BUFFALO, N.Y. -- University at Buffalo biophysicists studying the motility of cells have shown that simple cells react in less than a millisecond to changes in membrane voltage, a property scientists have thought was confined to highly specialized cells such as the cochlear outer hair cells responsible for hearing. In addition to providing new, basic information on how cells function, the finding calls into question the accepted purpose of the so-called "motor protein" prestin, which was thought to be essential for outer-hair-cell motility in the cochlea.
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