Saturday, August 27, 2011

A few quick thoughts.

I am still trying to unenviably navigate an n-dimensional parameter space, attempting to optimize the biochemistry for the present bane of my existence in order to get to some proper structural & biophysical studies. It is further complicated that whenever I do seem to devise a plan, something odd crops up in my data in amidst the general experimental madness (remember, if you work with n components, you need to vary one and keep n-1 constant : easier said than done!).

In any case, I stumbled across this interesting paper. Given my innate worrying about structural data obtained under cryogenic conditions, this was right up my alley – utilizing mesoporous materials to confine proteins and their hydration waters, and then using your interrogation method of choice across a range of temperatures without having to worry about the effects of bulk water. I can envision that this would be an excellent way to more explicitly bridge the gap between cryocrystallography and dynamic/functional studies done under more physiologically relevant conditions.

There was a very long back-and-forth over at The Curious Wavefunction this past week. I basically have the opinion that expecting physics to “explain” chemistry and biology is perhaps a bit overly demanding. I mean, it’s not as if all physicists are just waiting to wrap up high-energy/elementary particle physics and then retire, after all! There are still a number of unresolved questions in physics, and as a number of them involve many-body systems, it would only seem reasonable that those are the ones that would likely be of the most immediate application to chemistry and biology.

Now to finish preparing for this inclement weather…..
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