Without proteins, life as we know it would not exist. They’re involved in everything from changing food we eat into energy, to DNA replication.
A/Prof Aaron Oakley isn’t a stereotypical chemist. He’s an Analytical Chemist; they use instruments and machines to measure structures of a bunch of different molecules. This allows them to better understand the rules the molecule follows when it interacts with stuff around it.
Aaron looks at how proteins involved in DNA replication work. He says that if you can understand the complex structures, you can better design drugs to help them function when they break down.
Because it’s a bit tricky to put a bunch of a specific protein in a flask, Aaron has donated a 3D printed model of a protein called Ferredoxin. Without this protein, plants wouldn’t be able to properly make food from sunlight in a process called photosynthesis.
This isn’t the only molecule he’s 3D-printed. Watch the video below to find out more!