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Why doesn't cellular activity get all jumbled up by macro-scale movement of your body?

  1. Sep 25, 2014 #1
    Dumb question. I don't know anything about biology or physics. But with all the intricate DNA unwinding and transporting and building and whatnot going on in a cell, is that screwed up if you jump up and down? Would that actually "shake up" your cells?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2014 #2
    DNA is embedded in an intracellular aqueous matrix (cytoplasm) that maintains a relatively stable osmotic pressure via regulation by a semipermeable membrane. In any "violent shaking" episode, you'd die from detachment and rupturing of large organ systems long before any deleterious effects from a "centrifuging" of DNA out of the nucleolus of individual cells.
  4. Sep 25, 2014 #3


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    Cells themselves actully have fairly complex mechanics to them due to the interaction between the cytoskeleton, the membrane, and protein interactions that can affect both and change the distribution of stresses and strains in the cell.
  5. Sep 27, 2014 #4
    Any object with the size of a macromelcular complex can hardly move in water. The main source of their movements is diffusion and
    direct molecular methotds (interactions with the cytoskeleton and motoric proteins, etc.). It can be shown for exapmle that if you push a
    cell in water, and you stop applying the force at a given time, the cell will stop instantly. The smaller something is, the harder it gets for it
    to move in water. So when you jump, the things inside you move with the rest of your body but they don't really move relative to each other.
  6. Sep 28, 2014 #5


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    Chemical bonds are strong. In the same way a solid block of iron does not break apart into dust if you hold it in your hand and shake it, your DNA is orders of magnitude stronger than the forces you generate by moving your body. Actually, the DNA is stronger than the block of iron.
  7. Feb 7, 2015 #6
    Haha, what an apt username for this subject, Chaperon.
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