Related topics: cells · protein · brain · molecules · nerve cells

Blazes of light reveal how plants signal danger long distances

In one video, you can see a hungry caterpillar, first working around a leaf's edges, approaching the base of the leaf and, with one last bite, severing it from the rest of the plant. Within seconds, a blaze of fluorescent ...

This is LSD attached to a brain cell serotonin receptor (Update)

A tiny tab of acid on the tongue. A daylong trip through hallucinations and assorted other psychedelic experiences For the first time, researchers at the UNC School of Medicine have discovered precisely what the drug lysergic ...

Researchers uncover secrets of 'miracle fruit'

(PhysOrg.com) -- Though not very well known in the United States, at least until the past few years, the miracle fruit is a cranberry like fruit that has the unique property of being able to make acidic or bitter foods taste ...

Breakthrough study shows how plants sense the world

Plants lack eyes and ears, but they can still see, hear, smell and respond to environmental cues and dangers—especially to virulent pathogens. They do this with the aid of hundreds of membrane proteins that can sense microbes ...

Coral snake venom reveals a unique route to lethality

For more than a decade, a vial of rare snake venom refused to give up its secret formula for lethality; its toxins had no effect on the proteins that most venoms target. Finally, an international team of researchers figured ...

Scientists reveal how snakes 'see' at night

Scientists revealed Sunday for the first time how some snakes can detect the faint body heat exuded by a mouse a metre (three feet) away with enough precision and speed to hunt in the dark.

Researchers hope a 'robo-nose' could give K-9 officers a break

Every day, thousands of trained K9 dogs sniff out narcotics, explosives and missing people across the United States. These dogs are invaluable for security, but they're also very expensive and they can get tired.

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Receptor (biochemistry)

In biochemistry, a receptor is a protein molecule, embedded in either the plasma membrane or cytoplasm of a cell, to which a mobile signaling (or "signal") molecule may attach. A molecule which binds to a receptor is called a "ligand," and may be a peptide (such as a neurotransmitter), a hormone, a pharmaceutical drug, or a toxin, and when such binding occurs, the receptor undergoes a conformational change which ordinarily initiates a cellular response. However, some ligands merely block receptors without inducing any response (e.g. antagonists). Ligand-induced changes in receptors result in physiological changes which constitute the biological activity of the ligands.

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