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May 9, 2011

3D Proteins: Getting the Big Picture

Proteins are the workhorses of cells. With support from NSF, University of Arkansas biochemist James Hinton has been researching the structure and function of proteins for decades. Back in the 1990s, he had a vision to study these huge protein structures in 3-D and now, in cooperation with a company called Virtalis, his vision has become a reality. The new system allows researchers to enlarge the visual of a protein to room-size, so they can examine it from all angles, to better understand its structure and function. The new 3-D visuals are also helping Hinton realize his other vision--to better engage students in his discoveries and science in general.

Credit: National Science Foundation

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