Navigation Links
Models of eel cells suggest electrifying possibilities
Date:10/2/2008

Engineers long have known that great ideas can be lifted from Mother Nature, but a new paper* by researchers at Yale University and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) takes it to a cellular level. Applying modern engineering design tools to one of the basic units of life, they argue that artificial cells could be built that not only replicate the electrical behavior of electric eel cells but in fact improve on them. Artificial versions of the eels electricity generating cells could be developed as a power source for medical implants and other tiny devices, they say.

The paper, according to NIST engineer David LaVan, is an example of the relatively new field of systems biology. Do we understand how a cell produces electricity well enough to design oneand to optimize that design? he asks.

Electric eels channel the output of thousands of specialized cells called electrocytes to generate electric potentials of up to 600 volts, according to biologists. The mechanism is similar to nerve cells. The arrival of a chemical signal triggers the opening of highly selective channels in a cell membrane causing sodium ions to flow in and potassium ions to flow out. The ion swap increases the voltage across the membrane, which causes even more channels to open. Past a certain point the process becomes self-perpetuating, resulting in an electric pulse traveling through the cell. The channels then close and alternate paths open to pump the ions back to their initial concentrations during a resting state.

In all, according LaVan, there are at least seven different types of channels, each with several possible variables to tweak, such as their density in the membrane. Nerve cells, which move information rather than energy, can fire rapidly but with relatively little power. Electrocytes have a slower cycle, but deliver more power for longer periods. LaVan and partner Jian Xu developed a complex numerical model to represent the
'/>"/>

