Thursday, January 6, 2011

Scientists construct synthetic proteins that sustain life

Scientists construct synthetic proteins that sustain life: At the heart of his team's research was to question how there are only about 100,000 different proteins produced in the human body, when there is a potential for so many more. They wondered, are these particular proteins somehow special? Or might others work equally well, even though evolution has not yet had a chance to sample them?
Hecht and his research group set about to create artificial proteins encoded by genetic sequences not seen in nature. They produced about 1 million amino acid sequences that were designed to fold into stable three-dimensional structures...
"These artificial proteins bear no relation to any known biological sequences, yet they sustained life," Hecht said.

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