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 Scientists Generate First Detailed Map of Human Neuroreceptor

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Date posted: 19/09/2011

For the first time, USC scientists have mapped out a neuroreceptor. The team produced the world's first high-resolution images of the α7 (Alpha 7) receptor, a molecule responsible for transmitting signals between neurons -- particularly in regions of the brain believed to be associated with learning and memory.

Using the image, scientists will be better equipped to design pharmaceuticals specifically to interact with the receptor, instead of blindly using a trial-and-error approach.

"A lot of interest in this work will come from pharmaceutical companies," said corresponding author Lin Chen, professor of biological sciences and chemistry at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. "They really have no clear picture of this. They don't know how or why [their drugs] work."

The high-resolution image will also help neuroscience researchers study how these receptors receive and transmit neuronal signals, a question that has puzzled researchers for decades.

See the full Story via external site: www.sciencedaily.com



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