A protein responsible for the assembly of cell cilia – the hair-like projections from cells – may cause polycystic kidney disease, the most common genetic cause of kidney failure, according to a new study at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.
The study, which will be published online this week and will appear in a future edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to directly test the role of cilia in polycystic kidney disease. Previous studies have hinted at a possible link, said Dr. Peter Igarashi, chief of nephrology at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study.
"For a long time, renal cilia have been thought to be unimportant organelles," said Igarashi. "This study and others before it have renewed the interest in what cilia are doing normally and also how abnormalities in cilia cause disease."
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Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.
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