biophysics vs. biochem speculatin'....

michelle morton mbmorton at ix.netcom.com
Thu Nov 2 06:00:40 EST 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 question
is this - is *softness* due to:  

a) the **physical** arrangement of the peptide bonds - do the bonds and
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 help
me out, I'd really appreciate it.  Thanx in advance for your info.


michelle (my mind's awanderin', awanderin', just awanderin' away) m



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