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Building Blocks for Biochemists
Researchers have created a flexible, scaled, physical model of a polypeptide chain, which accurately reproduces the bond rotational degrees of freedom in the peptide backbone.
Significance and Impact
The development of this interactive model, called a Peppytide, has the potential for use as an educational aid – for both researches and students – towards the intuitive understanding of chain folding as the basis for macromolecular structure.
The Peppytide model features:
- Dimensional accuracy of bond lengths and bond angles
- Mechanical and magnetic connections that represent the covalent and hydrogen bonding that is found at the molecular scale
- The ability to fold into stable secondary structures
- Readily obtainable parts that are easily constructed
P. Chakraborty & R. N. Zuckermann. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2013 110, 13368.