New method takes snapshots of proteins as they fold

People have only 20,000 to 30,000 genes (the number is hotly contested), but they use those genes to make more than 2 million proteins. It’s the protein molecules that domost of the work in the human cell. After all, the word protein comes fro…

Antibody locks up West Nile’s infection mechanism

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Researchers have learned the structure that results when an antibody binds to the West Nile virus, neutralizing the virus by locking up its infection mechanism. The information could help scientists develop a vaccine against t…

UCLA physicists control chemical reactions mechanically

UCLA physicists have taken a significant step in controlling chemical reactions mechanically, an important advance in nanotechnology, UCLA physics professor Giovanni Zocchi and colleagues report.
Chemical reactions in the cell are catalyzed by e…

Misfolding key to prion’s ability to kill brain cells

Researchers may have discovered the mechanism behind how prions ? pieces of protein molecules? can kill nerve cells in the brain and lead to some serious degenerative diseases. The key seems to lie in how one particular protein misfolds within an organelle inside the cell, transforming itself into a new agent and then poisoning the neuron in which it was made.

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