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Membrane in Biological News

Improved technique determines structure in membrane proteins

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Understanding the form and function of certain proteins in the human body is becoming faster and easier, thanks to the work of researchers at the University of Illinois. By combining custom-built spectrometers, novel probe designs and faster pulse sequences, a team led by Illinoi...

New chlorine-tolerant, desalination membrane hopes to boost access to clean water

AUSTIN, TexasA chemical engineering professor at The University of Texas at Austin is part of a team that has developed a chlorine-tolerant membrane that should simplify the water desalination process, increasing access to fresh water and possibly reducing greenhouse gases. "If we make the desa...

Carnegie Mellon develops computer model to study cell membrane dynamics

NEW ORLEANSA cell constantly remodels its fluid membranes to carry out critical tasks, such as recognizing other cells, getting nutrients or sorting proteins. Because membranes are fluid and intrinsically disordered, investigating these and other life-sustaining processes in detail has always...

European membrane expertise to focus on new treatments for human diseases

A new 15 million Euro project led by the University of Leeds aims to find novel treatments for many human diseases by bringing together the leading European experts in membrane proteins. The project the European Drug Initiative for Channels and Transporters (EDICT) will target about 80 protei...

New membrane strips carbon dioxide from natural gas faster and better

A modified plastic material greatly improves the ability to separate global warming-linked carbon dioxide from natural gas as the gas is prepared for use, according to engineers at The University of Texas at Austin who have analyzed the new plastics performance. Like a sponge that only soaks up...

New partnership offers outsourced R&D in membrane biology

One of the UK's most successful academic entrepreneurs has teamed up with the University of Leeds to offer outsourced research and development in membrane biology to pharmaceutical, biotech and agrochemical companies. Dr Tony Marchington, who turned his spin-out company Oxford Molecular into a ...

Simulations unravel outer membrane transport mechanism

Biochemistry professor Emad Tajkhorshid and graduate student James Gumbart used two software programs developed in the U. of I.'s National Institutes of Health Resource for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics to painstakingly model a critical part of a mechanism by which bacteria take up ...

Biologists prove critical step in membrane fusion

Cells constantly swap cargo bound in vesicles, miniscule membrane-enclosed packages of proteins and other chemicals. Before the swap can take place, the vesicle membrane must fuse with another membrane, creating channels packages can pass through. This process, known as membrane fusion, is fundam...

Cells direct membrane traffic by channel width

For a glycerol molecule, a measly angstrom's difference in diameter is a road-closed sign: You can't squeeze through unless you are a sleek, water-molecule-sized sports car, say scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The roadway is in aquaporins, a class of proteins that fo...

Global analysis of membrane proteins

All cells are encased within a protective lipid membrane. The membrane is studded with many hundreds of different proteins that transport nutrients, ions, and water into and out of the cell. Such membrane proteins also help cells recognize each other in the body, and make the nervous system work. S...

Carnegie donates landmark clones to biology

...t proteins have with each other and the protective membrane that surrounds a cell. These interactive, so-called membrane proteins regulate nutrients and water fluxes, sens...ment of Plant Biology have cloned genes to produce membrane proteins that may initiate the instructions for ge...

'Green' energy from algae

...for energy production", says Mller. "The plant cells are exposed to a high electric field for a very short term. This causes a perforation of the cell membrane and the constituents are released." Cooperation of both working groups now aims at bundling the existing know-how, with starting funds being provid...

Little-known protein found to be key player

... studying SNARE proteins, a specialized family of proteins that carries out membrane fusion. It's a vital process that happens thousands of times a second in ev...had an overdeveloped endoplasmic reticulum (ER), a system of interconnected membrane tubes and chambers that's critical for normal cell function. The tests also...

New computer simulation helps explain folding in important cellular protein

...rp.) GpA is a 131-amino acid protein that spans the human red-blood cell membrane and is crucial in cell procedures. Because it has been studied in depth for... the current study, the team discovered something generally important about membrane proteins in general, too. They found that unlike some proteins for which fo...

