With increasing technology happening in the science field, It is becoming possible to see the smallest parts of a cell. Recently, the Columbia University Medical Center used a new, lightning-fast camera paired with an electron microscope to view a human cell under enormous magnification. Using the new camera, they found one of the smallest proteins in the human cell, that is located in the cell membrane. This protein, STRA6, was known for transporting vitamin A into cells, however no one knew how it did it. STRA6 is an unusual transportation protein because Vitamin A goes directly into the top of the protein, but it exits through a "side door" and into the cell membrane. Researchers speculate the reason this protein does this, is to protect the interior of the cell from the harmful effects of Vitamin A. The Columbia University Medical Center's scientists took approximately 70,000 pictures to have a 3D image of the protein. This new technology can have a huge impact on researching other cell functions that were too small to be seen with the technology we had.
The full article, published by ScienceDaily, can be found here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160825141904.htm
Author: Joel Jacob
This page is updated by Ms. Ereddia as well as her students. To submit a current event to the blog, instructions here, enter in the form below.