This review focuses on studies of water movement across biological membranes performed over the last 50 years. Different scientific approaches had tried to elucidate such intriguing mechanism, from hypotheses emphasizing the role of the lipid bilayer to the cloning of aquaporins, the ubiquitous proteins described as specific water channels. Pioneering and clarifying biophysical work are reviewed beside results obtained with the help of recent sophisticated techniques, to conclude that great advances in the subject live together with old questions without definitive answers.
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