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New look at cell membrane

A class of molecules called sphingolipids congregate in large patches in the cell membrane

Using a completely new approach to imaging cell membranes, researchers found that a class of molecules called sphingolipids congregate in large patches in the cell membrane. Red and yellow colors indicate local elevations in the sphingolipids abundance.

The study, which revealed some surprising relationships among molecules within cell membranes, was conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois (U of I), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the National Institutes of Health. The research was supported in part by the National Science Foundation (grant CHE 10-58809).

To learn more about this research, see the U of I news story New look at cell membrane reveals surprising organization. (Date of Image: December 2011)

Credit: Courtesy Kevin J. Carpenter

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