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Latest Ion channels Stories

2012-03-21 22:20:54

GOTHENBURG, Sweden, March 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The new Dynaflow Resolve System was developed in close collaboration with leading ion-channel research groups to meet the demand for a simpler technology capable of complex perfusion protocols. The Dynaflow Resolve System is an advanced automated perfusion system that enables novel experimental protocols by allowing recording of any ion channel current, using any cell type, and any compound. The new and improved system retains...

2012-03-12 14:31:32

New research could provide roadmap for more effective drug discovery for CF A recent study led by Gergely Lukacs, a professor at McGill University's Faculty of Medicine, Department of Physiology, and published in the January issue of Cell, has shown that restoring normal function to the mutant gene product responsible for cystic fibrosis (CF) requires correcting two distinct structural defects. This finding could point to more effective therapeutic strategies for CF in the future. CF, a...

2012-03-08 15:52:48

The mechanism involved in the detection of hyperosmolarity by TRP channels is clarified, with a newly discovered molecule preventing apoptosis. A large change in the volume of a cell, from its basal level, is detrimental to its health. Therefore, our cells are equipped with mechanisms to maintain their constant volume. When a cell detects an environmental change that will alter its volume, due to changes in the osmotic pressure, it will adjust its internal water content...

2012-03-02 13:39:23

Heat-sensitive proteins assembled in different combinations distinguish temperatures, from a warm handshake to spicy foods The winter sun feels welcome, but not so a summer sunburn. Research over the past 20 years has shown that proteins on the surface of nerve cells enable the body to sense several different temperatures. Now scientists have discovered how just a few of these proteins, called ion channels, distinguish perhaps dozens of discrete temperatures, from mildly warm to very hot....

2012-02-29 00:30:32

Sperm cannot detect smells. According to a 2003 study by German and American scientists, a component of the Lily of the Valley scent known as Bourgeonal alters the calcium balance of human sperm and attracts the sperm. The “Lily of the Valley phenomenon” — also the title of a book about smelling — was born as a result of this discovery that sperm act as swimming olfactory cells which follow a “scent trail” laid by the egg. However, a detailed explanation...

2012-01-27 16:04:28

Researchers discover dual role of key player in immune system Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine researchers have identified a new and unusual role for a key player in the human immune system. A protein initially believed to regulate one routine function within the cell has proven vital for another critical step in the activation of the immune system. That protein, STIM1, was previously known to sense a change in calcium within immune cells, a process that occurs when...

Ion Channel Makes African Naked Mole-Rat Insensitive To Acid-Induced Pain
2011-12-21 04:54:27

Researchers of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch have found out why the African naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber), one of the world´s most unusual mammals, feels no pain when exposed to acid. African naked mole-rats live densely packed in narrow dark burrows where ambient carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are very high. In body tissues, CO2 is converted into acid, which continuously activates pain sensors. However, naked mole-rats are an...

2011-12-15 16:26:29

A discovery in fruit flies may be able to tell us more about how animals, including humans, sense potentially dangerous discomforts. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center uncovered naturally occurring variations of a gene named TRPA1 that is important for the function of pain-sensing neurons throughout the animal kingdom. The gene makes an ion channel, which floods sensory neurons with calcium ions when the fly is near a heat source, causing fruit fly larvae to respond with a...

2011-12-13 11:48:56

Drawing on X-ray crystallography and experimental data, as well as a software suite for predicting and designing protein structures, a UC Davis School of Medicine researcher has developed an algorithm that predicts what has been impossible to generate in the laboratory: the conformational changes in voltage-gated sodium channels when they are at rest or actively transmitting a signal in muscle and nerve cells. Structural modeling of the voltage-sensing mechanism is important because it...

2011-12-12 22:14:23

A new study in the Journal of General Physiology (http://www.jgp.org) provides fresh insight into voltage-gated channels–transmembrane ion channels that play a critical role in the function of neuronal and muscle tissue. Voltage-gated ion channels underlie signaling of most electrically active cells. These important ion channels have long challenged physiologists with the question of how membrane voltage drives the structural transitions between closed and open states. For more than...