Scientists Martijn van Raaij, Ine Segers-Nolten and Vinod Subramaniam of the University of Twente show these clear differences in their publication in Biophysical Journal of this week. Comparable fibrils could play a role in other neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer and Creutzfeld Jakob.
The actual cause of Parkinson’s disease is, almost two hundred years after the First publication of the Britisch doctor after whom the disease is named, still unknown. Apart from clinical research among patients, research on a cellular and molecular level is performed. It has already been established that clustering or misfolding of proteins in brain cells plays a crucial role.
Martijn van Raaij, who is a PhD-student within the Biophysical Engineering group of prof Vinod Subramaniam, has looked at this clustering process using an Atomic Force Microscope: a microscope that scans a surface with a tiny needle and is able to visualize individual protein fibrils.
The a-synuclein protein forms fibrils with typical lengths of micrometers. This process of forming of wires is important in the search for causes of Parkinson’s disease and other diseases. Van Raaij’s new results point in that direction as well: he shows morphological differences between fibrils of the proteins almost everyone has in his or her brain cells, and mutant proteins only very rarely shown in families suffering from a hereditary form of Parkinson. These differences in shape are, for example, seen in the diameters and the distance between the peaks the microscope ‘feels’ moving over the surface.
Wiebe van der Veen | alfa
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So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
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Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
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A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
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