Researchers from have succeeded in providing evidence that a protein is capable of creating a water molecule chain for a few milliseconds for the directed proton transfer. The combination of vibrational spectroscopy and biomolecular simulations enabled the elucidation of the proton pump mechanism of a cell-membrane protein in atomic detail. The researchers demonstrated that protein-bound water molecules play a decisive role in the function. Details of these revelations published in PNAS online.
By studying cellular movements at the level of both the individual cell and the collective group, applied physicists have discovered that migrating tissues flow very much like colloidal glass.
Cells often move from one part of the body to another. In a developing embryo, for example, cells in the three germ layers have to arrange themselves spatially so that the cells that will become skin are all on the outside. Similarly, as a cancerous tumor expands, the cells proliferate and push others aside. In wound healing, too, new cells have to move in to replace damaged tissue. Read more about the research revealing how cells move – and why they stop moving – in PNAS.