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Latest Sodium channel Stories

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...

2011-04-28 00:20:02

Fables have long cast scorpions as bad-natured killers of hapless turtles that naively agree to ferry them across rivers. Michigan State University scientists, however, see them in a different light. Ke Dong, MSU insect toxicologist and neurobiologist, studied the effects of scorpion venom with the hopes of finding new ways to protect plants from bugs. The results, which are published in the current issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, have revealed new ways in which the venom...

2010-10-26 02:50:03

Scientists are closer to solving one of the many mysteries of multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating diseases, thanks to a recent study conducted at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. The research revealed a previously unknown connection between two ion channels, which, when misaligned, can cause the many bizarre symptoms that characterize the condition. The findings, reported in this week's online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), provide...

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2010-09-29 09:25:34

New drug treatment triggers sodium ions to regrow nerves and muscle; could extend treatment window for acute injuries Sodium gets a bad rap for contributing to hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Now biologists at Tufts University's School of Arts and Sciences have discovered that sodium also plays a key role in initiating a regenerative response after severe injury. The Tufts scientists have found a way to regenerate injured spinal cord and muscle by using small molecule drugs to...