Medical research

Boosting the anti-inflammatory action of the immune system

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have identified a molecular switch that causes immune cells called macrophages to clean up cellular debris caused by infections instead of contributing to inflammation ...

Medical research

Molecular switch for 'exhaustion mode' of immune cells discovered

Tumors and certain viral infections pose a challenge to the human body which the immune system typically fails to handle. In these diseases it switches to a hypofunctional state that prevents adequate protection. However, ...

Immunology

A molecular switch for stopping inflammation

A component has been identified by researchers in Umeå as a novel regulator of the immune system. It acts as a molecular switch to deactivate the innate immune system and has the ability to prevent certain diseases caused ...

Neuroscience

Switch for the regeneration of nerve cell insulation

An international research team has discovered a mechanism that regulates the regeneration of the insulating layer of neurites. This insulation coating, also referred to as the myelin sheath, is crucial for rapid signal transmission ...

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Molecular switch

A molecular switch is a molecule that can be reversibly shifted between two or more stable states. The molecules may be shifted between the states in response to changes in e.g. pH, light, temperature, an electrical current, microenvironment, or the presence of a ligand. In some cases, a combination of stimuli are utilized. The oldest forms of synthetic molecular switches are pH indicators, which display distinct colors as a function of pH. Currently synthetic molecular switches are of interest in the field of nanotechnology for application in molecular computers. Molecular switches are also important to in biology because many biological functions are based on it, for instance allosteric regulation and vision. They are also one of the simplest examples of molecular machines.

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