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Center for Physiology and Biophysics: News of the Day
  1. Exciting plant vacuoles
    Researchers have filled two knowledge gaps: The vacuoles of plant cells can be excited and the TPC1 ion channel is involved in this process. The function of this channel, which is also found in humans, has been a mystery so far.

  2. It's not easy being green
    Despite how essential plants are for life on Earth, little is known about how parts of plant cells orchestrate growth and greening. By creating mutant plants, researchers have uncovered a cellular communication pathway sought by scientists for decades.

  3. Gut microbes eat our medication
    Researchers have discovered one of the first concrete examples of how the microbiome can interfere with a drug's intended path through the body. Focusing on levodopa (L-dopa), the primary treatment for Parkinson's disease, they identified which bacteria out of the trillions of species is responsible for degrading the drug and how to stop this microbial interference.

  4. Environmental oxygen triggers loss of webbed digits
    Free fingers have many obvious advantages on land, such as in locomotion and grasping, while webbed fingers are typical of aquatic or gliding animals. But both amphibians and amniotes -- which include mammals, reptiles, and birds -- can have webbed digits. Scientists now show that during embryo development, some animal species detect the presence of atmospheric oxygen, which triggers removal of interdigital webbing.
    Viruses found to use intricate 'treadmill' to move cargo across bacterial cells
    Using advanced technologies to explore the inner workings of bacteria, biologists have provided the first example of cargo within bacteriophage cells transiting along treadmill-like structures. The discovery demonstrates that bacteria have more in common with sophisticated human cells than previously believed.

  5. 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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