Scientists uncover early warning system for copper toxicity

to another. Reactive metals such as copper have the potential to catalyze runaway reactions that could harm the cell, much as a series of explosions could damage critical systems in a city. Understanding how a cell properly deals with copper and other potentially toxic metals will aid biomedical researchers in understanding what happens when things go awry in cancer and neurodegenerative disorders, such as Wilson's, Menkes and Lou Gehrig's diseases and possibly Alzheimer's disease.

"Metals are at the center of many emerging problems in health, medicine and the environment," said O'Halloran.


Contact: Megan Fellman
Northwestern University

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