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. ... Read more
A real family, struggling with a history of breast cancer provides the back story for this compelling lesson on genetic testing in the Bio-ITEST Genetic Testing curriculum strand. We recently updated lesson 5 for students using Molecule World. This video shows how we used the Molecule World iPad app to locate a mutation site and see how the cancer-causing mutation affects the BRCA1 protein.
In the video, we used molecule coloring to show how a ... Read more
It's been interesting to watch as microbiology's own cold fusion debate has been raging. It began with an extraordinary claim about bacteria using arsenate as a replacement when phosphate concentrations are low (1).
It progressed when at least two scientist / bloggers ( here, and here) (not bloggers! the horrror! how uncivil!) gave public "journal club" presentations on ... Read more
Some people, like Imelda Marcos and Dr. Isis have a thing for fancy shoes. I go crazy for gadgets.
For my birthday this year, my family bought me a new iPhone! Yeah! So, I've been killing several hours today filling it with cute little iPhone apps. Who knew one little phone could be so much fun? One app, I enjoy, is called Molecules. Molecules lets you download structure files from the Protein Data Bank (PDB) and play with the structures on your phone!
Last week I posted an image with two molecules (below the fold), one protein and one nucleic acid, and asked you about the probability of finding similar molecules in different species.
You gave me some interesting answers.
DAG made me clarify my question by asking what I meant by "similarity." I was wondering whether I would be likely to find a statistically relevant match by doing a BLAST search and I hadn't really thought about the cutoff values. I decided to guess and say that that the protein would be about 30% similar and the nucleic acid about 60 ... Read more