Rules of the game

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Science  22 Jul 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6297, pp. 338-341
DOI: 10.1126/science.353.6297.338

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Proteins consist of long chains of building blocks known as amino acids that fold up into precise 3D shapes that govern their function. David Baker, a computational biochemist at the University of Washington, Seattle, has spent years deciphering the rules that govern how these amino acid chains fold, and develop software to predict the 3D shape unknown amino acid chains are likely to take. Recent improvements to this software from Baker and others now make it possible to extend such prediction to the majority of proteins in nature. That's likely to lead to novel insights for biochemists working to understand what all these proteins do. It is also allowing Baker and his colleagues to design novel proteins to work as everything from medicines to materials, and catalysts to biochemical sensors.

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