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April 29, 2019

Synthetic proteins: Mimicking the molecular machinery of life

Chemistry team creates synthetic versions of proteins with improved properties

Imagine synthetic antibiotics that could fight infections like MRSA, custom pharmaceuticals to treat advanced prostate cancer, and new enzymes that will turn cellulose into fuel. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), chemist Kent Kirshenbaum and his team at New York University are engineering molecules to mimic the shape, structure and function of natural proteins. The ultimate goal of this biomimetic chemistry research is to develop a reliable way to build synthetic proteins that can be put to work at the industrial scale.

The research in this episode was supported by NSF award #1507946, Functional Biomimetic Architectures.

Miles O'Brien, Science Nation Correspondent
Kate Tobin, Science Nation Producer

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.