Folding Proteins Caught in the Act

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Science  05 Jul 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5271, pp. 29
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5271.29


Proteins are master shape-shifters, twisting rapidly from a plain ribbon of amino acids into the contorted helices they prefer. The earliest stages of this process happen so fast that until recently, no one has been able to observe them. Now biochemists have developed new techniques to coax proteins to fold on a hair trigger and to snap freeze-frame images of the folding process. Such methods will eventually offer clues to the rules behind the folding process.