Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Surely you jest!

So, I strongly recommend everyone checks out this paper -

Accessing protein conformational ensembles using room-temperature X-ray crystallography

- which was just published in PNAS this week. The paper cites a 2004 paper by Bertil Halle (which I mentioned a while back) on the potential consequences of flash freezing and cryocrystallography.

Enjoy! Read more!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

No, I am not going to talk about the recent paper on the success of Foldit. Mostly since if you can even get a crystal structure for something, it's probably not agonizingly painful enough for me to work on - as I've said before, give me your disordered, your poorly soluble, your aggregated masses yearning to be analyzed.

Anyway, I wanted to mention this interesting-looking paper:

Binding Leverage as a Molecular Basis for Allosteric Regulation. I haven't had a chance to really dig into the paper, but the idea itself is simple enough - ligand binding can couple to various collective motions in proteins to varying extents, due to which we observe allosteric modulation of enzyme function. There are obvious oversights (one example that they mention in the paper - the lack of attention paid to proteins that aren't enzymes such as signaling proteins of various types), and I'd want to pore through which structures they used in the PDB (e.g., how did they deal with the family of structures that are generated by NMR if applicable). Then again, I usually consider thought-provoking ideas worth the publication, even if a judiciously skeptical outlook may make them seem a little less lustrous. Read more!

Friday, September 9, 2011

As it’s that time of the year again to start speculating about potential Nobel laureates for 2011, I’ve already chimed in at The Curious Wavefunction and left a short note over at ChemBark.

While I’d be pleased to see another magnetic resonance prize (or five), there is a huge name which I’ve neglected, mostly since I was afraid that his time to be recognized had passed, but as he was the Welch Award recipient this year – John Waugh from MIT. Of course, if it were up to me, I bet I could come up with at least half a dozen trios of deserving recipients for magnetic resonance. But anyway…..

I’ve wondered about this earlier and I might as well bring it up again – what about the Kavli Prizes? Currently, they’re awarded for astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience – will see ever see a dual Kavli and Nobel laureate? Or will being recognized with one put you out of the running for the other? Having said that, I know people were predicting someone getting a Nobel for semiconductor nanocrystals, so perhaps if Lou Brus is recognized by the Nobel committee, we’ll see one this year.

Quantitative biochemistry is not giving me quite as much of a headache. Although I'm hardly done with it just yet. I do envision there being an extremely dense biochemistry publication in my future. Speaking of which, back to working up data.... Read more!