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By Professor Frances Ashcroft FRS, Professor David Gadsby FRS and Professor Christopher Miller

Proteins that move ions and molecules across biological membranes have traditionally been divided into three classes: the pumps, channels and transporters. Unexpectedly, recent studies reveal this distinction is not absolute, that the same molecule can perform more than one function, and that switching modes can cause human disease. This meeting focuses on the ambiguous interface between channels, pumps and transporters.