Techno-News Blog

January 28, 2012

Electron Holography Produces First Image of a Single Protein

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:20 am

by KFC, Technology Review

The behaviour and function of proteins is largely determined by their shape. So one of the great ongoing quests in biology is to understand and model the structure of proteins. That’s a tricky task. Biologists currently do it using techniques such as X-ray crystallography, which requires millions of protein chains to form into a crystal. The trouble is that most proteins don’t form crystals. And even when they do, not all the molecules will be in the same conformation and so the diffraction pattern can end up being a kind of average of several different shapes. That’s why biologists know the shape of less than 2 per cent of the proteins in humans.

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