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Latest Sodium channel Stories

Creating Insecticides To Target Specific Pests Without Harming Beneficial Species
2014-07-14 03:05:42

Johns Hopkins Medicine Development raises possibility of more species-specific insecticides Using spider toxins to study the proteins that let nerve cells send out electrical signals, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have stumbled upon a biological tactic that may offer a new way to protect crops from insect plagues in a safe and environmentally responsible way. Their finding—that naturally occurring insect toxins can be lethal for one species and harmless for a closely related...

2014-07-02 10:36:34

John Hopkins Medicine Find likely to aid drug development Researchers at Johns Hopkins have spotted a strong family trait in two distant relatives: The channels that permit entry of sodium and calcium ions into cells turn out to share similar means for regulating ion intake, they say. Both types of channels are critical to life. Having the right concentrations of sodium and calcium ions in cells enables healthy brain communication, heart contraction and many other processes. The new...

2014-04-30 12:05:19

This Week in Molecular Biology and Evolution Take a muscle cell, modify it over millions of years, and you end up with an exciting and literally shocking evolutionary result: the electric fish. Electric fish have evolved several times in varying levels of complexity. Two groups of electric fish, one in Africa (Mormyroids) and one in South America (Gymnotiforms), have independently evolved sophisticated communication systems using these cells. By emitting and sensing weak electrical...

2013-11-25 09:57:46

Filtered from a vast sodium sea, more than 1 million calcium ions per second gush through our cells' pores to generate charges Scientists have figured out how calcium channels – the infinitesimal cell membrane pores that generate electrical signals by gating a charged-particle influx – have solved a "needle in a haystack" problem. The solution to the longstanding riddle is reported in the Nov. 24 advanced online edition of Nature by University of Washington and Howard Hughes Medical...

Grasshopper Mice Do Not Feel The Pain Of The Bark Scorpion Sting
2013-10-24 15:33:23

Michigan State University University of Texas at Austin The painful, potentially deadly stings of bark scorpions are nothing more than a slight nuisance to grasshopper mice, which voraciously kill and consume their prey with ease. When stung, the mice briefly lick their paws and move in again for the kill. The grasshopper mice are essentially numb to the pain, scientists have found, because the scorpion toxin acts as an analgesic rather than a pain stimulant. The scientists...

2012-02-14 11:00:00

That flutter in your heart may have more to do with the movement of sodium ions than the glance of a certain someone across a crowded room. Using the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, researchers from the University of British Columbia have revealed, for the first time, one of the molecular mechanisms that regulates the beating of heart cells by controlling the movement of sodium in out of the cells — and what calcium has to do with it. The findings, published February 14 in the...

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...

2011-12-13 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...

2011-06-21 18:32:32

Maxim Bazhenov and Giri Krishnan used computational model to study epileptic seizures at the molecular level; research could lead to novel therapeutics for seizure disorder Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have made a discovery in the lab that could help drug manufacturers develop new antiepileptic drugs and explore novel strategies for treating seizures associated with epilepsy "“ a disease affecting about two million Americans. Neurons, the basic building blocks...

2011-05-18 00:10:16

An essential component of animal nervous systems"”sodium channels"”evolved prior to the evolution of those systems, researchers from The University of Texas at Austin have discovered. "The first nervous systems appeared in jellyfish-like animals six hundred million years ago or so," says Harold Zakon, professor of neurobiology, "and it was thought that sodium channels evolved around that time. We have now discovered that sodium channels were around well before nervous systems...


Word of the Day
Cthulhu
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.
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