Related topics: cells · protein · molecules

Controlling insulin production with a smartwatch

Many modern fitness trackers and smartwatches feature integrated LEDs. The green light emitted, whether continuous or pulsed, penetrates the skin and can be used to measure the wearer's heart rate during physical activity ...

Imaging a molecular switch

Scanning probe microscopes like the scanning tunneling microscope and the atomic force microscope give researchers valuable information about individual molecules. One of the most interesting areas of research is molecular ...

Cracking the code of a shapeshifting protein

A shapeshifting immune system protein called XCL1 evolved from a single-shape ancestor hundreds of millions of years ago. Now, researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) discovered the molecular basis for how this ...

Surfaces help quantum switches

The quantum dynamics of hydrogen are central to many problems in nature, being strongly influenced by the environment in which a reaction takes place. In their contribution to PRL, members of the Lise Meitner Group at the ...

Researchers create a photographic film of a molecular switch

Molecular switches—they are the molecular counterparts of electrical switches and play an important role in many processes in nature. Such molecules can reversibly interconvert between two or more states and thereby control ...

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Molecular switch

A molecular switch is a molecule that can be reversibly shifted between two or more stable states. The molecules may be shifted between the states in response to changes in e.g. pH, light, temperature, an electrical current, microenvironment, or the presence of a ligand. In some cases, a combination of stimuli are utilized. The oldest forms of synthetic molecular switches are pH indicators, which display distinct colors as a function of pH. Currently synthetic molecular switches are of interest in the field of nanotechnology for application in molecular computers. Molecular switches are also important to in biology because many biological functions are based on it, for instance allosteric regulation and vision. They are also one of the simplest examples of molecular machines.

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