Related topics: cells · immune response · cancer cells · protein

Image: Tiny crystal of power as basis for solar cell

This crystal of iron pyrite, just four hundredths of a millimeter in size, could function as the light absorbing layer of a tiny solar cell—potentially a promising future source of power on the moon.

Receptor (biochemistry)

In biochemistry, a receptor is a protein molecule, embedded in either the plasma membrane or cytoplasm of a cell, to which a mobile signaling (or "signal") molecule may attach. A molecule which binds to a receptor is called a "ligand," and may be a peptide (such as a neurotransmitter), a hormone, a pharmaceutical drug, or a toxin, and when such binding occurs, the receptor undergoes a conformational change which ordinarily initiates a cellular response. However, some ligands merely block receptors without inducing any response (e.g. antagonists). Ligand-induced changes in receptors result in physiological changes which constitute the biological activity of the ligands.

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