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Latest Connexin Stories

2011-11-07 16:53:42

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong disease characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. It is caused by the patient's immune system attacking and destroying the cells in their pancreas that produce the hormone insulin, which regulates blood glucose levels. Surprisingly, little is known about the mechanisms regulating the sensitivity and resistance of these cells, which are known as beta-cells, to immune system attack. However, a team of researchers led by Paola Meda, at the...

2009-11-03 15:40:20

New research reveals how proteins that are critical for the transparency of the eye lens are properly sorted and localized in membrane bilayers. The study, published by Cell Press in the November 3rd issue of Biophysical Journal, analyzes how interactions between lipid and protein molecules can selectively concentrate proteins in certain regions of the cell membrane. All cells are surrounded by a dynamic semi-permeable structure called the plasma membrane. Cell plasma membranes are made of a...

2009-05-27 08:03:11

Hemichannels are connexin channels that can dock with each other to create a gap junction across two plasma membranes. In the June 2009 issue of the Journal of General Physiology (JGP), Andrew Harris (University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey) discusses new research that provides insight into how hemichannels are kept closed and lays the framework for more specific questions regarding how they open in certain conditions as part of a junctional channel (1).As Harris explains, the gating...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'