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Image of the Week: Photoluminescent amyloid fibrils

Earlier this week, Rice University researchers created a metallic molecule that becomes photoluminescent when it attaches to fibrils, a type of amyloid protein present in the brain. The stringy proteins may look like delicious vermicelli, but are in fact much more dangerous: fibrils are thought to be the cause of the plaques, or deposits, found in brains affected by Alzheimer's disease. Scientists hope these newly developed molecules will allow them to more easily detect, and possibly even dissolve, amyloid plaques as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease.

Photo courtesy of the Angel Marti Group

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