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Latest Lipid bilayer Stories

2014-05-21 12:13:31

Aarhus University A few years ago researchers described a Turkish family whose family members moved around on all fours. It turned out that they lacked the sense of equilibrium. This was caused by the rare neurological disease CAMRQ, which is the result of a mutation in the lipid pump in the cells. On the other hand, it was not known why the genetic error had such serious consequences. The discovery provided inspiration for a Danish study of the mechanism for the vital lipid pump...

Unhealthy Attachments
2014-02-27 13:15:13

University of California - Santa Barbara Using the surface forces apparatus and an atomic force microscope, researchers at UC Santa Barbara have taken a molecular approach to myelin membrane interactions, leading to insights into demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. Their research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences. For a healthy nervous system, axons — the long projections of our nerve cells that run throughout our bodies — must...

2013-11-01 10:40:00

The ever-increasing threat from "superbugs" -- strains of pathogenic bacteria that are impervious to the antibiotics that subdued their predecessor generations -- has forced the medical community to look for bactericidal weapons outside the realm of traditional drugs. One promising candidate is the antimicrobial peptide (AMP), one of Mother Nature's lesser-known defenses against infections, that kills a pathogen by creating, then expanding, nanometer-sized pores in the cell membrane until it...

2013-10-15 12:22:30

Biomimetic Membranes on Graphene Open up Novel Applications in Biotechnology – Publication in “Nature Communications“ Researchers around Dr. Michael Hirtz from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Dr. Aravind Vijayaraghavan from the University of Manchester have developed a new method to produce artificial membranes: Using a nanoscaled tip, they write tailored patches of phospholipid membrane onto a graphene substrate. The resulting biomimetic membranes, i.e. membranes simulating...

2013-10-02 13:15:50

The membranes surrounding and inside cells are involved in every aspect of biological function. They separate the cell’s various metabolic functions, compartmentalize the genetic material, and drive evolution by separating a cell’s biochemical activities. They are also the largest and most complex structures that cells synthesize. Understanding the myriad biochemical roles of membranes requires the ability to prepare synthetic versions of these complex multi-layered structures, which...

2013-10-01 15:24:08

Membrane proteins are responsible for transporting chemicals and messages between a cell and its environment. But determining their structure has proved challenging for scientists. A study by UC Santa Barbara's Han Research Group demonstrates a new tool to resolve the structure of membrane-embedded and membrane-associating proteins using the water dynamics gradient they found across and above the lipid bilayer as a unique ruler. More than 25 percent of all human proteins are membrane...

2013-09-23 14:00:33

Eukaryotic cells are compartmentalized by membranes, whose shape and dynamics are precisely regulated to maintain their correct functions. Consequently, many cellular processes such as endocytosis, migration and morphogenesis rely on proteins that bind directly to membranes and sculpt them into desired shapes. BAR domain proteins are among the central membrane-sculpting proteins in all eukaryote cells. Studies by Pekka Lappalainen laboratory at Institute of Biotechnology, University of...

Advance In Nanotech Gene Sequencing Technique Made By Penn Research
2013-05-20 14:46:57

University of Pennsylvania The allure of personalized medicine has made new, more efficient ways of sequencing genes a top research priority. One promising technique involves reading DNA bases using changes in electrical current as they are threaded through a nanoscopic hole. Now, a team led by University of Pennsylvania physicists has used solid-state nanopores to differentiate single-stranded DNA molecules containing sequences of a single repeating base. The study was led by Marija...

2013-01-29 10:14:54

A new way of looking at a cell's surface reveals the distribution of small molecules in the cell membrane, changing the understanding of its organization. A novel imaging study by researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the University of Illinois and the National Institutes of Health revealed some unexpected relationships among molecules within cell membranes. Their findings provide a new way of studying cell structure and ultimately its function. Led by Mary Kraft...

Synthetic Membrane Channels Built Out Of DNA
2012-11-21 08:03:43

Technische Universitaet Muenchen Nanotech structures mimic nature's way of tunneling through cell walls As reported in the journal Science, physicists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) and the University of Michigan have shown that synthetic membrane channels can be constructed through "DNA nanotechnology." This technique employs DNA molecules as programmable building materials for custom-designed, self-assembling, nanometer-scale structures. The researchers present evidence...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'