Monday, November 27, 2006

Monday's Molecule #3

Name this molecule. Comments will be blocked for 24 hours. Comments are now unblocked.

BTW, you guys did great on last week's molecule but not so good on the supplemental questions in the comments. Does everyone now know the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd amino acids?


  1. This is Methotrexate, a potent, relatively specific inhibitor of dihydrofolate reductase (a catalyst in the synthesis of thymidylate (dTMP) from dUMP).

    The resulting decrease in tetrahydrofolate levels greatly diminishes the formation of dTMP since dTMP synthesis depends on adequate concentrations of methylenetetrahydrofolate.

    Because dTMP is an essential precursor of DNA, any agent that lowers dTMP levels drastically affects cell division. Methotrexate is used to inhibit the reproduction of cancer cells.

    Now for a REAL challenge, can you name this nebula?

  2. I think there ought to be some restrictions on who can post to this thread. Astrophysicists should be banned in order to give the biochemists a fighting chance!

    Offspring should be banned for other reasons. Shouldn't you be calibrating your polarimeter or writing your thesis or something else that's useful? :-)

    [It's NGC 2070, the Tarantula nebula, in the constellation Dorodus at 05h 38m 38.00s, -69° 05' 42.0". It's 179,000 ly away in the Large Magellanic Cloud. You can barely see it with the naked eye, even if you're on a mountain top in Chile.]

  3. ...D'oh. Dammit.

    Gotta work on those buzzer skills.