Glossary

complementary DNA DNA that is synthesized from mRNA and therefore contains the coding sequence of the gene with no introns.

equilibrium potential The membrane potential at which there would be no net movement of ions across the membrane.

ligand A molecule that binds a protein.

neurotransmitter A chemical substance that is stored in vesicles at the nerve terminal and released to cause a change in the postsynaptic membrane, usually a change in the membrane to ions.

protease An enzyme that cleaves proteins.

resting potential The membrane potential of the cell in its quiescent state.

second messenger A molecule that is generated by the activation of surface receptors in response to hormones or neurotransmitters that lead to changes in the functional state of the cell.

In one sense, a cell is similar to a battery. Approximately one-third of the cell's metabolic energy is stored as an electrical potential in the form of ionic gradients across the plasma membrane. This energy is released at precise moments by "holes" in the membrane that allow ions to move down their electrochemical gradients across the membrane. These holes are ion channels. In the brain, a diverse array of ion channels coordinates their actions to generate complex waveforms that are used to transmit signals across long distances or between cells.

Breaking Bulimia

Breaking Bulimia

We have all been there: turning to the refrigerator if feeling lonely or bored or indulging in seconds or thirds if strained. But if you suffer from bulimia, the from time to time urge to overeat is more like an obsession.

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