Navigation Links
Recalculating cell sensing
Date:6/14/2010

Mobile biological cells may be twice as good at following chemical signals as previously believed possible, according to Princeton researchers publishing in the latest issue of Physical Review Letters. The revelation offers new insight into the ability of microscopic, single-celled entities such as bacteria, amoebae, immune cells and sperm to find their way to their intended destinations.

Biological sensors, including the retina in our eyes, typically evolve to operate very nearly at the ultimate limits allowed by physics. The main things that prevent them from achieving absolute perfection are random fluctuations known as noise. Determining the amount of noise inherent to a cell's detection scheme lets biologists know how well a cell can respond to a signal. In the case of microscopic cells and creatures that follow chemical trails, organisms have two tracking methods at their disposal. For larger microorganisms like amoeba, the relative amount of a chemical on one side of the cell compared to the other side indicates which direction to travel in order to move to higher concentrations of desirable chemicals. Smaller cells, like those of the bacterium E. coli, instead monitor changes in the total chemical concentration, and they find their way by moving in the direction that increases the overall signal of chemicals they find appealing.

For the last thirty years, researchers have believed they had a good handle on the noise that chemical-sensing cells were faced with, but the new analysis shows that the noise may be low enough for some cells to do twice as well at following chemicals as long-standing estimates suggested. More research will be necessary in order to tell if cells are as sensitive to chemical signals as the recent study proposes. In any case, the work should help guide scientists who are developing synthetic sensors modeled on cells that follow chemical trails. Sima Setayeshgar of Indiana University offers an overview of chemical sensing in cells, and a look at old and new estimates of their sensitivity limits, in a Viewpoint article in the current issue of APS Physics (http://physics.aps.org).


'/>"/>

Contact: James Riordon
riordon@aps.org
301-209-3238
American Physical Society
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New insight into the mechanisms of voltage sensing and transduction in biological processes
2. Northwestern study looks at sensing, movement and behavior
3. Pervasive environmental sensing a possibility
4. Rice scientists make breakthrough in single-molecule sensing
5. Biosensing nanodevice to revolutionize health screenings
6. Too hot to handle! Scientists identify heat sensing regulator
7. UV-B light sensing mechanism discovered in plant roots
8. Common herbicides and fibrates block nutrient-sensing receptor found in gut and pancreas
9. Sensing disasters from space
10. Kent State receives $2.7 million NSF training grant for environmental aquatic resource sensing
11. Using remote sensing to track invasive trees
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/9/2016)... , June 9, 2016  Perkotek an innovation leader in attendance control systems ... seamlessly log work hours, for employers to make sure the right employees are actually ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160609/377486LOGO ... ... ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... LONDON , June 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Transport Management) von Nepal ... ,Angebot und Lieferung hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich ... weltweit führend in der Produktion und Implementierung ... an der Ausschreibung im Januar teilgenommen, aber ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2016 Perimeter Surveillance & Detection ... Physical Infrastructure, Support & Other Service  The ... offers comprehensive analysis of the global Border Security ... revenues of $17.98 billion in 2016. Now: ... leader in software and hardware technologies for advanced video ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... DIEGO , June 24, 2016 ... more sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors ... circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The new test has ... HRD-targeted therapeutics in multiple cancer types. ... targeting DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced ... this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics ... development and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class ... Epigenetic targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting ... significantly in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is pleased ... received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval of ... Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods perform ...
Breaking Biology Technology: