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

Plant cellulose prevents short circuits in batteries

(Phys.org)—In order to prevent short circuits in batteries, porous separator membranes are often placed between a battery's electrodes. There is typically a tradeoff involved, since these separators must simultaneously ...

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 ...

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 ...

Even a shark's electrical 'sixth sense' may be tuned to attack

Imagine having superhuman hearing. You're at a noisy, cocktail party and yet your ears can detect normally inaudible sounds made by your friends' muscles as they lean in to dish the latest gossip. But, unlike normal hearing, ...

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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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