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!!