Han and Kosik

A Biophysical ‘Smoking Gun’: Scientists studying Alzheimer’s disease begin to unravel how the protein tau transitions from soluble liquid to solid fibrous tangle

Jul 12, 2017

While much about Alzheimer’s disease remains a mystery, scientists do know that part of the disease’s progression involves a normal protein called tau, aggregating to form ropelike inclusions within brain cells that eventually strangle the neurons. Yet how this protein transitions from its soluble liquid state to solid fibers has remained unknown — until now. Discovering an unsuspected property of tau, UC Santa Barbara physical chemist Song-I Han and MCDB professor Kenneth S. Kosik have shed new light on the protein’s ability to morph from one state to another.

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