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July 21, 2011 / Martijn

Engineering excitable cells

By altering the genetic makeup of normally “unexcitable” cells, bioengineers at Duke University have turned them into cells capable of generating and passing electrical current. The researchers achieved this transformation by introducing genes into the cells that form ion channels. Ion channels allow the flow of electrically charged molecules, or ions, to exit or enter the cell thus enabling the transfer of electric current from one cell to its neighbor.



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