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Home > News > 'Nanoyarn' protein linked to Alzheimer's could be super-fibre

December 20th, 2007

'Nanoyarn' protein linked to Alzheimer's could be super-fibre

Abstract:
The protein linked with Alzheimer's disease has inspired the design of "nanoyarns" that could be put to a vast range of uses, from body armour to parachutes and super strong nets.

Alzheimer's affects one in 20 of those over 65 when molecules of amyloid protein clump together to form deposits of insoluble filaments and plaques (sticky patches) that kill nerve cells, wrecking the brain networks that hold memories, enable us to perform tasks or learn something new.

Now a multidiscplinary team from Cambridge University believes that it has found why amyloid forms such tough, insoluble clumps, which are also seen in diabetes, a kind of heart disease where the organ stiffens, and in Parkinson's, another neurodegenerative disease.

They believe that this new understanding of why these proteins are so strong and stable could pave the way to spinning designer yarns that could one day find their way into bullet-proof vests, medical sutures and biodegradeable fishing lines.

Source:
telegraph.co.uk

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