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Millions of years of life's struggle for survival in different environments have resulted in proteins providing
 

Summary: Millions of years of life's struggle for survival in different
environments have resulted in proteins providing
diverse, creative and efficient solutions to a wide range of
problems, from extracting energy from the environment
to repairing and replicating their own code. Good solu-
tions to biological problems can also be good solutions
to human problems -- proteins are widely used in the
food, chemicals, consumer products and medical fields.
Not content with nature's protein repertoire, however,
protein engineers are working to extend known protein
function to new environments or tasks14
and to create
new functions altogether57
.
Despite major advances, a molecular-level under-
standing of why one protein performs a certain task
better than another remains elusive. This is perhaps
not surprising when we remember that a protein often
undergoes conformational changes during function
and exists as a dynamic ensemble of conformers that

  

Source: Arnold, Frances H. - Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology

 

Collections: Chemistry; Biology and Medicine