Science, technology, & society.
wow, 4 base codons for expanded amino acid 'instruction set' for protein synthesis
Reminds me of selenocysteine.
I wonder if proteins will be designed not only to have better function, but also to be easily solved. Then again, wouldn't it just be perfectly ironic if proteins that were designed to be easily solved were less functional then the ones that are harder to solve? Wait, I think that's true already
Proteins that are easy to solve would have a very simple "energy manifold" ( I don't know the formal term ) in configuration space. My guess is that some structural proteins my be easy to solve, perhaps more stable particles like mis-folded prion proteins are already solvable. I do know that somewhere there is a computer that can do protein folding, or at least try, but it often gets the wrong answer. Maybe some sort of heuristic can be developed to determine when to trust an analytically solved for structure. Also, there are usually many local minima and the structure changes based on pH, salinity, and other molecular interactions.
Actually, I was just talking about the issue of getting the proteins to easily crystallize. As a side note I'm thinking of working for a guy who is trying to do computer predicted ligand binding for organic catalysts come september.