is there a theory of protein folding?
akarnoup at chartermi.net
Mon Dec 9 11:39:45 EST 2002
Very immature statements.
The protein folding is a very tough problem, and the world's best minds are
working on it for several years. It's not the fault of the scientists who
are trying very hard to solve it: the problem fundamentally is very complex.
Relativity theory was also not created overnight, but was a fruit of several
years of hard work of a genius.
Don't tell me "there is no beef there"; once the working universal folding
theory is created - and I'm sure it will be created, maybe via several more
years of hard theoretical and experimental work - it will enable lots of
practical applications (and it will be a true revolution), from medicine to
creation of new materials.
The Dow Chemical Co.
"Matt" <mp6sf at hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:fec1375d.0212051455.d54fe7e at posting.google.com...
> fec1375d.0212051446.528bb0f4 at posting.google.com>
> I'd like to throw some thoughts to stimulate a discussion.
> Protein folding has long attracted the interests of theoretical
> computational physicists, as well as other types of
> theoretically-minded people.
> There has been attempts to say something about folding based on
> concepts inspired from spin glass theory, ``energy landscapes'',
> a plethora of statistical mechanical and other models. What did
> this accomplish?
> Not much, it seems to me. The spin glass analogy has proven
> much useless to understand what proteins really do. The ``new
> namely that folding is driven by a ``funnel''energy
> landscape, is quite obvious from a physical point of view and
> doesn't add anything really useful (to make predictions, that
> Indeed, the basic physics (i.e. the physics which is common to
> proteins) is quite simple.
> Despite this, the hype around protein folding physics continues
> unabated. I would predict that at some points the funding
> agencies and
> the public will realize that there isn't much beef here, and at
> point the whole field of energy landscape-ology etc. will be
> The real, important scientific issues in protein folding have to
> do to
> the SPECIFIC behavior of a given protein and its interactions
> other molecules. The devil really is in the details here. But
> this is more
> an experimental problem than anything else. One can hope that at
> some points people will be able to do detailed, realistic
> Whether these can provide insight that is not obtainable from
> experiments remains to be seen, in my view.
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