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Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

 

The molecular pathology of Alzheimer’s disease by Eric Rees

Centre (grey) a differential interference contrast (DIC) image shows a cultured neuronal cell. Conventional fluorescence images (small red panels) indicate the existence of protein aggregates, but give no information on their size or morphology. Super-resolution images (top panels) clearly reveal the sharp fibrillar morphology of these protein aggregates, and reveal differences between structures found in the intra- and extracellular spaces, suggesting potential mechanisms for their growth and propagation. The molecular structure of a beta-Amyloid protein is illustrated, together with a stacking sequence by which it can form fibrils, in the lower part of the Figure.

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