Cell bio hw1

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Topics: Cell culture
Cell Biology Lab - Homework #
Due the week of Feb 3rd This is NOT a lab group project. Do the work individually. You may use any source other than your fellow students. Show your work, use your own words and cite all references.

1. (14 points) The HeLa S3 cancer cell line is considered to be “continuous” due to acquired mutations that enable the cells to evade senescence. This property is one of several hallmark characteristics of cancer cell lines. Describe three hallmark characteristics of cancer cells and summarize the history of the HeLa S3 cell line (be sure to describe the origin of the cells, the approximate year of their extraction and the required growing conditions – all of which can be found on the ATCC website).

2. (20 points) Cell culture media typically contain a blend of glucose, amino acids, salts, and a buffer. Majority of cell lines also require the addition of blood serum nutrients. Using the article “Managing Serum Requirements in Cell Culture”, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using serum for cell culture. Animal blood serum in a factor needed in the cell culturing of mammalian cells for its nutritional content of growth factors, proteins, enzymes and other factors that are crucial for cell development. However, there are several obvsticles for its production since it is usually collected from the fetus of slaughtered cattle, which usually do not contain more than half a liter of blood each, from which half is serum. Not only is this not cost efficient, but because so little comes from every individual fetus, and not every fetus has the exact biological composition, there is much variability from serum to serum, which might affect the results of any given experiment that requires generous amounts of serum solution. Also, because serum is a biochemical that may carry very infectious agents it can not be taken from places were these agents are known to exist which reduces its availability even more. 3.

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