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Latest Cell membrane Stories

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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...

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2010-01-22 10:58:45

A team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, in Germany, led by the Spanish physicist Rub©n Fernández-Busnadiego, has managed to obtain 3D images of the vesicles and filaments involved in communication between neurons. The method is based on a novel technique in electron microscopy, which cools cells so quickly that their biological structures can be frozen while fully active. "We used electron cryotomography, a new technique in microscopy based on ultra-fast...

2010-01-14 20:23:51

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine have discovered how cells in the body flatten out as they adhere to internal bodily surfaces, the first step in a wide range of important processes including clot formation, immune defense, wound healing, and the spread of cancer cells. Their study is published in the January 15 issue of Science. Xiaoping Du, UIC professor of pharmacology, and his colleagues were trying to better understand how platelets in the blood...

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2009-12-23 12:24:23

Much like a tightly wound drum, red blood cells are in perpetual vibration. Those vibrations help the cells maintain their characteristic flattened oval or disc shape, which is critical to their ability to deform as they traverse blood vessels in the body to deliver oxygen to tissues. Blood disorders such as malaria, sickle cell anemia and spherocytosis interfere with those vibrations, so a better understanding of the vibrations could help researchers develop treatments for those diseases....


Word of the Day
Cthulhu
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.
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