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Tutor profile: James L.

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James L.
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Questions

Subject: Biomedical Science

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Question:

What causes cancer?

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James L.
Answer:

Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by hyperproliferation (dividing very rapidly) of cells and the propensity of these rapidly diving cells to metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body. Cancer can be caused by viruses or chemicals which can cause mutations in DNA causing cells divide without regulation. In order for cancer to develop, the immune system must be compromised.

Subject: Biochemistry

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Question:

In the Michaelis Menten equation, what does Km and Vmax measure?

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James L.
Answer:

Enzymes are molecules that catalyzes (speeds up) chemical reactions, Without enzymes to speed up chemical reactions, life would be very difficult if not impossible. Most enzymes in our bodies are proteins and a few are ribonucleic acids (RNA). The chemical that a particular enzyme acts on is called substrate (S). The chemical that results from the reaction is called product (P). It is very useful to know the kinetics of how enzymes act. The velocity (V) of the enzyme is how fast an enzyme works. The velocity of an enzyme is dependent on the concentration of the substrate. The more substrate there is, the faster the enzyme will work. A good analogy that demonstrates why this is the case is the money wind tunnel where a person is put in a wind tunnel with paper money and she/he has to grab as much money as possible within a given time. Well. the more money there is in the wind tunnel, the more money the person will The Vmax measures the maximal velocity of the enzyme at saturating concentration of substrate (more than enough S for the enzyme to act on). The Vmax of different enzymes vary depending on which reaction they catalyze. Some enzymes work very fast even at very low substrates while other enzymes need a very high substrate concentration before it starts working. The Km indicates the substrate concentration at which the velocity is half of Vmax. Enzymes are molecules that catalyzes (speeds up) chemical reactions. Without enzymes to speed up chemical reactions, life would be very difficult if not impossible. Most enzymes in our bodies are proteins and a few are ribonucleic acids (RNA). The chemical that a particular enzyme acts on is called substrate (S). The chemical that results from the reaction is called product (P). It is very useful to know the kinetics of enzymes activity. The velocity (V) of the enzyme is how fast an enzyme works. The velocity of an enzyme is dependent on the concentration of the substrate. The greater the substrate concentration, the faster the enzyme will work. An analogy that demonstrates why this is the case would be when in a game show, a contestant is put in a money wind tunnel where she/he has to grab as much money as possible within a given period of time. Well, the greater the amount of money put in the wind tunnel, the more money the contestant will likely grab because there is more money flying around in the vicinity which they can grab. The Vmax measures the maximal velocity of the enzyme at saturating concentration of substrate (more than enough S for the enzyme to act on). The Vmax of different enzymes vary depending on which reaction they catalyze. Some enzymes work very fast even at very low substrates while other enzymes need a very high substrate concentration before it starts working. The Km indicates the substrate concentration at which the velocity is half of Vmax.

Subject: Biology

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Question:

What is the difference between a lysogenic and lytic cycle of virus infection?

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James L.
Answer:

Viruses exploit a host cell's resources to replicate (make many copies of) itself. After entering a host cell, the virus uses the cell's proteins and energy to make many copies of itself and then usually causes the lysis (and death) of the cell to release themselves from the cell. This is called the lytic cycle. Certain viruses are capable of inserting their genome into the genome of its host cell. When this happens, it is called a lysogenic cycle. The virus can remain in this dormant state for any length of time. When the condition is right, they can release themselves from the host's genome and enter the lytic cycle.

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