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Latest Ion channels Stories

2011-03-22 12:50:30

A key question in protein biochemistry is how proteins recognize "correct" interaction partners in a sea of cellular factors. Nowhere is that more critical to know than in the brain, where interactions governing channel protein activity can alter an organism's behavior. A team of biologists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies has recently deciphered a molecular code that regulates availability of a brain channel that modulates neuronal excitability, a discovery that might aid efforts...

2011-03-10 23:26:21

A light-sensing receptor that's packed inside the eye's photoreceptor cells has an altogether surprising role in cells elsewhere in the body, Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered. Using fruit flies, they showed that this protein, called rhodopsin, also is critical for sensing temperature. A report on the work appears March 11 in Science. "For decades, this well-known molecule "” one of the most-studied sensory receptors "” was thought to function exclusively in the eye as a...

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2011-02-08 07:38:20

Berkeley Lab Reports New Fluorescent Assay Reveals TREK1 Mechanism By Lynn Yarris, Berkeley Lab Using a unique and relatively simple cell-based fluorescent assay they developed, scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC), Berkeley have identified a means by which fluoxetine, the active ingredient in Prozac, suppresses the activity of the TREK1 potassium channel. TREK1 activity has been...

2011-02-02 01:16:50

Research by a Barrow Neurological Institute scientist on the thermoregulatory effects of a receptor more commonly studied for its role in pain is the cover story in the Feb. 2 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience. The research was conducted by an international team led by Andrej Romanovsky, MD, PhD, Director of the Systemic Inflammation Laboratory (FeverLab), at Barrow, which is a part of St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. The featured research discovers a new role of TRPV1 (transient...

2011-01-28 12:39:39

Australian researchers have come one step closer to understanding how the rhythm of the heartbeat is controlled and why many common drugs, including some antibiotics, antihistamines and anti-psychotics, can cause a potentially fatal abnormal heart rhythm. It is estimated around 40-50% of all drugs in development will block one of the main "Ëœchannels' that carries electricity in the heart and, as a result, can cause heart rhythm problems called cardiac arrhythmias. Most sudden...

2011-01-26 20:31:32

Pressor reflex triggered simply by drinking water For 60 years, scientists have puzzled over the possibility of a hepatic osmoreceptor that influences blood pressure regulation. Now, researchers of the Max Delbrck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch, the Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC) of the MDC and Charit© and the Hannover Medical School (MHH) appear to have made a breakthrough discovery. Dr. Stefan Lechner and Professor Gary R. Lewin (both of MDC),...

2011-01-26 13:09:34

New finding adds significantly to our understanding of calcium channel function in health and disease Scientists in the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, have discovered a new mechanism that nerve cells (neurons) use to fine-tune their electrical output. The exciting discovery, published this week in the prestigious journal Nature Neuroscience, provides new insights about how the activity of the nervous system is regulated at the cellular level....

2011-01-19 13:20:39

Combination of sensory and molecular approaches identify receptor sensitive to anti-inflammatory compounds Scientists from the Monell Center and collaborators report that a receptor known as TRPA1 is activated by two structurally unrelated anti-inflammatory compounds. The first, oleocanthal, is a natural polyphenolic anti-inflammatory agent uniquely found in extra virgin olive oil; while the second, ibuprofen, is an over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). The...

2011-01-11 14:36:29

Smoking is a common problem for patients with schizophrenia. The increased tendency of patients diagnosed with this disorder is to not only smoke, but to do so more heavily than the general public. This raises the possibility that nicotine may be acting as a treatment for some symptoms of schizophrenia. Nicotine acts through two general classes of brain receptors, those with high and low affinity for nicotine. The low affinity class of nicotinic receptors contains the alpha-7 subunit, which...

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2010-12-15 07:46:02

They say it's the little things that count, and that certainly holds true for the channels in transmembrane proteins, which are small enough to allow ions or molecules of a certain size to pass through, while keeping out larger objects. Artificial fluidic nanochannels that mimic the capabilities of transmembrane proteins are highly prized for a number of advanced technologies. However, it has been difficult to make individual artificial channels of this size "“ until now. Researchers...


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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