Proteins are the workhorses of our bodies. They keep our organs functioning. They regulate our cells. They are the targets for medications that treat a number of diseases, including cancers and neurological diseases. Proteins need to move in order to function, but scientists still know very little about such motions at speeds slower than a nanosecond. These proteins generally move very fast, logging from nanoseconds to microseconds. But before a new study, researchers could view only proteins moving faster than a nanosecond. We explore the profound study to widen our knowledge.
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Change, one protein at a time
The research, published in the journal Science Advances by a team of biophysical chemists at The Ohio State University, changed the movement of proteins in terms of their frequency. Researchers found a way to measure the ways proteins move at slower speeds, hundreds of nanoseconds to microseconds. The discovery, a fundamental breakthrough, could open a new line of research for scientists trying to understand how proteins behave in the body.
Driven with a goal
Research Scholar and professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Ohio State, Rafael Brüschweiler stated the goal of the team to open up the window to determine how fast a protein is moving and how it is behaving. Brüschweiler also added that the team’s objective was to come up with a tool to measure how proteins function on these timescales that no other scientist has not been able to watch before.
If not one way, then the other
Brüschweiler has been working on ways to better study proteins for decades, starting when he was a graduate student in Switzerland. He and his research group at Ohio State focus on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), a tool that helps scientists understand how proteins behave in the body. But the tool was, until this discovery, incapable of measuring fundamental protein behavior at speeds slower than a nanosecond.