Careful — You Are Made of Glass

UCSB researchers uncover how tissues and organs are sculpted during embryogenesis.
By Sonia Fernandez

Ever wondered how groups of cells managed to build your tissues and organs while you were just an embryo?

The gates of serotonin

Serotonin is a major neurotransmitter, regulating mood, appetite, sleep, memory, learning, and other functions by binding to dedicated receptor proteins. Serotonin receptors have been researched for decades, but details about their structure and function are hard to come by. EPFL scientists have now made the first ever computer simulation of a notoriously elusive serotonin receptor that is involved in fast signal transmission in neurons and plays a central role in disorders such as schizophrenia, chemotherapy nausea, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and seizures. The work is published in the journal Structure._EPFL

Amazing spider silk

Biophysicists at Johns Hopkins University have discovered one of the keys to the super-elasticity of spiders’ webs, finding that proteins in the silk used to make the webs act like supersprings and can stretch to five times their initial length.__HUB