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Synthetic proteins mimic the real thing

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Researchers are creating synthetic versions of proteins with improved properties.

Imagine synthetic antibiotics that could fight infections like MRSA, custom pharmaceuticals to treat advanced prostate cancer, and new enzymes that will turn cellulose into fuel.

Chemist Kent Kirshenbaum and his team at New York University are engineering molecules to mimic the shape, structure, and function of natural proteins.

“We’ve really developed the building block approach to crafting these molecules in an extremely reliable way,” Kirshenbaum says. “We’re confident that if we can design a molecule, we’re going to be able to build it.”

The ultimate goal of this biomimetic chemistry research is to develop a reliable way to build synthetic proteins that can be put to work at the industrial scale.

The National Science Foundation funded the work.

Source: National Science Foundation