Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Monday's Molecule #131: Winner

The reaction pathway depicts the formation of the chromophore of green fluorescent protein (GFP). The light fluorescence is due to light that is absorbed by this chromophore and re-emitted at a longer wavelength.

Roger Tsein analyzed the pathway and created variants that would increase the efficiently and change the color of the light. For this he shared the 2008 Nobel Prize.

A surprising number of you found this easy and responded quickly with the correct answer. Some of you actually knew what it was without resorting to Google! The winner is Alex Ling of the University of Toronto.

This week we have an entire pathway to help you out. The goal is to identify the final product on the right and explain its significance. There are several possible Nobel Laureates who might be associated with this molecule but I'm looking for the one who worked on the pathway and presents it in the Nobel lecture. The Nobel Prize was awarded, in part, for the creation of mutant with a threonine substitution at position 65.

The first person to identify the molecule and the Nobel Laureate, wins a free lunch. Previous winners are ineligible for six weeks from the time they first won the prize.

There are only five ineligible candidates for this week's reward: Ian Clarke of New England Biolabs Canada in Pickering ON, Canada. Dima Klenchin of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Dara Gilbert of the University of Waterloo, Anne Johnson of Ryerson University, and Cody Cobb, soon to be a graduate student at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

I have an extra free lunch for a deserving undergraduate so I'm going to continue to award an additional prize to the first undergraduate student who can accept it. Please indicate in your email message whether you are an undergraduate and whether you can make it for lunch.


Nobel Laureates
Send your guess to Sandwalk (sandwalk (at) bioinfo.med.utoronto.ca) and I'll pick the first email message that correctly identifies the molecule(s) and names the Nobel Laureate(s). Note that I'm not going to repeat Nobel Prizes so you might want to check the list of previous Sandwalk postings by clicking on the link in the theme box.

Correct responses will be posted tomorrow.

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