Forgive this picture for being a little blurry, because you’re actually looking at the first ever image of a single folded protein.
Researchers at Itmo University in Russia have found a way to fold mutilated proteins back into the right shape. Afterwards, the proteins work better than they did before. They call it the “Phoenix Effect”: an exhausted protein is ripped apart by heat, only to rise again better than before.
The successful union of egg and sperm in fertilization depends on a sperm cell’s ability to get through an egg’s thick protective coating and latch itself to its membrane. A study published in the journal Andrology yesterday gives us our first look at the protein responsible for the tie-down.
The bite of a Brazilian wandering spider might not kill you, but it can make you wish you were dead. The cocktail of toxins in its venom produces a suite of not-so-delightful effects like swelling, intense pain, paralysis, and if you’re male, a painful erection that lasts for hours.
Sometimes, bad luck leads to insights. A study published today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation has added a new twist to our understanding of the way the system that controls puberty in mammals develops inside the brain – thanks to two brothers who both inherited the same rare disorder.
As food science and our understanding plant proteins expands by leafs and stems, some food-thinking entrepreneurs are looking for ways to make our agricultural products safer, more environmentally sustainable, more humane, and yes, cheaper. Recently, I paid a visit to food science startup Hampton Creek Foods to learn…
Proteins are the building blocks of life, and the reason we're all here on this planet. So it's weird to realize that proteins can be some of the deadliest poisons of all. We've already told you about the most dangerous chemicals — but some proteins that are found in nature can be the deadliest substances of all.
MIT researchers have built a nano-scale, drug-producing factory that could provide precision cancer tumor-killing inside your body.
If you've ever stuck your fingers together with super glue, you know pain. But imagine sticking them together with glue that bonds materials at the molecular level: that's real pain. It's also what scientists are doing, with the help of flesh-eating bacteria.
Folding: it's detestable and boring, as any Gap employee can tell you. But it's also a totally fun thing you can do in a video game! And today it's particularly exciting because players of the online game Foldit have redesigned a protein, and their work is published in the science journal Nature Biotechnology.
Want to help advance the world of science? Don't have an advanced degree or any formal training? Hated Organic Chemistry? That's ok – you can be a Citizen Scientist!
Inside your body, proteins are a kind of communications system, allowing DNA to pass information and energy back and forth. Every protein is a specific message from one molecule to another. And the information is expressed via the strange folds and twists of each protein's structure. They look like beautifully folded…
A basic property of Earth's organic molecules could be caused by supernova explosions. That means massive stellar explosions indirectly governed the building blocks of life on Earth...and could be doing it elsewhere in the cosmos.