Listening in to how proteins talk and learning their language

Synthetic biologists have taken evolution of proteins into their own hands by changing some that occur in nature or even by synthesizing them from scratch. Such engineered proteins are used as highly efficacious drugs, components ...

X marks the spot: recombination in structurally distinct chromosomes

Two years ago, scientists from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research reported the 3-D structure of the synaptonemal complex in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. This large protein complex is a critical player in ...

Forensic proteomics, a new tool for crime labs and anthropology

DNA evidence has revolutionized forensic science in the past few years, cracking open cold cases and bringing both convictions and exonerations. The same techniques help archaeologists and anthropologists studying remains ...

Chemists discover structure of glucagon fibrils

Patients with type 1 diabetes have to regularly inject themselves with insulin, a hormone that helps their cells absorb glucose from the bloodstream. Another hormone called glucagon, which has the opposite effect, is given ...

New genes out of nothing

One key question in evolutionary biology is how novel genes arise and develop. Swedish researchers now show how new genes and functions that are advantageous to bacteria can be selected from random DNA sequences. The results ...

What artificial intelligence can teach us about proteins

Proteins are vital parts of all living organisms and perform essential tasks in our bodies. They build and repair tissues, supply components of the immune and hormone systems, regulate metabolism, and transmit signals. Researchers ...

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