September 2016: Lisa Lapidus' lab measures peptide behavior important to Alzheimer's disease
Physics & Astronomy Professor Lisa Lapidus and her colleagues have published a paper in the 04 August 2016 edition of the journal ChemPhysChem which describes their work using lasers to observe the behavior of a number of peptides (strings of amino acids) which are associated with neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.
They found that different forms of the monomeric Alzheimer peptide have different rates of intramolecular diffusion, which lead to different rates of clumping. Clumping of these peptides is associated with the development of plaques seen in Alzheimer's patients' neurological tissues.
The research team was also able to find substances which modified the clumping rates when added to the peptide environment, which may lead to possible avenues of research into affecting the behavior of the peptides in a living body.
For more information, see this MSU Today article, this article on the MSU College of Natural Science website, or the original ChemPhysChem article.