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:


(Date:4/19/2016)... The new GEZE SecuLogic access ... "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. It can ... door interface with integration authorization management system, and thus ... minimal dimensions of the access control and the optimum ... offer considerable freedom of design with regard to the ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... 2016 BioCatch ™, the ... announced the appointment of Eyal Goldwerger as ... Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at a time of ... deployment of its platform at several of the world,s ... discerns unique cognitive and physiological factors, is a winner ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a financial ... Bready , M.D., who returned to the company in ... leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, John Oliver ... Nurnberg and Vice President of Software and Informatics, ... Dr. Bready served as CEO of Nabsys from ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... ... unique bioresearch materials from laboratories across the globe, today announced the availability of ... the pace of research toward treatment and prevention measures for the Zika virus, ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... May 3, 2016  Dr. Thomas P. McHugh ... The Woodlands, Texas , now offers ... of treated fat cells in just 25-minutes, leaving a ... 90 percent of Americans report feeling bothered by excess ... reduction procedures are a growing industry. This innovative new ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... Q BioMed Inc. (QBIO), a ... Research Inc. will be attending the Association for Research ... May 1-5, 2016 in Seattle Washington ... vendors and research partners. The meeting provides organizations the ... collaborative opportunities for the MAN-01 program for treatment of ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... ... the pre-launch success of their revolutionary, veterinarian-designed product for indoor cats. The NoBowl ... and play with their food the way nature intended. NoBowls make cats happy ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: