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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 17:21 EDT

Latest Cell membrane Stories

2010-08-25 13:32:32

Certain pathogens make themselves at home in the human body by invading cells and living off the plentiful amenities on offer there. However, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin, together with colleagues at Harvard University, have discovered a contrary strategy to ensure infection success: some pathogens can actually delay their entry into cells to ensure their survival. Upon contact with a cell, these bacteria engage signalling molecules in the cell and...

2010-08-17 20:58:13

Research published in the journal Genetics suggests that sertraline targets intracellular membranes of yeast cells that don't express the known therapeutic target, suggesting a secondary drug target or pathway A new discovery about selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) suggests that these drugs, which are used to treat mental health disorders like depression and anxiety, have multiple effects on our cells. In a research report published in the August 2010 issue of GENETICS...

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2010-08-12 19:47:33

Bioprobes offer first intracellular measurements with a semiconductor deviceChemists and engineers at Harvard University have fashioned nanowires into a new type of V-shaped transistor small enough to be used for sensitive probing of the interior of cells.The new device, described this week in the journal Science, is smaller than many viruses and about one-hundredth the width of the probes now used to take cellular measurements, which can be nearly as large as the cells themselves. Its...

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2010-07-30 07:59:25

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a new fluorescent biosensor that could aid in the development of an important class of drugs that target a crucial class of proteins called G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). "Drugs that target GPCRs make up approximately 30 percent of all pharmaceuticals currently on the market, including some of the most prescribed drugs," said Jonathan Jarvik, the Carnegie Mellon biological sciences professor who led the effort to develop the GPCR...

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2010-07-26 06:30:06

This discovery may generate new strategies to fight serious human diseases, and devastating plant blights--including the type of blight involved in the Irish Potato Blight. A study published in the July 23 issue of Cell identifies the mechanism used by several types of common, virulent microbes to infect plants and cause devastating blights. Microbes using this infection mechanism include fungi that are currently causing wheat rust epidemics in Africa and Asia, and a class of parasitic algae,...

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2010-06-24 10:20:00

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) scientists have moved a step closer to developing the means for a rapid diagnostic blood test that can scan for thousands of disease markers and other chemical indicators of health. The team reports* it has learned how to decode the electrical signals generated by a nanopore"”a "gate" less than 2 nanometers wide in an artificial cell membrane. Nanopores are not new themselves; for more than a decade, scientists have sought to use a...

2010-06-09 14:17:11

Insights into arsenic transport and tolerance Arsenic is toxic to most forms of life, and occurs naturally in soil and ground water in many regions of the world. Chronic exposure to arsenic has been linked to lung, bladder and kidney cancer, and thus there are strict limits on allowable levels or arsenic in drinking water. Chemically similar to phosphorus, arsenic forms arsenate (AsO43-), which closely resembles phosphate (PO43-). Arsenate interferes with many phosphate-requiring metabolic...

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2010-05-03 09:15:12

All life on earth is threatened by chaos. In this sense, a cell is like a ship which could at any moment sink in a sea of chaos. It must constantly consume energy to maintain the same level of order to avoid going under "“ metaphorically speaking, the infiltrating water of chaos needs to be pumped out, permanently. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology in Dortmund have now discovered how cells ensure the correct distribution of proteins throughout their...

2010-04-29 08:44:54

The findings may lead to better methods to deliver drugs A team of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has discovered the structure of a protein that pinches off tiny pouches from cells' outer membranes. Cells use these pouches, or vesicles, to carry nutrients and other essential substances, but many medicines also hitch a ride inside them. The structure of the protein, called dynamin, is helping to answer many longstanding questions about...

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2010-04-28 13:21:33

Pop a bubble while washing the dishes and you're likely to release a few drops of water trapped when the soapy sphere formed. A few years ago, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) pioneered a method* using a microscopic fluidic (microfluidic) device that exploits the same principle to create liquid-filled vesicles called liposomes from phospholipids, the fat complexes that are the building blocks for animal cell membranes. These structures are valued for...