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molecular structures

Category archives for molecular structures

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.

This is a fun puzzle. The pink molecule is a protein and the other molecule is a nucleic acid.

The grocery store magazine covers all say that home made gifts are big this year. So I thought, some of you might like to channel your inner Martha Stewart and make gifts with a science theme. I’m here to help to you make a merry mug with one of our favorite molecules. Yep, we’re talking…

Irony in RNA: a puzzle

This structure is called a “kissing loop” and I find that name just a bit odd, given the source of the structure.