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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The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
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