accept that the conditions that prevailed in the early Earth would have been consistent with the conditions that Sutherland used in the laboratory. How did Sutherland argue the contrary? (3 marks).

g.How did the work of Carell and co-workers, described in Service (2016), further progress research in this area? Briefly outline how Carell and co-workers achieved this important step. (8 marks).

h.The chemical conditions used by Carell and co-workers for their studies do not match those used by Sutherland’s group in their investigations. How might this argue against the ‘RNA world’ hypothesis? (3 marks)

i.What further major question remains about the origins of early RNA strands? (2 marks).

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