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Structural biology

PhD position in Statistical Protein Structure Prediction, Copenhagen, Denmark

One of the major unsolved problems in bioinformatics is the protein folding problem: given an amino acid sequence, predict the overall three-dimensional structure of the corresponding protein. It has been known since the seminal work of Christian B. Anfinsen in the early seventies that the sequence of a protein encodes its structure, but the exact […]

Postdoctoral Position in Computational Bioengineering (Rice University)

The Kavraki group at Rice University is looking to hire an enthusiastic postdoctoral researcher to enhance their research efforts in computational structural biology, drug design, and computational bioengineering. The group has significant expertise in the development of methods for motion planning for complex systems in robotics. Their Open Motion Planning Library (OMPL, http://ompl.kavrakilab.org) is now […]

Nobel Prize Quips at PDBe

I received this email today from Gary Battle at PDBe . Very cool:   Nobel Prize Quips: Explore the structure of B2AR bound to its G-protein. Today, Nobel Laureates Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka take center stage in Stockholm where they will receive their Nobel Prize Medals for their studies of G-protein–coupled receptors […]

Repost: a very loose and circular association to Pi Day

(Originally published March 14, 2009) Happy Pi (π) Day! Americans write dates in the MM/DD/YYYY format instead of the DD/MM/YYYY format used by the rest of the world.  Usually a rather painful and confusing format if you did not grow up with it, causing checks to bounce and leases to expire for those who recently […]

Carnival of Evolution #29

Yes, it’s that time when we all get together in front of the screen to watch another beautiful game played by that fantastic team contributing to the Carnival of Evolution. This time hosted on the lovely green pitch of Byte Size Biology. So get your popcorn, sunflower-seeds, crisps or any other culturally-appropriate sports-watching food and…… […]

Paweł Szczęsny in TEDx Warsaw

Pawel on Open Science. Full disclosure: I consider sharing an office with this guy for over a year to be one of the best experiences of my postdoc.

“Codon” is now a four letter word

As part of the process of manufacturing  a new car,  the designers will take the blueprints to the factory floor. There they will set up an experimental assembly line, tinkering with the manufacturing process of the prototype until it is ready for mass-production. Can we do the same with the machinery of life — the assembly […]

The polypharmacome

Pharmaceutical companies are always on the lookout for secondary drug targets. After all, if you invest billions developing a single drug, you would be more than happy to sell it as a treatment for two, three, or more different ailments. Sildenafil citrate was developed to treat angina and hypertension, but during phase I clinical trials, […]


The University of Alabama at Birmingham issued a statement last week asking that 11 structures be removed from the Protein Data Bank, as they are quite possibly fabricated. Wow. Very little detail was given by UAB’s statement (below), or by the media. Apparently all the structures are tied to one person, HMK Murthy, who could […]

The Warren L. DeLano Memorial Award for Computational Biosciences

Warren DeLano passed away suddenly and at a young age at his home Nov 3, 2009. He was the author of PyMol, a very popular molecular visualization program, and a strong advocate of open source software. The family of Warren Lyford DeLano has created a “In Memorium” page and blog. Also, a memorial award is […]

Warren DeLano

For those who are not in the structural biology community: Warren DeLano wrote and maintained PyMol, the software of choice for molecular visualization. Practically anyone who published anything requiring a biomolecular image used PyMol. It is a great piece of software, powerful and extensible. Warren was strongly committed to writing quality product that served the […]

Finally: a Nobel prize for the ribosome structure

This has been a topic of discussion since I was in grad school: when will the Nobel prize for the structure of the ribosome be finally awarded? Well, it finally has. Ada Yonath, Thomas Steitz and Venkatraman Ramakrishnan received the Nobel for work that has spanned three decades and an equal number of continents.   […]

A FLORA of Protein Structure to Protein Function

Proteins are the machinery of life, and they facilitate most of life’s functions. Traffic into and out of the cell? Protein pumps, pores and channels. Respiration? Proteins. Metabolism and catabolism? Proteins. Immune system, signaling, development…  all complex networks of interacting proteins. Understanding a protein’s  structure can tell us a lot about how it performs its […]

Distant homology and being a little pregnant

(Thanks to F.B.  for the inspiration). Sigh… people don’t seem to learn. It’s been almost 22 years (yikes!) since a distinguished group of scientists published a letter in Cell calling for a responsible use of the word “homology”. If you were born when that letter was published, then in the US you can already drink […]

The workings of a cellular water pore, and something about obesity

Maintaining a water balance is essential to life.  Cells must regulate their water content carefully and within a very narrow margin. Too much water intake, and the cell bursts like a water balloon; too much water outflow, and it shrivels like a raisin. The cell itself is contained in a waterproof membrane. But there are […]