Sumary of Food science meets cell science in bid to explain inner workings of membrane-free cell compartments:
- Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report that food science principles have helped them determine how unusual droplets within cells stay organized and avoid dissolving into the rest of the cell’s gelatinous interior.
- The researchers say their work could advance scientific understanding of cell evolution and help scientists in the food and chemical industry develop better ways to keep liquid mixtures from separating.
- The cells of all living organisms hold a collection of mini biological machines called organelles.
- Scientists have long thought these somewhat mystifying droplets might be a primordial version of organelles, and the Johns Hopkins-led research team worked with laboratory worms to study them further.
- A report on the research team’s findings about these droplets, which are called biomolecular condensates, appears Sept.
- , the Huntington Sheldon Professor in Medical Discovery and vice dean for basic research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
- “We found they have regulated roles and respond to the environment, just like other organelles.
- ” Biomolecular condensates were first dubbed “granules” in the 1970s by scientists who used electron microscopy to peer more closely at the structures in many organisms, including squiggly creatures called C.