Exploring Excitability

Voltage-sensitive ion channels are macromolecules that act as electrical components in the membranes of living organisms. While we know that these molecules carry out important physiological functions in many different types of cells, scientists first became aware of them in the study of the impulses that carry information along nerve and muscle fibers.

Keywords

Magnesium Carbohydrate Lithium Codon Dopamine 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes And References

  1. 1.
    Bertil Hille, Ion Channels of Excitable Membranes, Third Edition, Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA, 2002.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    R. Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, Penguin, New York, 1988.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    S. Hagiwara, Membrane Potential-Dependent Ion Channels in Cell Membrane: Phylogenetic and Developmental Approaches, Raven, New York, 1983. Reprinted by permission from Wolters Kluwer Health.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Isaac Newton, Opticks, Dover Publications, New York, 1952.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    C. U. M. Smith, Elements of Molecular Neurobiology, Second Edition, John Wiley, Chichester, 1996, 276; A. L. Hodgkin and A. F. Huxley, Nature 144:710–711, 1939.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Smith, 130; B. Safir, Scientific American. 234(4):29–37, 1975.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    The alternative term “voltage-dependent ion channels,” although commonly used, is not precise. It is not the channels but their conformation that is dependent on voltage. These molecules are sensitive to, but not dependent on, the potential difference across the membrane.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    From Poem in October by Dylan Thomas.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Erwin Schrödinger, What is Life? , Cambridge University, Cambridge, 1955; Max Delbrück, Mind from Matter? An Essay on Evolutionary Epistemology, Blackwell Scientific, Palo Alto, 1986.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection of the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, Avenel Books, New York, 1979.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Stephen J. Gould, Wonderful Life, Norton, New York, 1989.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Richard E. Dickerson and Irving Geis, Hemoglobin: Structure, Evolution, and Pathology, Benjamin/Cummings, Menlo Park, California, 1983.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Nigel Goldenfeld and Leo P. Kadanoff, Science 284:87–89, 1999; J. A. Krumhansl, in Nonlinear Excitations in Biomolecules, edited by M. Peyrard, Springer, Berlin, and Les Editions de Physique, Les Ulis, 1995, 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    S. A. Kauffman, The Origin of Order, Oxford University, Oxford, 1993; —, At Home in the Universe, Oxford University, 1995.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Personalised recommendations