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 …

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, …

Meet Keratin!

You have probably heard of keratin before--it is the protein that makes up your hair and nails. It also makes up hooves, antlers, horns, and feathers. It is classified as a filamentous protein (because it forms filaments). Keratin is found in structures such as horns, hooves, and hair. Keratin filaments look a bit like rope …

Meet Rubisco!

Rubisco is found in the chloroplasts of plant cells where it plays a key role in photosynthesis. Rubisco works in the chloroplasts of plant cells Remember that photosynthesis is the process plants (and some bacteria) use to build glucose sugar molecules using CO2 and energy from light. Plants can't just stitch a bunch of raw …