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Articles on Proteins

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Imaging the proteins on the surface of HCV has been challenging because of the virus’s shape-shifting nature. Juan Gaertner/Science Photo Library via Getty Images

Scientists uncovered the structure of the key protein for a future hepatitis C vaccine – here’s how they did it

Using a Nobel Prize-winning technique called cryo-EM, researchers were able to identify potential areas on the hepatitis C virus that a vaccine could target.
Water microdroplets provide a unique interface that can significantly speed up chemical reactions. Marianna Armata/Moment via Getty Images

Water was both essential and a barrier to early life on Earth – microdroplets are one potential solution to this paradox

The chemical reaction that forms essential biomolecules like proteins and DNA normally doesn’t occur in the presence of water. Microdroplets provide a unique environment that make it possible.
Some human coronaviruses cause seasonal colds or other mild symptoms. Others can be severe and even fatal. Jdidi wassim/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Some coronaviruses kill, while others cause a common cold. We are getting closer to knowing why

The enigmatic envelope protein seems to hold the key to understanding why some human coronaviruses cause more severe disease than others.
Your genetic material instructs your cells to produce the proteins encoded in it. Juan Gaertner/Science Photo Library via Getty Images

Helping cells become better protein factories could improve gene therapies and other treatments – a new technique shows how

Gene therapies and vaccines are often injected into muscle cells that are inefficient at producing desired proteins. Making them work more like liver cells could lead to better treatment outcomes.
The proteasome is a cellular machine that chews up misfolded and unwanted proteins, and can promote cell death, making it an interesting target for cancer treatment. (Shutterstock)

How the cell’s waste management systems might be targeted to treat cancer

Faulty cellular waste management machinery can lead to cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, but researchers are also targeting this machinery to treat these diseases.
Figuring out what makes some proteins glow requires an understanding of chemistry. eLife - the journal

A celebrated AI has learned a new trick: How to do chemistry

The AI AlphaFold can figure out the three-dimensional protein structure any string of amino acids will become. It has now exceeded its training by figuring out what makes some proteins glow.
Climate change stresses plants, forcing them to turn off the cellular machinery that helps them grow. (Shutterstock)

How climate change stresses plants and alters their growth

The climate crisis makes it important to investigate and understand the mechanisms of plant growth if we are to keep agricultural crops sustainable.
David Julius, one of the two recipients of the 2021 medicine Nobel Prize, used the active component in chile peppers to study how the brain senses heat. Anton Eine/EyeEm via Getty Images

The 2021 Nobel Prize for medicine helps unravel mysteries about how the body senses temperature and pressure

The joint award recognizes the long road to deciphering the biology behind the brain’s ability to sense its surroundings – work that paves the way for a number of medical and biological breakthroughs.

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