HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Link to our ancient past is confirmed in potassium channel research

Research on components of the brain's electrical signaling system has answered a basic question about our human evolution, confirming scientific belief that we two-legged, computer-using creatures are descended from prokaryotes -- cellular organisms so primitive and simple that they exist without nuclei or cell walls.

The study, led by Zhe Lu, MD, PhD, an Associate Professor in the Department of Physiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have been recently published in the journal Nature.

The research by Lu and his colleagues focused on the structure and function of molecules called potassium channels, which are essential to how the brain works. When potassium channels open and close, they control the flow of potassium ions across cell membranes. The current contributes to the electrical signals in nerve, muscle and endocrine cells.

Scientists who study the brain's electrical signals have relied on a blue-print developed from functional studies of eukaryotic (neuronal) potassium channels and structural studies of prokaryotic (bacterial) potassium channels, based on the assumption that the two channels are essentially the same. However this assumption has recently been challenged.

Lu and his collaborators devised a project in which the pore of a prokaryote's potassium channel (the interior core of the channel) was substituted for the pore of a potassium channel in a euokaryote. The scientists found that the eukarotic channel continued to function essentially as it had previous to the substitution.

"This has very profound implications for evolution," Lu said. "It appears the potassium channels in advanced brains and hearts of mammals have evolved from something like this bacterial channel. So what we learn from the more easily studied bacterial channels can be directly applied to our understanding of potassium channels such as those in our brains."


'"/>

Contact: Ellen O'Brien
ellen.obrien@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5659
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
7-Nov-2001


Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Discovery of tiny microbes in ancient Greenland glacier may define limits for life on Earth
2. Archaeologists announce discoveries at the ancient Maya site of Waka in northern Guatemala
3. A picture is worth a thousand miles not traveled to measure the fossil of an ancient sea creature
4. University of Colorado archaeologist, colleagues hot on the trail of ancient Persian warships
5. New evidence says Earths greatest extinction caused by ancient meteorite
6. Scientists believe ancient arachnids may have spun silk like modern spiders
7. Specialized brain helped ancient reptiles fly and hunt
8. Exploring oil rigs and an ancient shoreline in the Gulf Of Mexico for new disease cures
9. Discoveries made about cellular reaction processes from ancient life
10. Leaf fall in ancient polar forests still a mystery
11. War on germs gets cutting-edge weapon from ancient world technique

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:1/29/2020)... ... January 29, 2020 , ... Jason ... and Data Sciences practice, providing consulting services for strategy, research and development and ... Mike Townley, co-founder and Managing Partner of CREO, an innovative management consulting and ...
(Date:1/28/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... January 28, 2020 , ... ... life sciences companies and government agencies, announced that the firm has established a ... country. Tunnell’s Cambridge office will be in the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC), at ...
(Date:1/27/2020)... ... January 27, 2020 , ... Cytonus Therapeutics Inc. today ... tech entrepreneur, and former senior management consultant at McKinsey & Company who holds ... alternative investment firm. , “Chris Thorne has exceptional business acumen with a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/3/2020)... ... February 03, 2020 , ... ... MA, announce that OmniType, the 11-locus, single tube multiplex successor to Holotype HLA ... best-in-class product featuring locus-multiplexing and short library preparation, for HLA genotyping from sample ...
(Date:1/28/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... January 28, ... ... of enterprise software solutions for biopharmaceutical R&D, today announced the release of ... reinforces Genedata’s focus on supporting the implementation of Multi-Attribute Methods (MAM) for ...
(Date:1/27/2020)... ... January 27, 2020 , ... Cerebyte, the leader in “instant ... today announced the availability of neuroscience of transformational leadership workshops. These highly interactive, ... of leadership and change research to become great transformational leaders. The workshops ...
(Date:1/24/2020)... ... January 24, 2020 , ... The plastic and reconstructive surgeons at ... New Jersey epitomize the notion that plastic surgery is much more than just cosmetic ... media. , Over the last 20 years NJ Top Docs, Dr. Andrew Elkwood, Dr. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: