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Latest Lipid bilayer Stories

2012-08-29 07:01:39

Proteins adorning the surfaces of human cells perform an array of essential functions, including cell signaling, communication and the transport of vital substances into and out of cells. They are critical targets for drug delivery and many proteins are now being identified as disease biomarkers–early warning beacons announcing the pre-symptomatic presence of cancers and other diseases. While study of the binding properties of membrane proteins is essential, detailed analysis of...

2012-07-04 22:48:34

Finding biocompatible carriers that can get drugs to their targets in the body involves significant challenges.  Beyond practical concerns of manufacturing and loading these vehicles, the carriers must work effectively with the drug and be safe to consume. Vesicles, hollow capsules shaped like double-walled bubbles, are ideal candidates, as the body naturally produces similar structures to move chemicals from one place to another. Finding the right molecules to assemble into capsules,...

2012-04-18 21:53:14

Concordia physicists modify battery-like enzyme to produce carbon-neutral energy New research at Concordia University is bringing us one step closer to clean energy. It is possible to extend the length of time a battery-like enzyme can store energy from seconds to hours, a study published in the Journal of The American Chemical Society shows. Concordia Associate Professor László Kálmán – along with his colleagues in the...

2012-03-24 04:57:29

Berkeley Lab researchers embed artificial membranes with billions of nanoantennas for enhanced optical studies At the heart of the immune system that protects our bodies from disease and foreign invaders is a vast and complex communications network involving millions of cells, sending and receiving chemical signals that can mean life or death. At the heart of this vast cellular signaling network are interactions between billions of proteins and other biomolecules. These interactions, in...

2012-02-20 15:02:27

In two landmark papers in the journal Nature this week, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute report that they have identified a class of proteins that detect "painful touch." Scientists have known that sensory nerves in our skin detect pressure, pain, heat, cold, and other stimuli using specialized "ion channel" proteins in their outer membranes. They have only just begun, however, to identify and characterize the specific proteins involved in each of these sensory pathways. The...

2012-01-18 22:03:51

The accumulation of α-synuclein, a small, negatively charged protein, in neural cells, is one of the hallmarks of Parkinson's disease. It has been suggested that oligomeric α-synuclein causes membranes to become permeable, or to form channels on the outer cell membrane. Now, a group of scientists from Sweden has found a way to reliably replicate α-synuclein aggregation on cell membranes to investigate how different forms of α-synuclein...

2011-12-16 14:11:06

Opening up a new door in synthetic biology, a team of researchers has developed a microfluidic device that produces a continuous supply of tiny lipid spheres that are similar in many ways to a cell's outer membrane. "Cells are essentially small, complex bioreactors enclosed by phospholipid membranes," said Abraham Lee from the University of California, Irvine. "Effectively producing vesicles with lipid membranes that mimic those of natural cells is a valuable tool for fundamental biology...

2011-11-02 09:06:07

Neurofibrillary tangles — odd, twisted clumps of protein found within nerve cells — are a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. The tangles, which were first identified in the early 1900s by German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Aloysius Alzheimer, are formed when changes in a protein called tau cause it to aggregate in an insoluble mass in the cytoplasm of cells. Normally, the tau protein is involved in the formation of microtubules, hollow filaments that provide cells...

2011-10-12 10:11:21

New equation developed by UCSB chemical engineers solves the mystery of forces between water-repelling and water-attracting molecules that are critical to industrial and medical applications The physical model to describe the hydrophobic interactions of molecules has been a mystery that has challenged scientists and engineers since the 19th century. Hydrophobic interactions are central to explaining why oil and water don't mix, how proteins are structured, and what holds biological...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'