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Latest Ion channels Stories

2011-11-10 15:40:04

The future of drug design lies in developing therapies that can target specific cellular processes without causing adverse reactions in other areas of the nervous system. Scientists at the Universities of Bristol and Liège in Belgium have discovered how to design drugs to target specific areas of the brain. The research, led by Professor Neil Marrion at Bristol´s School of Physiology and Pharmacology and published in this week´s Proceedings of National Academy of...

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...

2011-09-19 21:56:15

When researchers discovered the primary genetic defect that causes cystic fibrosis (CF) back in 1989, they opened up a new realm of research into treatment and a cure for the disease. Since then, scientists have been able to clone the defective gene and study its effects in animals. Now researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed a technique for observing the defects at work in human tissue donated by patients with CF. This technique has yielded an...

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...

2011-08-30 11:12:55

A gene that governs the flow of potassium in and out of cells in blood vessels could provide a new avenue for controlling blood pressure, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in a report in the current issue of the journal Hypertension. The gene, known as K2P6.1 or TWIK-2, is one of a family of potassium channel genes first discovered in the 1990s. In general, ion channels are tiny pores that, when opened, allow charged ions such as sodium, potassium or calcium to flow in and...

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2011-08-19 10:00:08

Researchers at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen have collaborated with the company NeuroSearch to generate new knowledge about an important part of the brain's complex communication system. The discovery could form the basis for future development of better medicines for patients with psychiatric disorders. The results were recently published Journal of Neuroscience. New knowledge challenges established scientific ideas about the function of the...

2011-08-16 21:13:09

As the gatekeepers of ion flow through cell membranes, ion channels are of key interest in numerous cellular processes. Now, a new study describes an innovative new computational model that realistically simulates the complex conditions found in biological systems and allows for a more accurate look at ion channel function at the level of individual atoms. The research, published by Cell Press in the August 17th issue of the Biophysical Journal, provides a remarkably detailed look at the...

2011-07-20 02:09:12

By altering the genetic makeup of normally "unexcitable" cells, Duke University bioengineers have turned them into cells capable of generating and passing electrical current. This proof-of-concept advance could have broad implications in treating diseases of the nervous system or the heart, since these tissues rely on cells with the ability to communicate with adjacent cells in order to function properly. This communication is achieved through the passage of electrical impulses, known as...

2011-07-14 15:21:50

BK channels (large-conductance, Ca2+-dependent K+ channels) are essential for the regulation of important biological processes such as smooth muscle tone and neuronal excitability. New research shows that BK channel activation involves structural rearrangements formerly not understood. The study appears in the August 2011 issue of the Journal of General Physiology. Previous research pointed to a possible unified theory of activation gating in K+ channels, with the "activation gate" formed by...

2011-07-14 15:17:23

The human genome encodes 243 voltage-gated ion channels. Mutations in calcium channels can cause severe inherited diseases such as migraine, night blindness, autism spectrum disorders and Timothy syndrome, which leads to severe cardiovascular disorders. Katrin Depil and Anna Stary-Weinzinger together with colleagues from the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Vienna analyzed changes in molecular organization of calcium channels caused by Timothy syndrome mutations....


Word of the Day
abrosia
  • Wasting away as a result of abstinence from food.
The word 'abrosia' comes from a Greek roots meaning 'not' and 'eating'.