Jet-propelled imaging for an ultrafast light source

...pting to grow larger crystals. These are the smallest protein nanocrystals from which diffraction patterns have ever been obtained, and the first from membrane protein nanocrystals among the most resistant to crystallization. Although the microcrystals weren't individual protein specimens, and while the ...

Placenta-derived stem cells may help sufferers of lung diseases

... supported in previous studies," says Dr. Ornella Parolini, the study's lead author. "In line with the hypothesis that cells derived from the amniotic membrane have immunomodulatory properties and have been used as an anti-inflammatory agent, we set out to evaluate the effects of fetal membrane-derived cell t...

Sticky protein helps reinforce fragile muscle membranes

...stroglycan "glue" affixing the basal lamina to the membrane is working. "This study helps us understand how membrane structure is designed to protect cells, which is a...na. Detachment of the basal lamina from the muscle membrane appears to be a common feature of these conditions...

New windows opened on cell-to-cell interactions

...leagues suggest that putting lipids and other cell membrane components on manufactured surfaces could lead to ...thy applied biological material -- a thin layer of membrane lipids -- onto to tiny glass spheres about one-mil...vely charged spheres repelled each other. With the membrane attached, conditions changed dramatically. Suddenl...

Chasing tiny vehicles

...he research team could even define separate phases: how the particles reached the cell membrane, came to rest there and then ultimately enclosed in a membrane vesicle invaded the cells. The vesicles move randomly, often downright erratically inside the cell, until a so-called motor protein binds them and qu...

UK bioscience sparkles with new Diamond fellowship

..., becomes the first ever Diamond Fellow. He will use the high quality x-rays produced by the Diamond Light Source to study the structure of human cell membrane transporters to provide a basic understanding of life at the molecular level and help advances in medicine and pharmacology. Up to 1.7 Million has ...

Flexible neck in cell-receptor DC-SIGN targets more pathogens

...tween two surfaces as they are first brought together and then pulled apart. In the current work, the surfaces were cell receptor DC-SIGN and a target membrane decorated with carbohydrates to mimic a pathogen surface. The forces were measured as a function of the distance between the two surfaces, which was...

Researchers achieve major breakthrough with water desalination system

...te for Sustainability and Innovation at Victoria University, "the M3 system is a very significant improvement in desalination operations, allowing the membrane systems to effectively and quickly adapt to changes in water quality and to achieve high water recoveries. Such advances are of great importance to Au...

Spontaneous assembly

...chnology, but nature has been producing such systems for millions of years. A team of scientists has taken a unique look at how thousands of bacterial membrane proteins are able to assemble into clusters that direct cell movement to select chemicals in their environment. Their results provide valuable insight...

Plant protein 'doorkeepers' block invading microbes, study finds

..., known as RIN4, which is able to regulate these two branches of the plant immune system in Arabidopsis. The protein is found in the permeable plasma membrane that encases the cell on the inside of the cell wall. It has been unclear exactly how the protein and the two branches of the immune system interact t...

Robo-bats with metal muscles may be next generation of remote control flyers

...s than 6 grams, feels as light as a feather. The researchers are currently completing fabrication and assembly of the joints, muscular system and wing membrane for the robo-bat, which should allow it to fly with the same efficient flapping motion used by real bats. "The key concept here is the use of smart...

Biological warfare in bacteria offers hope for new antibiotics

...ciences. The five year programme of research aims to discover how colicins specifically penetrate Gram-negative bacteria which are protected by two membrane barriers. It will involve collaboration between six groups of scientists from the Departments of Biology and Chemistry at the University of York an...

Plant protein 'doorkeepers' block invading microbes, study finds

..., known as RIN4, which is able to regulate these two branches of the plant immune system in Arabidopsis. The protein is found in the permeable plasma membrane that encases the cell on the inside of the cell wall. It has been unclear exactly how the protein and the two branches of the immune system interact t...

