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How the insulin receptor works

 

As we are approaching the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin, a wide array of its signaling pathways has been defined. However, the initial step in insulin action, i.e. the engagement with its cell-surface receptor and the resulting conformational change, which propagates across the plasma membrane to the intracellular module, remains poorly understood.

 

A Matter of Dynamics

 

Most ion channels are very selective about the ions, which may or may not pass through them. They may be conductive for potassium ions and non-conductive for sodium ions or vice versa. However, a number of ion channels allows for the efficient passage of both kinds of ions. How do these channel proteins accomplish this?

 

Some viruses produce insulin-like hormones that can stimulate human cells -- and have potential to cause disease

 

Scientists have identified four viruses that can produce insulin-like hormones that are active on human cells. The discovery brings new possibilities for revealing biological mechanisms that may cause diabetes or cancer.

 

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

 

The scientists identified which mechanisms destroy the quantum properties of individual insulator. Using a Scanning Tunneling Microscope, which utilizes an atomically sharp metal tip, they were able to precisely image individual iron atoms and measure and control the time that the iron atom can maintain its quantum behavior.

 

Biodiversity loss raises risk of 'extinction cascades'

 

New research shows that the loss of biodiversity can increase the risk of 'extinction cascades', where an initial species loss leads to a domino effect of further extinctions.

 

Newborn babies who suffered stroke regain language function in opposite side of brain

 

A stroke in a baby -- even a big one -- does not have the same lasting impact as a stroke in an adult. A study found that a decade or two after a 'perinatal' stroke damaged the left 'language' side of the brain, affected teenagers and young adults used the right sides of their brain for language.

 

Blood and urine tests developed to indicate autism in children

 

New blood and urine tests which search for damage to proteins could lead to earlier detection of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and consequently children with autism could be given appropriate treatment much earlier in their lives. ASDs are defined as developmental disorders mainly affecting social interaction and they can include a wide spectrum of behavioral problems. These include speech disturbances, repetitive and/or compulsive behavior, hyperactivity, anxiety, and difficulty to adapt to new environments, some with or without cognitive impairment.

 

Mouse model of intellectual disability isolates learning gene

 

Adult male mice lacking a gene linked to intellectual disability have trouble completing and remembering mazes, with no changes in social or repetitive behavior, according to new research. This animal model provides a new way to study the role of this gene in learning and memory and provides a rodent model of pure intellectual disability.

 

Asteroid 'time capsules' may help explain how life started on Earth

 

In popular culture, asteroids play the role of apocalyptic threat, get blamed for wiping out the dinosaurs -- and offer an extraterrestrial source for mineral mining. But for one researcher, asteroids play an entirely different role: that of time capsules showing what molecules originally existed in our solar system. Having that information gives scientists the starting point they need to reconstruct the complex pathway that got life started on Earth.

 

First video of 'Dumbo' octopod hatchling shows that they look like mini-adults

 

Researchers who've gotten the first look at a deep-sea 'dumbo' octopod hatchling report that the young octopods look and act much like adults from the moment they emerge from an egg capsule. Dumbo octopods are so named because their fins resemble Dumbo the elephant's ears.

 

 


 

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