Our cells have a clever way of getting essentials like nutrients to the cell, but researchers didn’t yet know exactly how this transportation happened. Now they know a little more.
Cells have a membrane, an outer layer through which nothing can pass. When nutrients have to enter the cell from the outside, something very practical happens: special proteins accumulate inside the membrane, they deform it so that a kind of funnel is created inside. the interior, where the substances are charged, then the funnel a vehicle that moves the charge inside the cell.
In the lab cells, they saw this happen hundreds of times a minute. But opinions were divided on exactly how these vehicles were formed. So these carrier proteins got a color – I claim it’s simple, but it required very high-tech equipment – and so they saw that there were several ways to form the funnel.
Indeed, the deformation of the membrane can be triggered: before the arrival of the proteins, shortly after or only after 4 seconds. They believe that, among other things, the type of cargo plays a role in choosing between these processes, but they need to investigate this further.
In any case, this is again an interesting and important insight into how our cells work, because the more we know, the better we can solve the problems of this type of process.
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