Pull a spaghetti noodle out of a box of pasta and take a look. It's long and stiff. Try to bend it and it breaks. But fresh pasta is pliable. It can fold just like cooked noodles.
When students first look at an amino acid sequence, a long string of confusing letters, they often think those letters are part of a chain like an uncooked spaghetti noodle. Stiff and unbending, with one end far from the other.
Molecular modeling apps let us demonstrate that proteins are a bit more like fresh pasta.
If we apply rainbow colors (Red Orange Yellow Blue Indigo Violet) to a ... Read more