Friday, August 12, 2016

Protein Folding Problem: Demystifying a Major Conundrum of Science

Protein molecules are responsible for many functions throughout not only human bodies, but the bodies of all types of animals. Protein molecules, which come in billions and trillions of tiny little sophisticated systems, run your brain, your immune system, and your heart, making them some of the most important things for the body to thrive.

Ken Dill at TEDxSUB (Stonybrook University) delved into a deep question surrounding this incredible nano-machines known as protein molecules and their general function in living creatures. The question centers on the "protein folding problem", where for over 50 years, this concept has been a major mystery is modern science and biology.

How do protein molecules - small string-like chemicals - translate the basic functions of humans and living organisms. In other words, how are protein molecules responsible for our body's ability to reject pathogens via our immune system, exert force via our muscles, perceive vision via ours, and more. And that's just the one human level. How about protein folding problem for plants, like how plant biology can convert solar energy.

In addition to demystifying some of these questions, Ken Kill at TEDxSUB also discusses how protein molecules could play as vital servants in commercial world of medical technology for the future, particularly surrounding fields of health and disease prevention.

The science-heavy subject matter of this TED Talk is a bit thick, but definitely worth a watch if you're interested in geeking-out on such topics. Some of the key things to keep in mind are understanding the amino acid profile of proteins and their overall composition. This factors into the "code" or the manner in which protein molecules reinforce specific actions.

So whether you're biology nerd who is passionate in the protein folding problem, or seeking to review plant-based protein powders in a more sophisticated manner, check out this TED Talk from Ken Dill.