Thursday, March 6, 2014

Assignment #3: Due Tuesday, April 8

What makes your protein the best? Convince us.

Submit a post to sell your classmates of the beauty of your protein, with an emphasis on its biochemistry. Include structures, reactions, references, and anything else you need to make your case. Though you should consider this your final version, you will get the chance to respond to the comments from your classmates before your final submission enters the brackets.

This assignment is worth 30 points. You will be evaluated by your peers on the basis of your protein's biochemistry.

Assignment #2: Due Friday, March 21 (though it won't be late until Tuesday, April 1)

The due date falls right before spring break, but you may take more time if you choose. It's your decision if you want to do it right away, wrap it up before spring break, or devote time to it over spring break.

For your second assignment, worth 10 points, you need to find and summarize articles describing your protein from the biochemical literature. Find information that tells us something interesting about the biochemistry of your protein. What does it do? Does it catalyze a reaction? If so, write out the reaction (you don't need to show structures yet). What does it do for a cell or the organism? Are there diseases associated with it? If you're looking for examples, check out some of those posted in the Virtual Protein Museum, the Protein Data Bank Molecule of the Month site, or the Protein Structure Initiative Featured Molecules page.

You must find a minimum of 3 articles, at least one of which must be a primary research article (you may use review articles for the others). Then you should write a one paragraph summary of the most interesting items from the article--remember, your goal is to convince your friends and family of the beauty or amazingness of the biochemistry of your protein. Include a link to the article in your blog post.

Where should you look?
  • The Protein Data Bank page for your protein will have a link to the article linked to the structure.
  • Another good place to look is the PubMed site. You can look for review articles here, too (these will be a great source of the interesting features of your protein); you can then look for a primary article from the references listed in the review. To look for reviews, select the [Limits] tab and then scroll until you find the [Reviews] tab. For further instructions on PubMed, click here.
  • Highwire and Google scholar are other great sources for articles. Once you find an article, you can also get a list of other articles that have cited it. This may also help you find reviews.
  • You need not read the whole article--take a look at the abstract and the introduction (which will have more citations) to see what the authors found about your protein.
If you have selected a protein featured at either the Protein Data Bank Molecule of the Month page or the Protein Structure Initiative Featured Molecules page, you must also cite the source on your blog page.

Post on the Google docs sign up when you have finished.