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

The pH of calcium ions controls ion channel opening

Ion channels are pores in the membrane of cells or cell organelles. They allow positively or negatively charged particles, so-called ions, to be transported across the membrane. Biochemists at Johannes Gutenberg University ...

Mole rats are pain-free, thanks to evolution

African mole rats are insensitive to many kinds of pain. As an international research team led by the MDC's Gary Lewin reports in Science, this characteristic has allowed mole rats to populate new habitats. Thanks to a genetic ...

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.

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.

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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