These results were reported July 22 in the online edition of the journal Nature Cell Biology by Cornell researchers Liang-Wei Gong and Manfred Lindau, applied and engineering physics, as well as their colleague Guillermo Alvarez de Toledo at the University of Seville, Spain.
Lindau explained that neurotransmitters and hormones are stored in neurons (nerve cells) in small packets, membrane-bound vesicles, typically 30 to 300 nanometers in diameter (a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter). When a cell is stimulated by electrical activity, calcium ions enter the cell and the vesicles release their contents by fusion with the plasma membrane surrounding the cell.
Prior experiments had suggested that the vesicles contain ion channels that carry charged neurotransmitters from the cell vesicle out of the cell, generating an electrical current flowing out of the cell.
Lindau and colleagues report in their paper that there is no such current present. Their experiments further showed that, instead, the charge compensation is generated by the influx of positive sodium ions from the outside into the vesicles, a process known as electrodiffusion.
"Therefore, the ion channels in these vesicles must play a different role that is yet to be discovered," Lindau explained.
Press Relations Office | EurekAlert!
Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
19.07.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY
NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences