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Center for Physiology and Biophysics: News of the Day
  1. Blocking the iron transport could stop tuberculosis
    The bacteria that cause tuberculosis need iron to survive. Researchers have now solved the first detailed structure of the transport protein responsible for the iron supply. When the iron transport into the bacteria is inhibited, the pathogen can no longer grow. This opens novel ways to develop targeted tuberculosis drugs.

  2. A new mechanism triggering cell death and inflammation: A left turn that kills
    Researchers describe their discovery of a new mechanism that could contribute to the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases. The scientists found that ZBP1, a protein best known for defending against incoming viruses, is activated by sensing an unusual form of cellular genetic material (Z-nucleic acids), leading to cell death and inflammation.

  3. Biophysics: Lifting the lid on beta-barrels
    The interaction between biotin and streptavidin is a well-established experimental tool in bionanotechnology. Physicists have now shown that the mechanical stability of the complex is dependent on the precise geometry of the interface.

  4. Scientists create model to measure how cells sense their surroundings
    Our body's ability to detect disease, foreign material, and the location of food sources and toxins is all determined by a cocktail of chemicals that surround our cells, as well as our cells' ability to 'read' these chemicals. Cells are highly sensitive. In fact, our immune system can be triggered by the presence of just one foreign molecule or ion. Yet researchers don't know how cells achieve this level of sensitivity.
    Missing link in coronavirus jump from bats to humans could be pangolins, not snakes
    As scientists scramble to learn more about the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, two recent studies of the virus' genome reached controversial conclusions: namely, that snakes are intermediate hosts of the new virus, and that a key coronavirus protein shares 'uncanny similarities' with an HIV-1 protein. Now, a study refutes both ideas and suggests that scaly, anteater-like animals called pangolins are the missing link for SARS-CoV-2 transmission between bats and humans.
    Of quirky channels and a fond farewell

    This final installment of Generally Physiological concerns F-selective channels, a surprising role for a tryptophan in determining channel identity, and a farewell note from the Executive Editor of The Journal of General Physiology.

(a) Bordetella pertussis...



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