Meet Flippase!

Meet P4-type ATPase, better known as Flippase! Flippase lives and works in the plasma membrane. The plasma membrane is the border between the outside and the inside of the cell made from two layers of phospholipids. (We call the membrane a "phospholipid bilayer.") Phospholipids have heads that enjoy the water, but their tails hate water. …

Meet VDAC!

Meet Voltage-Dependent Anionic Channel! Scientists call it by its nickname, VDAC. VDAC lives in the mitochondria (that's right: the powerhouse of the cell), specifically in the outer membrane. It's the most abundant protein in the outer mitochondrial membrane and it is present in every single mitochondrion on earth. VDAC is found in the outer mitochondrial …

Meet PETase!

In honor of Plastic Free July, allow me to introduce PETase! PETase is an enzyme that eats plastic. Specifically, it dines on polyethylene terephthalate, the kind of plastic that most "disposable" water bottles are made of. from PDB 5XJH PETase was recently discovered (in 2016) in species of bacteria called Ideonella sakaiensis. It's believed that …

How does someone get a Science Ph.D.? (i.e. What is Julia still doing in school? Part 2)

At the time of writing this, I have finished "18th grade" and I still have quite a few years ahead of me before I am done with school. Typically, as an adult, when you tell someone that you are in school, they will ask two questions: What are you studying/what are you majoring in? (See …

What are you studying exactly? (i.e. What is Julia still doing in school? Part 1)

At the time of writing this, I have finished "18th grade" and I still have quite a few years ahead of me before I am done with school. Typically, as an adult, when you tell someone that you are in school, they will ask two questions: What are you studying/what are you majoring in?When will …

What are all those squiggly lines you keep showing us? (How to “Read” a Protein Structure)

If you look at any of my posts introducing a specific protein, you will always see an image like this one: 3D Model of Hemoglobin Maybe you see these images and ask, "What are all these squiggly lines you keep showing us?" These squiggly lines are three-dimensional representations of proteins. Every protein has a structure, …