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Discovery

Researchers investigate remarkable approach to desalination

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Image of Bacillus subtillis.

A view looking from the top down on a Bacillus subtilis colony in which conditions were such that an extracellular matrix--a mesh of proteins and sugars that can form outside bacterial cells--was produced, leading to biofilm formation.

Credit: Hera Vlamakis, Harvard University Medical School


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Image of two component signaling proteins.

Cheng et al. constructed a computational scoring function that can predict how single mutations can alter the interaction between two-component signaling (TCS) proteins. In this figure, positive scores correlate well with increased phosphotransfer ability between TCS pairs.

Credit: Cheng et al., William Marsh Rice University


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Scoring function

Negative scores in the researchers scoring metric--depicted here--correlate with decreased phosphotransfer ability. The researchers say the scoring function alternately can be used to predict mutations that modify a wild type of interaction between two-component signaling proteins by a desired amount.

Credit: Cheng et al., William Marsh Rice University


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