New bond in the basement

New bond in the basement

Scientists identify a sulfur-nitrogen link critical to holding the body together

By Rachel Ehrenberg, 17:41 PM September 3, 2009

The foot bone’s connected to the leg bone, the leg bone’s connected to the knee bone — thanks in part to a newly discovered chemical bond, researchers report in the Sept. 4 Science. The bond — never before seen in living things — was found buried in the basement membrane, a tough, structural layer of cells that surrounds most tissues. A greater understanding of the links within this membrane may lead to new approaches for targeting tumors and for treating a number of diseases.

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