Interaction of Gravity with Molecules and Membranes

  • Meike Wiedemann
  • Florian P. M. Kohn
  • Harald Roesner
  • Wolfgang R. L. Hanke
Part of the Nonlinear Physical Science book series (NPS)


The basic to all ideas how gravity might interact with neuronal tissue is the cellular membrane being intrinsic part of any cells. It is known to be, with all its components and interactions, involved in all sensory processes. Ion-channels as integral membrane proteins are involved significantly in these mechanisms, and according to the question of gravity sensitivity they are of high interest based on two possible aspects. First, it might be possible that gravity directly interacts with single membrane based on proteins, including ion-channels; second, gravity might change its parameters instead of interacting with the thermodynamical system membrane, and thus affect the properties of ion-channels incorporated in the membrane indirectly. Changing physical parameters other than gravity in a variety of different experiments, for example temperature or pressure, has shown both mechanisms to be possible using a variety of techniques. Especially the investigation of mechano-sensitive ion-channels has contributed a lot to the understanding of how membranes can interact with mechanical and other weak external forces (i.e. Garcia-Anoveras and Corey, 1997; Sukharev, 1999).


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press, Beijing and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meike Wiedemann
    • 1
  • Florian P. M. Kohn
    • 1
  • Harald Roesner
    • 2
  • Wolfgang R. L. Hanke
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology (230)University of Hohenheim MembramephysiologyStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of HohenheimStuttgartGermany

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