New Research Casts Fundamental Doubt on Long-Established Standard Model of Electroporation

New Research Casts Fundamental Doubt on Long-Established Standard Model of Electroporation

French German Team Refutes Standard Model of Electroporation

Black cones show water molecules being oriented in the electric field at the interface with the lipid. Credit: Carlos Marques, ENS Lyon

Powerful electric fields have the ability to generate pores in biological membranes through a process called electroporation. Deliberately inducing these imperfections in membranes is a crucial technique not only in medicine and biotechnology but also in the treatment of food items.

A Franco-German research team, headed by Dr. Carlos Marques from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Lyon, France, and Prof. Dr. Jan Behrends from the Institute of Physiology at the University of Freiburg, has recently collected data that casts fundamental doubt on what has been accepted for decades as the standard model of this mechanism.

“This is a challenge for theory building and numerical simulations in this field,” says Marques. The results have now been published in the Proceedings of the Academy of Sciences of the United States

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Japan’s rising research stars: Mariko Kimura

Japan’s rising research stars: Mariko Kimura

Japan’s rising research stars: Mariko Kimura

Mariko Kimura plans to shift her focus to γ-ray bursts, and hopes her work will inspire other women in astronomy.Credit: Irwin Wong for Nature

This is the first in a Nature Index series of profiles about emerging early-careers researchers in Japan.

About 370 years ago, something odd happened in the binary star system SS Cygni. Normally, the interactions between the two stars that make up SS Cygni mean that it cyclically gets brighter and dimmer every month or so, but for some reason this variation stopped for a short while. When the light from that anomaly finally reached Earth in 2021, Mariko Kimura was watching.

Kimura, an astronomer at the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research in Saitama, Japan, uses both ground-based optical telescopes and satellite X-ray telescopes to make sense of signals from variable stars, black holes and other celestial phenomena. “Many people think stars and galaxies are constant

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