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Latest Cell membrane Stories

2012-06-01 09:27:49

New study creates cells that act like circuits, a step toward developing cellular computers Johns Hopkins scientists have engineered cells that behave like AND and OR Boolean logic gates, producing an output based on one or more unique inputs. This feat, published in the May issue of Nature Chemical Biology, could eventually help researchers create computers that use cells as tiny circuits. Study leader Takanari Inoue, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Cell Biology and...

2012-05-10 13:55:04

Journal of Biological Chemistry: Mechanism of bacterial transport system published In order to interact with the environment, bacteria secrete a whole arsenal of proteins. Researchers have now found how one of the transportation systems used for this purpose — the type VI secretion system — works for the single-celled organism Agrobacterium tumefaciens. They have identified the relevant transport proteins and their energy suppliers. With colleagues at the Academia Sinica in...

2012-04-23 13:07:39

Tiny pores, or channels, embedded in cell membranes are critical to the healthy functioning of cells. Charged atoms, or ions, move through these channels to generate the electrical signals that allow cells to communicate with one another. New research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis unveils some of the inner workings of certain channels involved in regulating electrical signals in nerve cells, relaxing muscle cells and “tuning” hair cells in the inner...

2012-03-24 04:57:29

Berkeley Lab researchers embed artificial membranes with billions of nanoantennas for enhanced optical studies At the heart of the immune system that protects our bodies from disease and foreign invaders is a vast and complex communications network involving millions of cells, sending and receiving chemical signals that can mean life or death. At the heart of this vast cellular signaling network are interactions between billions of proteins and other biomolecules. These interactions, in...

2012-03-21 15:30:04

Why does inhaling anesthetics cause unconsciousness? New insights into this century-and-a-half-old question may spring from research performed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Scientists from NIST and the National Institutes of Health have found hints that anesthesia may affect the organization of fat molecules, or lipids, in a cell's outer membrane–potentially altering the ability to send signals along nerve cell membranes. "A better fundamental...

2012-03-06 10:36:05

Using a unique facility in the US, researchers at the University of Gothenburg have found a more effective way of imaging proteins. The next step is to film how proteins work — at molecular level. Mapping the structure of proteins and the work they do in cells could be the key to cures for everything from cancer to malaria. Last year Richard Neutze, professor of biochemistry at the University of Gothenburg, and his research group were among the first in the world to image proteins...

2012-03-01 13:11:47

Working in the emerging field of systems biology, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers mathematically predicted how bacteria that cause food poisoning hijack a cell's sense of direction and then confirmed those predictions in living cells. The study proposed a new model to explain how mammalian cells establish the sense of direction necessary to move, as well as the mechanism that a disease-causing form of E. coli bacteria employ to hijack that ability. Cells need to orient...

Some Bacteria Attack Using Poison Daggers
2012-02-27 10:00:41

[ Watch the Video ] Bacteria have evolved different systems for secreting proteins into the fluid around them or into other cells. Some, for example, have syringe-like exterior structures that can pierce other cells and inject proteins. Another system, called a type VI secretion system, is found in about a quarter of all bacteria with two membranes. Despite being common, researchers have not understood how it works. Now a team, co-led by researchers at the California Institute of...

2012-02-20 15:02:27

In two landmark papers in the journal Nature this week, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute report that they have identified a class of proteins that detect "painful touch." Scientists have known that sensory nerves in our skin detect pressure, pain, heat, cold, and other stimuli using specialized "ion channel" proteins in their outer membranes. They have only just begun, however, to identify and characterize the specific proteins involved in each of these sensory pathways. The...

2012-02-20 14:32:25

Lipids help control the development of cell polarity In a standard biology textbook, cells tend to look more or less the same from all sides. But in real life cells have fronts and backs, tops and bottoms, and they orient many of their structures according to this polarity explaining, for example, why yeast cells bud at one end and not the other. Over the last few years, Rong Li, Ph.D., and her team at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have figured out many important details of...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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