This is the Golgi apparatus. It's responsible for sorting and targeting proteins that have to be secreted or localized to internal vesicles. These proteins are inserted into the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) during protein biosynthesis and from there they are partially modified and shuffled off to the Gorgi in small vesicles that bud off the ER and fuse with the membrane stacks shown in the image. While in the Gogi the proteins are further modified and targeted to the cell surface or peroxisomes or lysozomes. They travel to those locations in vesicles that bud off the edges of the Golgi disks.
The Nobel Laureate is Camillo Golgi who discovered the Golgi apparatus over 115 years ago.
This week's winner is Ben Ryan, an undergraduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He's the son of an old friend who's now the Managing Editor of American Scientist. It's scary when you realize that people who you remember as toddlers are now university students who can correctly answer Monday's Molecule. I'm hoping that Ben will be able to visit Toronto and collect his prize. I have stories to tell him that I can't put in writing.
Today's "molecule" is an easy one in celebration of the start of a new academic year for many university students. Name this structure and provide a very brief description of it's function.
The Nobel Laureate should be obvious.
The first person to describe the "molecule" and name 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 three ineligible candidates for this week's reward: Markus-Frederik Bohn of the Lehrstuhl für Biotechnik in Erlangen, Germany, Maria Altshuler of the University of Toronto, and Philip Johnson of the University of Toronto.
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.
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.