Contact: Michael Baum
michael.baum@nist.gov
301-975-2763
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Smithsonian researchers develop models to assess wetland health
2. Arctic climate models playing key role in polar bear decision
3. In computer models and observations, researchers see potential for significant red tide season
4. ESF EURYI award winner aims to stop cancer cells reading their own DNA
5. Newly created cancer stem cells could aid breast cancer research
6. AIDS interferes with stem cells in the brain
7. Clemson scientists shed light on molecules in living cells
8. Social habits of cells may hold key to fighting diseases
9. UF scientists reveal how dietary restriction cleans cells
10. Human derived stem cells can repair rat hearts damaged by heart attack
11. Scientists identify embryonic stem cells by appearance alone
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Models of eel cells suggest electrifying possibilities
(Date:10/16/2014)... at William and Mary,s Virginia Institute of Marine ... the Environmental Protection Agency to identify the streams ... to develop tools to help local governments and ... depends critically on a dataset of tidal-marsh observations ... Only with this historical baseline can today,s researchers ...
(Date:10/16/2014)... causes severe respiratory tract infections and worldwide claims ... at VIB and Ghent University have succeeded in ... common virus infection. , Xavier Saelens (VIB/UGent): ... the way for the development of a novel ... causes suffering in numerous small children and elderly ...
(Date:10/15/2014)... to assess the pandemic risk from strains of influenza ... not allow ourselves to become complacent that the most ... of scientists. , Influenza pandemics arise when a new ... develop widespread immunity – spreads in the human population. ... 100 years, the worst of which – the 1918 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):EPA grant will help localities conserve headwater wetlands 2EPA grant will help localities conserve headwater wetlands 3New perspectives for development of an RSV vaccine 2Scientists 'must not become complacent' when assessing pandemic threat from flu viruses 2
... Drawing on records dating back to the journals of Henry ... plant families near Walden Pond have borne the effects of ... families hit hardest by global warming have included beloved species ... appears this week in the Proceedings of the National ...
... used to treat type 2 diabetes may be more likely ... at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have ... drugs, sulfonylureas, help type 2 diabetics make more insulin, improving ... effects of sulfonylureas are lost after several years of use, ...
... carriers of avian influenza viruses from continent to continent ... has important implications for highly pathogenic avian influenza virus ... multi-pronged research effort to understand the role of migratory ... Asia and North America, scientists with the U.S. Geological ...
Cached Biology News:Effects of climate change vary greatly across plant families 2Moderate use averts failure of type 2 diabetes drugs in animal model 2Genetic evidence for avian influenza movement from Asia to North America via wild birds 2
(Date:10/19/2014)... (PRWEB) October 19, 2014 The ... Defense, & Homeland Security), Technology, Payload, Type & ... and segments the global unmanned ground vehicle market ... and forecasting of market sizes. The report also ... and opportunities impacting it along with the adoption ...
(Date:10/18/2014)... The Asian arthroscopic devices report defines and ... forecast of revenue. The arthroscopic devices market in Asia ... at a CAGR of 6.5% from 2013 to 2018. ... devices market, to get an idea of the in-depth ... segmentation of arthroscopic devices market in the same region, ...
(Date:10/18/2014)... According to a new market research report ... Global Trends & Forecasts up till 2017”, hydraulic fracturing ... This value is expected to increase from $40 billion ... CAGR during the same period. North America is expected ... terms of hydraulic horse power supplied by the year ...
(Date:10/17/2014)... and HILDEN, Germany , ... , Translational research in cancer and ... presented at the American Society of Human Genetics ... DNA samples linked to Ingenuity ®  Knowledge Base ... genomic analysis  Ingenuity ®  Variant Analysis™ ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) Market Estimated to Reach $8.26 Billion by 2020 - New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets 2Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) Market Estimated to Reach $8.26 Billion by 2020 - New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets 3Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) Market Estimated to Reach $8.26 Billion by 2020 - New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets 4Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) Market Estimated to Reach $8.26 Billion by 2020 - New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets 5The Asian arthroscopic devices market is estimated to grow to $712.3 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 2The Asian arthroscopic devices market is estimated to grow to $712.3 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 3The Asian arthroscopic devices market is estimated to grow to $712.3 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 4Hydraulic Fracturing Market Projected To Reach $64 Billion by 2017 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 2Hydraulic Fracturing Market Projected To Reach $64 Billion by 2017 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 3Hydraulic Fracturing Market Projected To Reach $64 Billion by 2017 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 4QIAGEN Demonstrates Expanded Bioinformatics Workflows at ASHG; Strong Market Adoption as Researchers Analyze Genomic Data on More Than a Quarter-Million Samples in Secure Private Cloud 2QIAGEN Demonstrates Expanded Bioinformatics Workflows at ASHG; Strong Market Adoption as Researchers Analyze Genomic Data on More Than a Quarter-Million Samples in Secure Private Cloud 3QIAGEN Demonstrates Expanded Bioinformatics Workflows at ASHG; Strong Market Adoption as Researchers Analyze Genomic Data on More Than a Quarter-Million Samples in Secure Private Cloud 4QIAGEN Demonstrates Expanded Bioinformatics Workflows at ASHG; Strong Market Adoption as Researchers Analyze Genomic Data on More Than a Quarter-Million Samples in Secure Private Cloud 5QIAGEN Demonstrates Expanded Bioinformatics Workflows at ASHG; Strong Market Adoption as Researchers Analyze Genomic Data on More Than a Quarter-Million Samples in Secure Private Cloud 6
... t2cure, a clinical,stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel regenerative ... it has appointed,Dr. Petra Rueck Head of Clinical ... join our company", said Manfred Ruediger,CEO of t2cure. ... be of critical importance to t2cure as we ...
... DIEGO, Feb. 25 Speid & Associates, a ... hosting,a six session Webinar series on diabetes and ... April. Speakers will include former Food and,Drug Administration ... as,well as a distinguished list of other guest ...
... BOSTON, Feb. 25 Experts from PAREXEL,International ... global,bio/pharmaceutical services provider, will present on key ... Annual EuroMeeting in Barcelona,Spain being held March ... from,presentations by some of PAREXEL,s thought leaders, ...
Cached Biology Technology:Stem Cell Company t2cure Appoints Dr Rueck Head of Clinical Operations 2The Diabetes Series 2008: Experts Speak About Developing Diabetes Therapeutics 2PAREXEL to Present Leading Insights Regarding Key Industry Topics at 20th Annual Drug Information Association EuroMeeting 2PAREXEL to Present Leading Insights Regarding Key Industry Topics at 20th Annual Drug Information Association EuroMeeting 3PAREXEL to Present Leading Insights Regarding Key Industry Topics at 20th Annual Drug Information Association EuroMeeting 4
... to PRKAR2 cAMP is a signaling ... functions. cAMP exerts its effects by activating ... the signal through phosphorylation of different target ... a tetramer composed of two regulatory and ...
...
... a Perkin Elmer UltraVIEW system and want to ... and iQ software? No problem. Our experienced ... your existing microscope, lasers, Sutter filter wheel, Piezo ... work with our precision controller unit and workstation... ...
... instrument is the most advanced thermal cycler ... thermal performance, the Dyad also boasts graphical ... point-and-click navigation via touch pad or mouse. ... and economically expanded to a four-bay system ...
Biology Products: