Electrical signals are carried around our bodies at half a mile per second.

New bioelectrical revolution - Comment on 2013 March 12 (2)

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Cell membranes are studded with tiny pores (constructed from specific proteins), which allow the free movement of ions. These pores are ion channels, and they regulate all life. These channels are truly the “spark of life”. Read more:

On this website we often dealt with the Book of life and there it is much about electrical processes in our body and even in our soul and today I read something about some new developments in biology.

Here some excerpts from an article:

 

The electrical storm gathering in biology

Electricity is even more important in biology than previously thought - leading scientists to talk of a new bioelectrical revolution.

Today, biologists are realising that electricity is even more important than was hitherto thought – so much so that some are talking about a new bioelectrical revolution. It not only governs the contraction of our muscles and carries impulses through our nerves, but also holds the key to a host of illnesses, from the most intense migraines to cystic fibrosis.

While the electricity we use to power motors, make lights shine and bring our computers to life relies on electrons – the fundamental sub-atomic particles which carry electrical charge – the electricity in our bodies is carried by larger, more complex charged atoms, or ions, which are found in salts such as sodium chloride. While electricity in wires travels at the speed of light, (around 186,000 miles per second), electrical signals are carried around our bodies at a far slower (if still rapid) half a mile per second, or about 1800 mph.

As bioelectricity flashes in and out of our cells, it generates currents of a few picoamperes – about a hundred billionth of the current that makes a light bulb glow. Somehow, the ions carrying these currents have to find a way past the insulating greasy membrane that protects the watery contents of every cell.

The realisation that cell membranes are studded with tiny pores (constructed from specific proteins), which allow the free movement of ions, dates back to in the 1950s.

These pores are ion channels, and they regulate all life, from the moment of conception until we draw our last breath.

These channels are truly the “spark of life”.

From the lashing of the sperm’s tail to the beating of our hearts, the craving for yet another chocolate, or the feel of the sun on your skin, everything is underpinned by ion channel activity.

It turns out that faulty ion channels are actually responsible for a remarkably wide range of human and animal diseases.

Mutations in sodium channels, for example, underlie inherited forms of epilepsy (when an electrical storm erupts in the brain), migraine headaches, heart rhythm disturbances, paralysis, and some chronic pain syndromes. In the past few years, important clues to understanding what goes wrong, and how this can be fixed, have come from working out what ion channels look like.

Poisons target ion channels, too.

The venom of the black mamba, one of the world’s nastiest snakes, contains chemicals that block nerve ion channels.

 

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