A Century of Mathematics in America (History of Mathematics, by Peter Duren Richard A. Askey

By Peter Duren Richard A. Askey

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These include biosynthesis, transport, depolarization, insertion, storage, recycling, priming, diffusion, and modulation. The diagram is complicated in its attempt to 20 Thinking About Mechanisms represent the many different mechanisms that can be found at chemical synapses. We use the first stage of this mechanism, depolarization, to exhibit the features of mechanisms in detail. , their resting membrane potential, roughly –70 mV); the fluid inside the cell membrane is negatively charged with respect to the fluid outside of the cell.

2. Also crucial are the locations, orientations, and charge distributions of the components of the Na+ channel and the differential intra- and extra-cellular concentrations of Na+ . 2. ” It contains evenly spaced, positively charged amino acids. The second is a hairpin turn in the protein, known as the “pore lining,” that has its own 22 Reasoning in Biological Discoveries particular configuration of charges. Other factors important for the activity of the mechanism include temperature, pH, and the presence or absence of pharmacological agonists or antagonists; such factors are the contents of the ceteris paribus clauses often implicit in descriptions of the channel’s activity.

2. The spreading depolarization from the axonal action potential (1) repels the positive charges in the alpha helix voltage gates, and (2) rotates them about their central axis and opens a pore or channel through the membrane. The resulting conformation change in (or bending of) the protein (3) moves the extra-cellular hairpins into the pore. The particular configuration of charges on this pore lining makes the channel selective for Na+ . As a result, (4) Na+ ions move through the pore and into the cell.

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