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Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...
, a filament
is a "long chain of proteins, such as those found in hair
Hair is a filamentous biomaterial, that grows from follicles found in the dermis. Found exclusively in mammals, hair is one of the defining characteristics of the mammalian class....
Muscle is a contractile tissue of animals and is derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells. Muscle cells contain contractile filaments that move past each other and change the size of the cell. They are classified as skeletal, cardiac, or smooth muscles. Their function is to...
, or in flagella". They are often bundled together for strength and rigidity. Some cellular
The cell is the basic structural and functional unit of all known living organisms. It is the smallest unit of life that is classified as a living thing, and is often called the building block of life. The Alberts text discusses how the "cellular building blocks" move to shape developing embryos....
- Actin filaments
Microtubules are a component of the cytoskeleton. These rope-like polymers of tubulin can grow as long as 25 micrometers and are highly dynamic. The outer diameter of microtubule is about 25 nm. Microtubules are important for maintaining cell structure, providing platforms for intracellular...
- Intermediate filament
Intermediate filaments are a family of related proteins that share common structural and sequence features. Intermediate filaments have an average diameter of 10 nanometers, which is between that of 7 nm actin , and that of 25 nm microtubules, although they were initially designated...
Filaments are also highly dynamic in nature and far from a static structure that acts as a stable "scaffold" for a cell. Some phenomena that profile a protein filaments' dynamics are:
Treadmilling is a phenomenon observed in many cellular cytoskeletal filaments, especially in actin filaments and microtubules. It occurs when one end of a filament grows in length while the other end shrinks resulting in a section of filament seemingly "moving" across a stratum or the cytosol...
Nucleation is the extremely localized budding of a distinct thermodynamic phase. Some examples of phases that may form by way of nucleation in liquids are gaseous bubbles, crystals or glassy regions. Creation of liquid droplets in saturated vapor is also characterized by nucleation...