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molecular structures

Category archives for molecular structures

Instead of enjoying a sunny summer day today, or partying with SciBlings in New York, I’m staring out my window watching the rain. Inspiration hit! What about searching for August? Folks, meet the HFQ protein from E. coli. I found this lovely molecule by doing a multi-database search at the NCBI with the term ‘August‘.

Over 2600 genetic diseases have been found where a change in a single gene is linked to the disease. One of the questions we might ask is how those mutations change the shape and possibly the function of a protein? If the structures of the mutant and wild type (normal) proteins have been solved, NCBI…

In the class that I’m teaching, we found that several PCR products, amplified from the 16S ribosomal RNA genes from bacterial isolates, contain a mixed base in one or more positions. We picked samples where the mixed bases were located in high quality regions of the sequence (Q >40), and determined that the mixed bases…

Meet the ribosomes

Ribosomes are molecular machines that build new proteins. This process of synthesizing a protein is also known as translation. Many antibiotics prevent translation by binding to ribosomal RNA. In the class that I’m teaching, we’re going to be looking at ribosome structures to see if the polymorphisms that we find in the sequences of 16S…

I love using molecular structures as teaching tools. They’re beautiful, they’re easy to obtain, and working with them is fun. But working with molecular structures as an educators can present some challenges. The biggest problem is that many of the articles describing the structures are not accessible, particularly those published by the ACS (American Chemical…

This morning I had a banana genome, an orange genome, two chicken genomes (haploid, of course), and some fried pig genome, on the side. Later today, I will consume genomes from different kinds of green plants and perhaps even a cow or fish genome. I probably drank a bit of coffee DNA too, but didn’t…

I added the spring colors.

How to use Cn3D

Have you ever wondered how to view and annotate molecular structures? At least digital versions? It’s surprisingly easy and lots of fun. Here’s a movie I made that demonstrates how you can use Cn3D, a free structure-viewing program from the NCBI. Luckily, Cn3D behaves almost the same way on both Windows and Mac OS X.…

If you look below the fold, you can see two molecules locked in a tight embrace. These molecules or their closely related cousins can be found in any cell because their ability to evolve is slowed by their need to interact with each other in the right way. In an earlier post, I asked: Who…

Last week I posted an image with two molecules (below the fold), one protein and one nucleic acid, and asked you about the probability of finding similar molecules in different species. You gave me some interesting answers.