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protoplasm

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protoplasm

Postby sensfan776 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:09 pm

I was just wondering if someone could clarify for me two main structures of protoplasm. I am thinking its cytoplasm and nucleus but my textbook is kind of fuzzy on the description and appears to include cell membrane. I have done some googling and even watched a few vids on youtube but just want to be sure before I commit it to memory. Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Postby mamoru » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:25 pm

Traditionally, though, the protoplasm meant everything inside the cell membrane. The two parts were the cytoplasm and the nucleoplasm. You can probably guess what those mean. ;)

It might be worth noting that "protoplasm" is an outdated term not really used in modern cell biology anymore. The reason is because it isn't actually homogenous (as first thought when first viewed under light microscopes), but full of "stuff" (organelles, endomembranes, etc .in eukaryotes).
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Re: protoplasm

Postby sensfan776 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:36 pm

I guess thats what happens when the text book is dated 1993. Thanks for your help.
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Re:

Postby JackBean » Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:07 am

mamoru wrote:It might be worth noting that "protoplasm" is an outdated term not really used in modern cell biology anymore. The reason is because it isn't actually homogenous (as first thought when first viewed under light microscopes), but full of "stuff" (organelles, endomembranes, etc .in eukaryotes).


So what? Just because there are not skywalkers all around the city, we will call it center and around? Just because the parts in car can be round or sharp we will call it wheel and whatever? IMHO that doesn't need to be homogenous but is it some set of "things" which share some definition. At least, the term protoplast is definitelly still in use.
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Re: Re:

Postby mamoru » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:00 am

JackBean wrote:
mamoru wrote:It might be worth noting that "protoplasm" is an outdated term not really used in modern cell biology anymore. The reason is because it isn't actually homogenous (as first thought when first viewed under light microscopes), but full of "stuff" (organelles, endomembranes, etc .in eukaryotes).


So what? Just because there are not skywalkers all around the city, we will call it center and around? Just because the parts in car can be round or sharp we will call it wheel and whatever? IMHO that doesn't need to be homogenous but is it some set of "things" which share some definition. At least, the term protoplast is definitelly still in use.

Hey, I didn't coin the term, nor did I cause it to be removed from common usage. I was simply noting that the term had fallen out of usage and why. The reason it is no longer commonly used is because functionally and etymologically it is not an accurate term.

If you have a problem with that, take it up with cell and molecular biologists. :?

The wikipedia page has more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protoplasm
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Postby JackBean » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:32 am

OK, I don't blame you ;) But the cell is composed of many components too, so won't we use the term cell? The nucleus is composed from many things, so will we not use the term nucleus?
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Re:

Postby mamoru » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:46 am

JackBean wrote:OK, I don't blame you ;) But the cell is composed of many components too, so won't we use the term cell? The nucleus is composed from many things, so will we not use the term nucleus?

Well, sure. But, it seems to me, that there is no sense stripping away only the cell membrane and calling the rest "protoplasm" as if it were some single, different, collective thing. Why not keep calling it a cell, especially when there really is no such thing as a cell without a cell membrane anyway? Do you call an apple something different because you have removed the skin?

That would be like taking a school and removing only the outer walls, and then calling the rest of the school a "proto-scholastium", ignoring the fact that the school is divided into compartments made of walls almost exactly like those outer walls you just removed and moving between those walls are various functional units (students, teachers, books being carried by the students and teachers, air, electricity, water, waste products, food products, etc.). Obviously, this analogy applies only to eukaryotes. ;)

But we don't do that. You are either inside the school or outside the school. If you are inside the school you are either general (I'm inside the school) or specific (I'm in the cafeteria) about where you are. Same with cells. You are either inside the cell or outside the cell. Saying something is "in the protoplasm" yields zero additional information.

So, I guess I'm in agreement with those who have stopped using the term. "Protoplasm" is an extraneous term that doesn't really define anything useful or add any useful information for trying to understand what is going on inside a cell. Cytoplasm and nucleoplasm are at least more reasonable divisions, because they are two very easily divisible portions of the inside of a cell. You can add in the mitochondrial intermembrane space and mitochondrial matrix as additional categories of membrane bound internal regions in cells, though for some reason those regions don't get the "-plasm" suffix. *shrug* :?

But, removing a single layer of membrane and then having a special term for everything else (including all of those internal membranes which can be contiguous with both the nuclear membrane and cell membrane) seems rather senseless to me. Just call the whole thing a cell and be done with it. ;)
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Postby JackBean » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:18 am

But you (and your analogy) does not account for things in plasma membrane. There are plenty enzymes, it's not just a "school wall"
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Re:

Postby mamoru » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:31 am

JackBean wrote:But you (and your analogy) does not account for things in plasma membrane. There are plenty enzymes, it's not just a "school wall"

Well, I don't know about your schools, but mine have pipes, wires, insulation, etc. within external walls, as well as external pipes and drainage gutters, antennas, balconies, windows, etc.

So, I don't really see where you are going. The school analogy holds rather well. Are you suggesting that we would be better off calling the internal parts of a school something different along the lines of "proto-scholastium"? I'm guessing that you probably aren't.

So, for what reason should the entire cell minus the plasma membrane (with all of its associated components) be called the protoplasm? Does calling it that add any information? Does it add anything to help with the conceptual understanding of the cell?

Look, if you want to continue using the term, that's fine. Live it up. Enjoy it. ;)

I am merely demonstrating that it has fallen out of use and why it has fallen out of use. :p
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Postby JackBean » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:56 pm

http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

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