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Chapter 4 Slides - "I intend to live forever.so far so...

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“I intend to live forever…so far so good.” -Steven Wright
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Ion Channels – Action Potentials of Cells Potassium ion (K+) channels play an important role in biology. One of their vital roles is to maintain specific electrochemical potentials across cell membranes, particularly in neurons and cardiac muscle. Malfunction of potassium channels may result in, among other things, life-threatening arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat). View of potassium ion moving through K+ channel.
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Ion Channels – Action Potentials of Cells The potassium channel is able to discriminate between potassium (K+) ions and sodium ions (Na+). It is able to do so by: a) By recognizing the size of the ions. Na+ ions must be larger, and therefore cannot pass through the channel. b) The pore has specific amino acids that interact more effectively with K+ than Na+, allowing the K+ to pass through the pore. c) Ions that pass through the pore must lose bound water molecules, and K+ is able to do this more easily than Na+.
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