Navigation Links
U of Minnesota researcher discovers how electricity moves through cells
Date:3/11/2010

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have created a molecular image of a system that moves electrons between proteins in cells. The achievement is a breakthrough for biology and could provide insights to minimize energy loss in other systems, from nanoscale devices to moving electricity around the country.

The research, led by Carrie Wilmot, an associate professor in the College of Biological Sciences, is published in the March 12 issue of Science.

"Evolution has been fine-tuning electricity in organisms for a lot longer than humans have been using it," Wilmot says. "We can learn a lot from nature about how to use it more efficiently. This new glimpse at how the body uses electricity could lead to nanotechnology to shrink electronic circuitry even further or a more efficient grid to provide power to homes and businesses."

Energy generated by intracellular movement of electrons is the fundamental power source that enables humans to exist. As electrons move within cells, energy is channeled to create complex molecules, such as protein and DNA. These are the building materials that enable organisms to grow, maintain themselves, and store energy. Wilmot's images, obtained using x-ray crystallography, will advance the effort to understand this process better.

"Obtaining a crystal structure of a complex cellular electron transfer system is like being behind stage at a magic show," says Vernon Anderson, who oversees biochemistry grants at the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of General Medical Sciences. "We have always known there was a trick, but now the Wilmot group has provided a unique view of how this extraordinary chemical feat is accomplished."

Wilmot, an associate professor in the College of Biological Sciences, is known in the scientific community for pioneering a technique to freeze biological catalysts (enzymes) as they accelerate and orchestrate chemical reactions. This produces snapshots at different points during the reaction that can be viewed as frames in a movie that defines the molecular and structural changes that occur as the chemistry unfolds.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jeff Falk
jfalk@umn.edu
612-626-1720
University of Minnesota
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. U of Minnesota researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
2. University of Minnesota study refutes belief that black men have more aggressive prostate cancer
3. University of Minnesota releases first ever comprehensive report of the health of college students
4. U of Minnesota researchers discover key for converting waste to electricity
5. University of Minnesota to host worlds largest conference on evolution
6. New family of gecko discovered by researchers from the U of Minnesota and Villanova University
7. Action needed now for Minnesota to reach goals in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2015
8. Minnesota ecology professor wins international award for biodiversity and biofuels research
9. U of Minnesota researcher finds link between aggression, status and sex
10. Hobbit fossils represent a new species, concludes University of Minnesota anthropologist
11. Small male chimps use politics, rather than aggression, to lead the pack, U of Minnesota study says
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/24/2016)... Cercacor today introduced Ember TM Sport ... non-invasively measure hemoglobin, Oxygen Content, Oxygen Saturation, Perfusion ... in approximately 30 seconds. Smaller than a smartphone, using ... to key data about their bodies to help monitor ... Hemoglobin carries oxygen to muscles. When hemoglobin ...
(Date:11/19/2016)... 18, 2016 Securus Technologies, a leading provider ... safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring, announced today that it ... to have an independent technology judge determine who has ... high tech/sophisticated telephone calling platform, and the best customer ... do most of what we do – which clearly ...
(Date:11/15/2016)...  Synthetic Biologics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: SYN), a ... gut microbiome, today announced the pricing of an ... common stock and warrants to purchase 50,000,000 shares ... the public of $1.00 per share and accompanying ... offering, excluding the proceeds, if any from the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/5/2016)... -- According to the new market ... Instruments, Automated Cell Expansion System), Cells Types (Human, ... Cancer, and Cell-Based Research), End-users (Biopharmaceutical and Biotechnology ... Trends, Growth, Share, Size and Forecast to 2022", ... expansion market is expected to reach USD 18.74 ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... Mich. , Dec. 5, 2016 NxGen MDx announced today ... bringing the test in house, we,ve been able to improve customer service ... for patients," says Alan Mack , CEO of NxGen MDx. ... , , ... test volume has led to more job opportunities at the Grand Rapid ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... -- The U.S. Biotechnology industry is the ... revenue and some $890 billion of total market value. In ... and this figure is expected to exceed $220 billion ... four equities for assessment: Northwest Biotherapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... ACAD ), Acorda Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ACOR ...
(Date:12/4/2016)...  In five studies being presented today during the ... Exposition in San Diego , researchers ... delivery of life-saving treatments to patients with a variety ... carry therapies directly to the sites in the body ... substantial advantage over traditional, systemic methods. The studies highlight ...
Breaking Biology Technology: