Complexity Digest 2003.37 - 17.01
Scientists Forge Ahead With Domestication Of Molecules, MIT News
Excerpts: Thousands of years after humans domesticated farm animals, they're moving on to a different sort of workhorse: molecules.
"About 10,000 years ago, man began to domesticate plants and animals. Now it's time to domesticate molecules," (...).
Lindquist studies yeast proteins to learn what makes them fold into the shapes they take and how to get them to fold differently to create new structures. Scientists have found that misfolded proteins called prions can influence the fate of cells, causing the daughter cells to create the same prions, which are believed to be a major culprit in amyloid diseases such as Alzheimer's, mad cow disease and scrapie, and may be a factor in smallpox.
- Source: Scientists Forge Ahead With Domestication Of Molecules
[ http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/nr/2003/peptides-science.html ], MIT News, 03/09/03