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Latest Cell membrane Stories

Molecular Muscles Inside Cells Help Them Sense, Respond To Their Environments
2013-10-21 07:27:59

Johns Hopkins Medicine Johns Hopkins researchers used suction to learn that individual "molecular muscles" within cells respond to different types of force, a finding that may explain how cells "feel" the environment and appropriately adapt their shapes and activities. A summary of the discovery, published online Oct. 20 in the journal Nature Materials, specifically sheds light on how forces outside of cells are translated into internal signals. A computer model the researchers...

2013-10-15 12:22:30

Biomimetic Membranes on Graphene Open up Novel Applications in Biotechnology – Publication in “Nature Communications“ Researchers around Dr. Michael Hirtz from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Dr. Aravind Vijayaraghavan from the University of Manchester have developed a new method to produce artificial membranes: Using a nanoscaled tip, they write tailored patches of phospholipid membrane onto a graphene substrate. The resulting biomimetic membranes, i.e. membranes simulating...

2013-10-02 13:15:50

The membranes surrounding and inside cells are involved in every aspect of biological function. They separate the cell’s various metabolic functions, compartmentalize the genetic material, and drive evolution by separating a cell’s biochemical activities. They are also the largest and most complex structures that cells synthesize. Understanding the myriad biochemical roles of membranes requires the ability to prepare synthetic versions of these complex multi-layered structures, which...

2013-10-01 15:24:08

Membrane proteins are responsible for transporting chemicals and messages between a cell and its environment. But determining their structure has proved challenging for scientists. A study by UC Santa Barbara's Han Research Group demonstrates a new tool to resolve the structure of membrane-embedded and membrane-associating proteins using the water dynamics gradient they found across and above the lipid bilayer as a unique ruler. More than 25 percent of all human proteins are membrane...

2013-09-30 14:10:50

The outer membrane of bacteria contains many proteins that form tiny pores. They are important for absorbing nutrients and transmitting signals into the cell. The research group of Sebastian Hiller, Professor of Structural Biology at the Biozentrum, University of Basel, has now shown for the first time at atomic resolution, that these pore proteins are transported in an unstructured, constantly changing state to the outer bacterial membrane. This landmark study was recently published in the...

2013-09-23 14:00:33

Eukaryotic cells are compartmentalized by membranes, whose shape and dynamics are precisely regulated to maintain their correct functions. Consequently, many cellular processes such as endocytosis, migration and morphogenesis rely on proteins that bind directly to membranes and sculpt them into desired shapes. BAR domain proteins are among the central membrane-sculpting proteins in all eukaryote cells. Studies by Pekka Lappalainen laboratory at Institute of Biotechnology, University of...

2013-08-23 10:48:08

Gold nanoparticles with special coatings can deliver drugs or biosensors to a cell's interior without damaging it Cells are very good at protecting their precious contents — and as a result, it's very difficult to penetrate their membrane walls to deliver drugs, nutrients or biosensors without damaging or destroying the cell. One effective way of doing so, discovered in 2008, is to use nanoparticles of pure gold, coated with a thin layer of a special polymer. But nobody knew exactly why...

2013-08-21 10:17:14

A new hypothesis concerning a crucial step in the anthrax infection process has been advanced by scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Md. The research teams have explored the behavior of the toxins that rapidly overwhelm the body as the often-fatal disease progresses. Their findings suggest a new possible mechanism by which anthrax bacteria deliver the protein...

2013-08-15 20:47:35

Scientists working at the Research Center on Aging at the Health and Social Services Centre — University Institute of Geriatrics of Sherbrooke (CSSS-IUGS) have been studying strategies for protecting retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells. Dysfunction of the RPE is found in retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness of elderly people in developed countries. Findings published today in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology...

Biophysicists Zoom In On Pore-forming Toxin
2013-08-15 09:08:14

Rice University Study of melittin-based pore formation also applies to anticancer drugs A new study by Rice University biophysicists offers the most comprehensive picture yet of the molecular-level action of melittin, the principal toxin in bee venom. The research could aid in the development of new drugs that use a similar mechanism as melittin's to attack cancer and bacteria. The study appears this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Melittin does its...


Word of the Day
bibliopole
  • A bookseller; now, especially, a dealer in rare and curious books.
This word comes from a Greek phrase meaning 'book seller.'
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