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Latest Cell membrane Stories

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2010-04-28 13:15:00

Thanks to an interdisciplinary team of researchers, scientists now have a more complete understanding of one of the human body's most vital structures: the red blood cell. Led by University of Illinois electrical and computer engineering professor Gabriel Popescu, the team developed a model that could lead to breakthroughs in screening and treatment of blood-cell-morphology diseases, such as malaria and sickle-cell disease. The group published its findings in the Proceedings of the National...

2010-04-15 07:50:24

Location, location, location determines a protein's role Using a method they developed to watch moment to moment as they move a molecule to precise sites inside live human cells, Johns Hopkins scientists are closer to understanding why and how a protein at one location may signal division and growth, and the same protein at another location, death. Their research, published Feb. 14 in Nature Methods, expands on a more limited method using a chemical tool to move proteins inside of cells to...

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2010-04-01 13:50:24

For the first time, researchers have created a way to implant an inorganic device into a cell wall without damaging it A nanometer-scale probe designed to slip into a cell wall and fuse with it could offer researchers a portal for extended eavesdropping on the inner electrical activity of individual cells. Everything from signals generated as cells communicate with each other to "digestive rumblings" as cells react to medication could be monitored for up to a week, say Stanford engineers....

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2010-03-29 14:58:12

A Brazilian scorpion has provided researchers at North Carolina State University and East Carolina University insight into venom's effects on the ability of certain cells to release critical components. The findings may prove useful in understanding diseases like pancreatitis or in targeted drug delivery. A common result of scorpion stings, pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. ECU microbiologist Dr. Paul Fletcher believed that scorpion venom might be used as a way to discover how...

2010-03-23 11:35:00

Palo Alto, CA -- To engineer better, more productive crops and develop new drugs to combat disease, scientists look at how the sensor-laden membranes surrounding cells control nutrient and water uptake, secrete toxins, and interact with the environment and neighboring cells to affect growth and development. Remarkably little is known about how proteins interact with these protective structures. With National Science Foundation funding, researchers at the Carnegie Institution's Department of...

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2010-03-12 11:14:35

Conventional biological wisdom holds that living cells  interact with their environment through an elaborate network of chemical signals. As a result many therapies for the treatment of cancer and other diseases in which cell behavior goes awry focus on drugs that block or disrupt harmful chemical signals. Now, a new road for future therapies may have been opened with scientific evidence for a never seen before way in which cells can also sense and respond to physical forces. A team of...

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2010-03-05 10:31:37

Max Planck scientists develop new strategy to play major role in research on human diseases Cells may not have a mouth, but they still need to ingest substances from the external environment. If this process - known as endocytosis - is affected, it can lead to infectious diseases or cardio-vascular diseases, cancer, Huntington's and diabetes. In cooperation with the Center for Information Services and High Performance Computing (ZIH) at the Dresden University of Technology, scientists from...

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2010-03-01 07:28:03

A new technique to study protein dynamics in living cells has been created by a team of University of Illinois scientists, and evidence yielded from the new method indicates that an in vivo environment strongly modulates a protein's stability and folding rate, according to research accepted for publication in the journal Nature Methods and posted on the journal's Web site Feb. 28. Martin Gruebele, the James R. Eiszner Professor of Chemistry at Illinois and corresponding author of the paper,...

2010-02-18 12:30:00

Tiny protein filament opens and closes ion channels Humans and animals are able to perceive even the slightest vibration and touch of the skin. Mechanosensitive ion channels play a crucial role in the mediation of these sensations. Ion channels are pores in the cell membrane which are highly responsive to external signals. Mechanosensitive ion channels open at the slightest vibration and allow ions (electrically charged particles), to cross the cell membrane, which causes an electrical...

2010-02-16 14:03:42

The ability of tissue cells to stick to one another is critical for many physiological and pathological processes. But normal living cells need to do much more than just hold on tight, they must monitor their environment and respond with appropriate changes in shape, migration, and proliferation. Now, a new study published online on February 16th by Cell Press in the Biophysical Journal provides intriguing insight into how mechanical interaction with the external environment influences cell...