biophysics vs. biochem speculatin'....

K N and P J Harris ecoli at
Sat Nov 4 05:14:37 EST 1995

> ==========
> bionet/microbiology #1056, from mbmorton at, 1963 chars, 2 
Nov 1995 11:00:40 
> ----------
> Article: 2008 of bionet.microbiology
> Xref: bionet.biophysics:1199 bionet.cellbiol:2922 
bionet.general:2965 bionet.microbiology:2008 bionet.molbio.proteins:5147
> Path:!!btnet!!pipex
> From: mbmorton at (michelle morton )
> Newsgroups: 
> Subject: biophysics vs. biochem speculatin'....
> Date: 2 Nov 1995 11:00:40 GMT
> Organization: Netcom
> Lines: 26
> Message-ID: <47a8co$3s5 at>
> NNTP-Posting-Host:
> X-NETCOM-Date: Thu Nov 02  3:00:40 AM PST 1995
> Got a question that's been puzzling me.  My cat's fur is so soft that
> petting him is like touching a cashmere or angora sweater.  My 
> is this - is *softness* due to:  
> a) the **physical** arrangement of the peptide bonds - do the bonds 
> the amino acids they're attached to form a smooth, rather than jagged
> or discrete, surface?
> b) the tertiary or quarternary folding of the protein(s) in his fur -
> ie, are the proteins physically arranged in some special way so that
> they are experienced by us as being *soft*?
> c) the sequencing of the amino acids themselves, or
> d) some other phenomenom that I haven't thought of and probably can't
> even imagine right now?
> Obviously, as a student I have wwwaaaaaayyyy too much time on my time
> on my hands :>!!!  This is one of several "philosophy" of chemistry
> questions I have that keep me from ever getting around to figuring out
> how to solve world hunger or bring about total global peace on earth
> and other really important stuff like that!  Soooooooo, if you can 
> me out, I'd really appreciate it.  Thanx in advance for your info.
> michelle (my mind's awanderin', awanderin', just awanderin' away) m
Since this is microbiology, maybe you have access to one of those 
antique bits of equipment we used to use before DNA sequencers took 
over. It's called a "MIC-RO-SCOPE". Get a bit of fur, and a few bits of 
other fibres and have a look.
Let us know your observations.
Peter Harris,
Soil Microbiologist,
University of Reading, 

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