Water not necessary for life?

The proteins that are vital to living creatures evolved in Earth’s water-rich environment and it was thought that water was vital for proteins to function, but some intriguing new findings from the University of Bristol (UK) challenge this dogma.

Proteins consist of one or more polypeptides (chains of amino acids held together by peptide bonds) that convert food into energy, supply oxygen to our blood and muscles, and drive our immune systems. If a protein is heated in water to temperatures approaching boiling point, the polypeptides will unfold and lose their structure – known as denaturing.

An example of denaturing occurs when an egg is hard-boiled: the structures of the proteins in the egg unfold and stick together, creating a solid. In the egg’s case, this process cannot be reversed – however there are many examples where cooling the protein results in the refolding of the structure. Previously, it was thought that water was essential to this refolding process; however, the new findings suggest this isn’t necessarily the case.

Using a spectroscopic technique called circular dichroism, Adam Perriman and colleagues have shown that the oxygen-carrying protein myoglobin can refold in an environment that is almost completely devoid of water molecules.

“We achieved this by attaching polymer molecules to the surface of the protein and then removing the water to give a viscous liquid which, when cooled from a temperature as high as 155& #176;C, refolded back to its original structure,” Perriman explained.

He believes the findings could enable the development of new industrial enzymes where hyper-thermal resistance plays a crucial role; in applications ranging from biosensor development to the electrochemical reduction of CO2 to liquid fuels.

Related:
Discuss this article in our forum
Physicists Mull Whether Inorganic Dust Formations Could Be Alive
Folding Proteins For Fun And Profit
Artificial Proteins Point Way To ‘Synthetic Biology’

Source: University of Bristol

, ,

Comments are closed.

Silicone Smoking Water Pipe Bong Tobacco Bubbler Gift (Green) picture

Silicone Smoking Water Pipe Bong Tobacco Bubbler Gift (Green)

$14.69



Silicone Dinosaur  Big Water Smoking Hookah Pipe Bubbler w/Ice Catcher USA picture

Silicone Dinosaur Big Water Smoking Hookah Pipe Bubbler w/Ice Catcher USA

$12.49



8.6 Inc Silicone Smoking Water Glass Hookah Pipe Tobacco Bubbler Best Gift picture

8.6 Inc Silicone Smoking Water Glass Hookah Pipe Tobacco Bubbler Best Gift

$16.49



Hookah Water Pipe Glass 10

Hookah Water Pipe Glass 10" SG Tobacco Classic Beaker Bong w/ ICE catcher

$28.99



8

8" Inch Glass Hookah Water Pipe Bong Clear + 5 FREE Screens

$16.25



12 Inch Heavy Glass Bongs Percolator Water Pipe Filter 14mm Bowl Thick Bubbler picture

12 Inch Heavy Glass Bongs Percolator Water Pipe Filter 14mm Bowl Thick Bubbler

$35.99



Hookah Water Pipe Glass 9 inch Tobacco Classic Beaker Bong w/ ICE catcher picture

Hookah Water Pipe Glass 9 inch Tobacco Classic Beaker Bong w/ ICE catcher

$20.45



9'' Purple Water Pipe Bubbler Glass Hookah Bong Waterpipe with Filter picture

9'' Purple Water Pipe Bubbler Glass Hookah Bong Waterpipe with Filter

$26.99



Green 12

Green 12" Glass Inline Percolator Premium Bong Hookah Water Shower Head Perc

$59.99



Green 17

Green 17" Glass Inline Percolator Premium Bong Hookah Water 18mm bowl

$89.99



Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes