Related topics: brain · cells · nerve cells · cell membrane

Wood-based technology creates electricity from heat

A University of Maryland-led team of researchers has created a heat-to-electricity device that runs on ions and which could someday harness the body's heat to provide energy.

Sleep and aging: Two sides of one coin?

Oxford University researchers have discovered a brain process common to sleep and ageing in research that could pave the way for new treatments for insomnia.

Laboratory's nanopore research hits a nerve

Since the discovery of biological ion channels and their role in physiology, scientists have attempted to create man-made structures that mimic their biological counterparts.

The algae's third eye

Scientists at the Universities of Würzburg and Bielefeld in Germany have discovered an unusual new light sensor in green algae. The sensor triggers a reaction that is similar to one in the human eye.

Atomic-scale capillaries block smallest ions, thanks to graphene

Researchers at The University of Manchester's National Graphene Institute in the UK have succeeded in making artificial channels just one atom in size for the first time. The new capillaries, which are very much like natural ...

Using water molecules to unlock neurons' secrets

Neurons are brain cells that communicate with each other by sending electrochemical signals along axons. When a neuron is about to release a signal in the form of an electric charge, it allows ions to pass through its membrane ...

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Ion channel

Ion channels are pore-forming proteins that help establish and control the small voltage gradient across the plasma membrane of all living cells (see cell potential) by allowing the flow of ions down their electrochemical gradient. They are present in the membranes that surround all biological cells. The study of ion channels is known as channelomics and involves many scientific techniques such as voltage clamp electrophysiology (in particular patch clamp), immunohistochemistry, and RT-PCR.

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