Complications early in pregnancy or in previous pregnancies adversely affect existing or subsequent pregnancies

... The researchers found that a history of one or more miscarriages nearly doubled the risk in an ongoing pregnancy of preterm premature rupture of the membrane that surrounds the baby in the womb, and increased the risk of premature or very premature delivery (earlier than 37 or 34 weeks respectively). Recurr...

Singapore nanotechnology combats fatal brain infections

...f IBN's peptide nanoparticles to traverse the blood brain barrier offers a superior alternative to existing treatments for brain infections. The brain membrane is impenetrable to most conventional antibiotics because the molecular structure of most drugs is too big to enter the membrane. "Our treatment da...

Structural biology scores with protein snapshot

...and particularly those that reside within the cell membrane have been reluctant to smile for the camera. In...), a complex of three subunits that each cross the membrane three times (for a total of nine membrane spans). The group's ability to determine the NMR...

Cells use import machinery to export their goods as well

... to end with the vesicles fusing completely to the membrane and delivering their whole load of proteins and li...olely on the narrow plane in which the vesicle and membrane merge. "It's a little like the guy looking under t...iver cargo in their lumen and cargo carried in the membrane shell that surrounds the vesicle. This ability r...

New nanoparticles could revolutionize therapeutic drug discovery

...irmingham and Warwick have found a way to preserve membrane proteins intact, enabling detailed analysis of the...e shown how a polymer can wrap around and preserve membrane proteins intact in stable nanoparticles. membrane proteins are the most valuable but technically cha...

How mitochondria get their membranes bent

...f how the pore diameter and the shape of the inner membrane are regulated on a molecular basis is of great rel...istic manner that are relevant for governing inner membrane structure. In the current issue of the the Jo...nction protein 1"), which is embedded in the inner membrane and accumulates at crista junctions. Upon increase...

Fate in fly sensory organ precursor cells could explain human immune disorder

...the Notch activating protein Delta travel to the top of the daughter cell to a structure rich in actin. This specialized actin structure contains many membrane protrusions that increase the surface area of cells called microvilli. Under normal circumstances Delta containing vesicles traffic to the microvilli....

Discovery of the cell's water gate may lead to new cancer drugs

...st resolution The structure has been determined using X-ray crystallography and is the highest resolution structure that has been determined for a membrane protein. The unique high resolution has enabled the scientists to answer one of the unsolved mysteries of biology. The aquaporins in yeast have long "...

Work of Field Museum scientist addresses question of chance in evolution

...e. The next step in diversification was calcified spines around the membrane, then fusion of the spines, then reduction of the fused spinal shield and membrane and invention of a water sac inside the box to provide enough volume to squeeze out the feeding organ. Lineages showing each of these stages are alive...

Capturing the birth of a synapse

...ifornia, Davis, scientists found one of many finger-like filopodia, or spines, that reach out from one neuron is nabbed by neuroligin molecules on the membrane of another neuron. In turn, neuroligins recruit at least two other key proteins (PSD-95 and NMDA receptors) to begin building a scaffold to hold the s...

Healing wounds with lasers, vehicles that drive themselves, other cutting-edge optics

...bundant protein called actin. The actin rods are constantly growing and shrinking inside of cells. The direction in which they grow changes the cell's membrane shape and dictates where the cell moves. Dogariu and colleagues use the polarization of optical waves to create a field around the cells in which t...

'Disordered' amino acids may really be there to provide wiggle room for signaling protein

...ished the first comprehensive structural study of the protein NHERF1, which serves as a means of bringing together molecular signals between the outer membrane of a cell and the proteins found in the structures that form the cell's cytoskeleton. NHERF1 is representative of a large class of proteins with an ar...

Why the thumb of the right hand is on the left hand side

...Hedgehog signaling pathway was disrupted. The fish showed a genetic alteration at the so-called Smoothened (Smo) protein, which is located at the cell membrane and transfers the Hedgehog signal into the cell. In 2005, Aanstad and her colleagues published a paper in the renowned journal Nature, in which they s...
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