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Team Proposes De Novo Protein Tool With Structural Design Capabilities

A biophysics and computational biology study appearing in PNAS highlights an algorithm aimed at designing new proteins by bringing in protein structure and folding insights. There, researchers from the Swiss Federal institute of Technology at Lausanne, the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Lausanne, and other centers describe an approach that brings data-informed structural clues to a de novo design method known as TopoBuilder to boost new protein design, landing on protein backbone features that resemble native proteins. "We present an algorithm that automatically generates novel proteins from a minimal string definition with native-like geometries and show that current methods are insufficient for the generation of designable backbones," they write. "The variety of de novo designed proteins and the computational method should enlighten basic protein topological principles and facilitate the generation of de novo proteins to enable the exploration of the protein universe."

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.