News tagged with cell metabolism

Related topics: insulin resistance · type 2 diabetes · fat cells · obesity · diabetes

Microreactor replaces animal testing

Researchers all over Europe are working on alternatives to animal testing that can be used to evaluate the adverse side-effects of medications. But many of these test methods still present problems. A microreactor developed ...

Feb 02, 2016
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When food alters gene function

As the study shows, a high-fat diet during pregnancy and lactation leads to epigenetic changes in the offspring. These changes affect metabolic pathways regulated by the gut hormone GIP, whereby the adult offspring are more ...

Feb 01, 2016
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Brain receptor regulates fat burning in cells

Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have discovered an unusual regulator of body weight and the metabolic syndrome: a molecular mechanism more commonly associated with brain cells. Lowering levels of P75 neurotrophin receptor ...

Jan 12, 2016
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Rare disease is a lens on cancer

What can a rare genetic childhood disease teach us about cancer? Dr. Ayelet Erez of the Weizmann Institute's Biological Regulation Department says: "A single-mutation disease can act as a 'lens.' If we find exactly what malfunctions ...

Nov 30, 2015
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Functional human liver cells grown in the lab

In new research appearing in the prestigious journal Nature Biotechnology, an international research team led by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem describes a new technique for growing human hepatocytes in the laboratory. ...

Nov 26, 2015
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Metabolism

Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions that occur in living organisms to maintain life. These processes allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments. Metabolism is usually divided into two categories. Catabolism breaks down organic matter, for example to harvest energy in cellular respiration. Anabolism, on the other hand, uses energy to construct components of cells such as proteins and nucleic acids.

The chemical reactions of metabolism are organized into metabolic pathways, in which one chemical is transformed into another by a sequence of enzymes. Enzymes are crucial to metabolism because they allow organisms to drive desirable but thermodynamically unfavorable reactions by coupling them to favorable ones, and because they act as catalysts to allow these reactions to proceed quickly and efficiently. Enzymes also allow the regulation of metabolic pathways in response to changes in the cell's environment or signals from other cells.

The metabolism of an organism determines which substances it will find nutritious and which it will find poisonous. For example, some prokaryotes use hydrogen sulfide as a nutrient, yet this gas is poisonous to animals. The speed of metabolism, the metabolic rate, also influences how much food an organism will require.

A striking feature of metabolism is the similarity of the basic metabolic pathways between even vastly different species. For example, the set of carboxylic acids that are best known as the intermediates in the citric acid cycle are present in all organisms, being found in species as diverse as the unicellular bacteria Escherichia coli and huge multicellular organisms like elephants. These striking similarities in metabolism are most likely the result of the high efficiency of these pathways, and of their early appearance in evolutionary history.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA

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