The glycocalyx serves a variety of functions, from allowing bacteria to adhere to objects to keeping the cornea moist. Glycocalyx is the general name for a gel-like coating that covers the outside of certain cells. The coating is made up of carbohydrates and fibrous proteins.Continue Reading
All bacteria have a glycocalyx, but glycocalyx coatings are also found in certain animal cells. In some bacteria, the glycocalyx may form a tightly bound outer covering called the capsule. The capsule protects the bacterial cell from being consumed by other cells because it covers up molecules used to grab the bacteria and pull it inside an attacking cell. The capsule also makes the bacterial cell sticky, so it can adhere to objects and to other cells. This helps the bacteria form colonies and resist being flushed away by currents.
Animal cells, unlike bacterial cells, do not always have a glycocalyx. In humans, cells with notable glycocalyx coatings are found in certain tissues doing various kinds of work. Within the eye, glycocalyx proteins near the cornea draw water in and keep the cornea moist. This protects the cornea from infection and from exposure to air.
The inner lining of human blood vessels also contains glycocalyx-producing cells. Here, the glycocalyx serves as an interface between blood and blood vessel, regulating the passage of hormones and nutrients to and from organs. It also modulates the number of red blood cells passing through capillaries. Finally, throughout the body, the glycocalyx is used to identify cells as the body's own and to facilitate communication between cells in the same tissue.Learn more about Biology
The function of bacterial endospores, according to Cornell University, is to allow the survival of bacteria's cell lines through harsh conditions that would kill a normal member of the species. These conditions include starvation, ultraviolet light, dessication and chemical damage. The endospore is an unusually small and largely dehydrated bacterium with a germ cell wall, surrounded by further walls of protein and peptidoglycan that protect it.Full Answer >
Microscopes are used in a variety of fields to view objects or organisms that are not visible with the naked eye. These devices are useful in biology and medicine to study or analyze specimens, such as bacteria, cells and body tissues. Some other uses of microscopes include for crime scene investigations, mineral specimens and chemical materials.Full Answer >
The phospholipid bilayer's function is to maintain a barrier between the cell and its external environment and to store and transport a variety of proteins that are essential to the cell's function. It controls what enters and exits the cell.Full Answer >
A light microscope is a popular tool often used in biology to detect small objects through its technology, which employs visible light. People commonly use these types of microscopes to look at bacteria, which can be visible at 100x magnification. However, not all light microscopes, specifically bright field microscopes, are capable of seeing these small cells.Full Answer >