Halloween

A fun thing we can do with molecular models is to create art. In Molecule World™ , the residue coloring option applies a different color to each amino acid and nucleotide. When we're characterizing a protein and trying to understand its function, the residue coloring option helps us identify repetitive or unusual amino acid sequences, but we can also use this coloring option to have fun.

The video at the end shows all the steps put together.

1. Find and download a spherical protein structure.

To make pumpkin-like molecular ... Read more

Cytochrome C oxidase is a molecule that none of us air-breathing creatures can live without. It's also really interesting. This protein complex is a dimer of two smaller complexes. Each of the smaller complexes contains 13 different proteins and two heme groups.

Oxidized Cytochrome C Oxidase. Each protein chain is colored differently.
Arrows point to the active site in subunit I.

The two heme groups are both part of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I protein. The DNA sequence of this protein is used for many types of DNA barcoding.

The two heme groups in Cytochrome C ... Read more
What strange things happen in the lab on Halloween? Read part I and part II to find out what's going on. (Reposted in honor of Halloween)
"All those beauties in solid motion All those beauties, gonna swallow you up Hi hi hi hi hi hi One time too many Too far to go I - we come to take you home"
- Swamp by the Talking Heads The lyrics of Swamp were pounding in my brains as I cleaned up what I could and threw the rest of ... Read more
Strange things happen when it's Halloween week in the lab. (reposted in honor of Halloween) Catch up on the story by reading part I. I came back the next day, hoping to see dead cells in the culture dish. Quickly, I pulled the dish from the incubator. Yikes! Yellow media, again! I carefully set the dish on the stage and took a look. Oh no! The cells were piling on top of each other. I fed the cells and ran to elevator to find the scruffy guys from Howard Hughes. "What do I do?" I moaned, "Aren' ... Read more
Reposted in honor of the holiday. What's it like when you work in the lab on Halloween? It started out innocently enough. "Go get some BHK cells," he said, "then transform the cells with these plasmids and use G418 to kill the cells that didn't get transformed." i-b66a384f4939deb076ab6a057002bbe1-green_cells.jpg Cautiously, I ventured upstairs to the Howard Hughes floor on top of an ... Read more
October is a month of darkness, mystery, and dread. Only one holiday brings joy in October and even then, October joy is distilled through fear and apprehension. In the early evenings the sun hurries home and once familiar objects loom ominously in the dark. Giant spiders appear out the fog, lurking on webs that span our walkways and doors. Even Mendel's Garden is dark and malevolent when October greys our skies. . Horror stories for adults ... Read more

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