One of the things that drives me crazy on occasion is nomenclature. Well, maybe not just nomenclature, it's really the continual changes in the nomenclature, and the time it takes for those changes to ripple through various databases and get reconciled with other kinds of information. And the realization that sometimes this reconciliation may never happen.
One of the projects that I've been working on during the past couple of years has involved developing educational materials that use bioinformatics tools to look at the isozymes that metabolize alcohol. As part of this ... Read more
I love using molecular structures as teaching tools. They're beautiful, they're easy to obtain, and working with them is fun.
But working with molecular structures as an educators can present some challenges. The biggest problem is that many of the articles describing the structures are not accessible, particularly those published by the ACS (American Chemical Society). I'm hoping that ... Read more
If you look below the fold, you can see two molecules locked in a tight embrace. These molecules or their closely related cousins can be found in any cell because their ability to evolve is slowed by their need to interact with each other in the right way.
In an earlier post, I asked:
Who are they?
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
This is a fun puzzle. The pink molecule is a protein and the other molecule is a nucleic acid.
If I gave you the amino acid sequence of this protein, or the nucleotide sequence of this nucleic acid, what is the probability of finding a similar sequence in a different species (picked at random)?
D. It ... Read more
The grocery store magazine covers all say that home made gifts are big this year. So I thought, some of you might like to channel your inner Martha Stewart and make gifts with a science theme.
I'm here to help to you make a merry mug with one of our favorite molecules. Yep, we're talking caffeine.
1. First, we'll go to ... Read more