HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Rice, Iowa state biologists search for 'half-fusion'

HOUSTON, May 16, 2005 Every living cell is surrounded by a membrane, a thin barrier that separates the genetic machinery of life from the non-living world outside. Though barriers, membranes are not impervious. Cells use a complex hierarchy of proteins that work in concert to allow cell membranes to fuse with other cells or with membrane-encased packages of proteins and other chemicals that the cell needs to take in or release.

Though well-studied, the molecular details of membrane fusion remain mysterious. In particular, scientists don't understand how holes form between two membranes, but a new study by biochemists at Rice University and Iowa State University offers intriguing new clues about the nature of this process. The study is published in this month's issue of Nature Structural and Molecular Biology.

"Membrane fusion is one of the most basic processes of life," said James McNew, assistant professor of biochemistry and cell biology at Rice University. "It begins at fertilization and occurs billions of times a second in our bodies, and if it ever stops, we die."

For example, inside the cells in our brains, spines and nerves, membranes are used to seal up and transport tiny packets of signaling chemicals from the center of the cell to the outer cell membrane. These packets, or vesicles, wait just inside the cell membrane for the appropriate signal, and once they receive it, they fuse with the membrane and eject their contents into the surrounding tissue, causing an immediate chain reaction that keeps our hearts beating and allows us to move our muscles. Membrane fusion is also used to initiate disease.

"Some invading organisms like enveloped viruses use the fusion process to infect the cell," McNew said.

To understand membrane fusion, it helps to envision the basic structure of membranes. Just five billionths of meter across, membranes are bilayers, meaning they contain two separate layers, or sheets of fatty
'"/>


16-May-2005


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. No evidence that widely prescribed statins protect against prostate cancer
2. U-M researchers find family of on switches that cause prostate cancer
3. Waters off Washington state only second place in world where glass sponge reefs found
4. 20 Kentucky firms share $1.9 million from state to match federal SBIR-STTR awards
5. Success rates for prostate cancer depend on experience of surgeon
6. Study identifies a common genetic risk factor for colorectal and prostate cancer
7. Rutgers, Penn researchers capture research dollars to improve prostate cancer diagnostic methods
8. Study identifies 5 genetic themes key to keeping stem cells in a primitive, flexible state
9. BRCA2 carriers at increased risk for deadly form of prostate cancer
10. Researchers track how spores break out of dormant state
11. No magic tomato? Study breaks link between lycopene and prostate cancer prevention

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Rice Iowa state biologists search for half fusion

(Date:7/25/2014)... MA A study published online in the ... a novel approach to preventing cervical cancer based on ... cancer after removal of a discrete population of cells ... a study that looked at squamocolumnar junction cells, or ... and have been implicated as the origins of cervical ...
(Date:7/25/2014)... has opened the way for the development of new lines ... annual barley production is second only to wheat with 7-8 ... most important diseases of barley. , Senior Research Scientist Dr ... growths on the cell walls of barley plants that block ... research, by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell ...
(Date:7/25/2014)... age girls reach puberty is influenced by ,imprinted genes,a subset ... the gene. This is the first evidence that imprinted ... details of this study were published today in the journal ... as menarche, is a marker for the timing of puberty ... menses varies between girls, is an inherited trait, and is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Clearing cells to prevent cervical cancer 2New hope for powdery mildew resistant barley 2Could age of first period influence development of diseases in older women? 2
(Date:7/24/2014)... July 24, 2014  Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. (OTCBB: ... field of regenerative medicine, announced today that it ... to investors on Tuesday, July 29, 2014, at ... will include an overview of Asterias, business strategy ... visit http://www.ustream.tv/channel/asterias-biotherapeutics at least 15 minutes ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... to materialise. Yet, scientists are making progress in ... One such approach relies on quantum dotsa kind ... electric field. A new study demonstrates that changing ... (TQDs) with electrical impulses can help better control ... be used as quantum information units, which would ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ... Instruments Market 2014-2018" report to their offering. ... is the study of the gene and its functions ... functions of proteomes or sets of proteins by using ... the mapping of genes and DNA sequencing to understand ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) July 24, 2014 ... Wednesday to be semi-finalists in Livestrong’s Big C Competition. ... Decisive Health are each headed to the semi-final round. ... in Livestrong’s exclusive three-month accelerator program, complete with mentoring ... country. , As part of the angelMD commitment ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Asterias Biotherapeutics Announces Live Investor Webcast 2Asterias Biotherapeutics Announces Live Investor Webcast 3Asterias Biotherapeutics Announces Live Investor Webcast 4Global Genomics and Proteomics Analytical Instruments Market 2014-2018: Key Vendors are Agilent, Bio-Rad , F. Hoffmann, La Roche, Illumina, PerkinElmer and Thermo Fisher Scientific 23 angelMD Startups Make Livestrong Big C Semi-finals 2
Cached News: