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Research team borrows metal tool for protein engineering


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Scientists have discovered that a tool normally used to improve stainless steel and other metal alloys can be applied to a decidedly nonmetallic substance: protein...


Scientists work with proteins just as they work with metals and other inorganic materials, designing new substances with enhanced properties, such as the ability to survive at high temperatures. But doing so involves sorting through the nearly endless possible ways to rearrange a protein's components, called amino acids -- an extremely time-consuming and computer-intensive task.


By applying a computational technique for alloy design called cluster expansion, the MIT researchers and their colleagues were able to search through potential amino acid configurations up to 100 million times faster than with conventional techniques. The work could prove useful in many fields, including medicine and biotechnology, which stand to benefit from the revamped proteins with superior properties....


More at MIT...

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