A discovery by a UC Merced biophysicist has moved science a step closer toward fine-tuning cell functions and combating certain diseases.
Professor Jing Xu found that a cell's nanomotor can be activated by a cellular cue often lacking in people suffering from neurodegeneration.
"What we see is quite dramatic," Xu said. "There's a significant increase in the population of active nanomotors."
While many people may think of a cell being like a soup with genetic material, Xu said cells are very organized and more like a city. In this metaphor, nanomotors are cars that shuttle material between the cell and its membrane. The ability to tune motor function could be important for tuning cell function.
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