Metabolism to Dye For: Diversity in Complex Systems

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This image shows the distribution of metabolites in a healthy kidney.

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Jefferson R. Brown, Robert E. Marc, Bryan W. Jones, Glen Prusky, Nazia Alam
University of Utah

 The colors seen here represent the distribution of metabolites—small molecules produced when cells convert nutrients to energy—inside a healthy kidney. Understanding the diversity of metabolic reactions within complex cellular systems yields clues as to how and why these processes vary between cells in a single organ. Armed with the knowledge that tumor cells metabolize nutrients differently than normal ones, researchers study cancer’s altered metabolic pathways to identify novel targets for therapeutic intervention.

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