Volume 91 Issue 14 | pp. 38-39
Issue Date: April 8, 2013

Bringing Ancient Proteins To Life

Scientists resurrect long-gone cellular workhorses to study evolution and engineer new versions of proteins
Department: Science & Technology | Collection: Life Sciences
News Channels: Biological SCENE, JACS In C&EN
Keywords: proteins, evolution, evolutionary biology, protein engineering

Ancient proteins differed from their modern descendants in sequence and, sometimes, function. Scientists would like to know how those proteins actually worked. Unfortunately, they disappeared with the organisms that used them, and scientists can’t time travel to study them.

Or can they? When it comes to studying ancient proteins, scientists have their own version of time travel. By comparing the sequences of closely related modern proteins, scientists can deduce the sequence that appeared in their . . .

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