Thursday, November 17, 2011

Largest Human-Designed Protein

A group of Vanderbilt chemists has broken the record for the largest human-synthesized protein. These researchers have designed and created a variant of the protein that usually manufactures the amino acid histidine. This protein is more than twice the size of the previous record-holder, and was created using a technique that allows for the creation of functional artificial proteins on a scale never before thought possible. The algorithm used here could carry potentially powerful consequences, because we can create new antibodies and other proteins not seen in nature that could be the cure to disease like HIV. The process requires about 10 days of calculations on supercomputers and will need much more work and research before it can really be beneficial, but this new gigantic artificial protein is a huge breakthrough.

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