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

Scientists pioneer new method of measuring electricity in cells

Electricity is a key ingredient in living bodies. We know that voltage differences are important in biological systems; they drive the beating of the heart and allow neurons to communicate with one another. But for decades, ...

The pressure sensor of the Venus flytrap

All plant cells can be made to react by touch or injury. The carnivorous Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) has highly sensitive organs for this purpose: sensory hairs that register even the weakest mechanical stimuli, amplify ...

Nanomaterial acts as a molecular thermometer

A layered material developed by KAUST researchers can act as a precise temperature sensor by exploiting the same principle used in biological ion channels.

80-year-old antibiotic redesigned for new medical uses

Physicians and scientists have long searched the natural world for chemicals that can improve human health. However, evolutionary selection optimized natural chemicals to benefit their host, not for safety or efficacy in ...

How plants shut the door on infection

Plants have a unique ability to safeguard themselves against pathogens by closing their pores—but until now, no one knew quite how they did it. Scientists have known that a flood of calcium into the cells surrounding the ...

How Venus flytraps snap

Venus flytraps catch spiders and insects by snapping their trap leaves. This mechanism is activated when unsuspecting prey touch highly sensitive trigger hairs twice within 30 seconds. A study led by researchers at the University ...

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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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