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Latest Integral membrane proteins Stories

2011-10-27 22:07:46

In a development that sheds new light on the pathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD), a team of Whitehead Institute scientists has identified connections between genetic risk factors for the disease and the effects of a peptide toxic to nerve cells in the brains of AD patients. The scientists, working in and in collaboration with the lab of Whitehead Member Susan Lindquist, established these previously unknown links in an unexpected way. They used a very simple cell type–yeast...

2011-10-25 13:24:15

Researchers studying how fluids travel through nanoscale channels were surprised to discover that the fluids don't flow equally well in all directions. Contrary to the behavior in the macroscale world, the researchers discovered that methyl alcohol, when it was placed in a network of nanoscale channels in a mineral known as a zeolite, diffused 1,000 times faster in one direction than another. This is the first known evidence of such highly unequal diffusion of molecules in a nanoporous...

Explanation For Glowing Seas Suggested
2011-10-19 13:30:54

Potential mechanism for dazzling blue flashes of light in oceans identified It has long been known that distinctive blue flashes--a type of bioluminescence--that are visible at night in some marine environments are caused by tiny, unicellular plankton known as dinoflagellates. However, a new study has, for the first time, detailed the potential mechanism for this bioluminesence. The study, which was partially funded by the National Science Foundation, is reported by Susan Smith of Emory...

2011-10-11 13:57:40

Water channels exist not only in nature — microscopical water channels are also present in the cells of the body, where they ensure that water can be transported through the protective surface of the cell. Scientists at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have discovered that one type of the body's water channels can be modified such that it becomes more stable , which may be significant in the treatment of several diseases. "It's important to understand how the water channels,...

2011-10-03 22:23:47

Laser technique allows detailed view of the early minutes of amyloid aggregate formation -- implications for Alzheimer's disease drug discovery Researchers at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) and Osaka University applied a new approach to take a close look at amyloid plaque formation, a process that plays important roles in Alzheimer's disease. The technique would greatly aid the development and screening for novel therapeutics that can manipulate the formation of the toxic...

2011-09-27 12:58:18

Up-and-down cycle flattens as age disrupts pattern A marker for Alzheimer's disease rises and falls in the spinal fluid in a daily pattern that echoes the sleep cycle, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found. The pattern is strongest in healthy young people and reinforces a link between increased Alzheimer's risk and inadequate sleep that had been discovered in animal models. The brain's relative inactivity during sleep may provide an opportunity...

2011-09-09 13:29:04

Ion channels ensure the heart keeps time The heartbeat is the result of rhythmic contractions of the heart muscle, which are in turn regulated by electrical signals called action potentials. Action potentials result from the controlled flow of ions into heart muscle cells (depolarization) through channels in their membranes, and are followed by a compensating reverse ion current (repolarization), which restores the original state. If the duration of the repolarization phase is not just...

2011-09-07 19:35:01

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder that causes progressive cognitive impairment and memory loss. Now, a new study published by Cell Press in the September 8 issue of the journal Neuron identifies a previously unrecognized link between neuroinflammation and the classical pathological brain changes that are the hallmark of the disease. In addition, the research identifies a new potential therapeutic target for AD. AD is characterized by abnormal accumulation...

2011-09-06 22:12:06

Study reveals that insulin-stimulated glucose uptake–a process that breaks down in type 2 diabetes–requires a previously unidentified protein called CDP138 All cells need glucose (sugar) to produce the energy they need to survive. High glucose levels in the bloodstream (such as occur after a meal), trigger the pancreas to produce insulin. In turn, muscle and fat cells respond to insulin by moving GLUT4, a glucose transporter, from intracellular storage out to the cell surface....

2011-09-01 16:37:55

Alzheimer disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia among older people. One of the main features of AD is the presence in the brain of abnormal clumps of the protein fragment beta-amyloid, which are known as amyloid plaques. A team of researchers, led by Jens Pahnke, at the University of Rostock, Germany, has now identified a way to reduce the amount of beta-amyloid in the brains of mice with a disease that models AD, providing hope that a similar approach might be possible in...