COOL IMAGES: Protein Cinema

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Science  23 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5474, pp. 2091
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5474.2091a

Mere specks of meat to some, proteins to biochemists are the stuff of life and their contortions an endless puzzle. Students can get a hands-on feel for how proteins work at Biochemistry in 3D, a Web site packed with state-of-the-art interactive teaching models and movies. (It accompanies the textbook Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, ed. 3.) A tutorial on the classic Escherichia coli gene regulator called lac repressor (LacR), for example, examines in detail how this protein that's normally glommed onto DNA falls away if triggered by a lactose molecule, which allows lactose metabolism genes to be expressed. Hold down your mouse to twist and turn the models, or click the controls to toggle between wire frame, ribbons, ball and stick, and more. Other tutorials include oxygen-binding proteins and bacteriorhodopsin, a proton pump; restriction enzymes, DNA, and RNA are coming soon.

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