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

How plants sense touch, gravity and other physical forces

(PhysOrg.com) -- At the bottom of plants' ability to sense touch, gravity or a nearby trellis are mechanosensitive channels, pores through the cells' plasma membrane that are opened and closed by the deformation of the membrane. ...

New way to bump off ticks: Dry up their saliva

Saliva from a tick's bite can transmit pathogens that cause serious illnesses, such as Lyme disease, and significant agricultural losses. Current insecticides have drawbacks, so scientists have been seeking new ways to prevent ...

Researchers uncover pain-relief secrets in hot chili peppers

Anyone who has ever bitten unknowingly into a red hot chili pepper remembers the unhappy result – burning, painful sensations that make one's mouth feel as though it has caught on fire. Yet the very chemical that causes ...

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, ...

DNA devices perform bio-analytical chemistry inside live cells

Some biochemistry laboratories fashion proteins into complex shapes, constructing the DNA nanotechnological equivalent of Baroque or Rococo architecture. Yamuna Krishnan, however, prefers structurally minimalist devices.

Seeing without eyes: Hydra stinging cells respond to light

In the absence of eyes, the fresh water polyp, Hydra magnipapillata, nevertheless reacts to light. They are diurnal, hunting during the day, and are known to move, looping end over end, or contract, in response to light. ...

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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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