Monday, July 13, 2009

Engineering proteins

Earlier this year, i happened to listen to a talk by some prof from protein engineering department of Oxford at NCL audi.
He was taking about 'aquaporins'.
these are membrane protein which allow water to pass through them. but not the proton...
well, what is interesting then??
his lab engineered the O-(from water) binding domain of the aquaporin so that the number of hydrogen bonds could be reduced from 2 to 1. This implies that now even protons ( i mean H3O+) can pass through it... so what>??
he puts them in the vesicles and prepares a series of vesicles connected with aquaporins...nd that's it!! u hav a single wire of proton running through this marvelous protein ... u have a nano-battery!!
well..further engineering can give u a nano-capacitor and so on!! ( as he said!!) ...
so the future directions of these biological advancement is certainly going to affect the way we live is difficult to speculate (for me at least!)
one of my colleage in Khorana program in wrking on this protein and today i listened to her talk...saw the motif and then only understood the mechanism of single molecule wire formation... I, on the other hand, am wrkin on lipid vesicles.... so it gives me immense pleasure to undersatnd the picture clearly after so many days of the talk!! well connections retain the excitement of science..i believe... havent done a great deal of wrk yet, but understanding how these 'great deal of works' have been done is in itself a source of pleasure, inspiration and excitement in my life.. and i m alive here!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

the genes are jumping faster

Swine flu has caused nearly 900 cases in humans in past few weeks. The H1N1 influennza strain has now been reported to be isolated from pigs as well ( The report mentions that an agency suspects a farmer from Mexico to infect a pig in Canada during the visit and the strain subsequently spread in humans back. This to and fro across-species jump of these strains is really a matter of concern for the Scientists working on it because it really makes the case complicated. They suspect that a similar inter crossing is possible for avian influenza strain as well. Now these freely jumping genes could really make a havoc and require to be considered a serious issue. Question arises- what gives them such a high compatibility? Are the genes really jumping faster? Is this the demand of evolution or is it a consequence of how we are irrationaly manipulating our nature?

Saturday, May 2, 2009


As a student and researcher in Science, I always have some crazy ideas (not really crazy) which now other people can see and comment upon.
I am always amused wth the science hidden behind our ancient vedic traditions, the philosophy of upnishads and so many things like Indus valley civilisation (see Ronojoy's work on that
The crazy way of doing science is what I suppose the actual way of doing it.