What can a particle accelerator teach us about biology? Dr Sylvia McLain explains her research into one of the most fundamental questions of life: how water is involved protein folding.
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Water’s role in sustaining life is well known. But for many years, scientists assumed that water was something of a passive medium in which biological processes happened. Proteins fold in precise ways again and again, and the role of water has long been belittled. Most techniques used to study proteins cannot take into account the presence of water.
Dr Sylvia McLain, a University Research Lecturer within the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford, and her team are using the ISIS Neutron Source to test the role water plays in protein folding, and are finding that it may not be quite as passive at it seems.
This film is supported by the Science and Technology Facilities Council.
Thanks to St Peter's College, Oxford for letting us film in their beautiful library.
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