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Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday's Molecule #58

This is one example of a very common molecule found in every cell. You have to give us the common name of this molecule and identify the species. You'll be pleased to know that I don't need the systematic IUPAC name for this one.

There's a direct connection between this molecule and Wednesday's Nobel Laureate. Your task is to figure out the significance of today's molecule and identify the Nobel Laureate who studied its function. (Hint: The Nobel Laureate is a Canadian—there aren't very many Canadian Nobel Laureates so this is a very big hint.)

The reward goes to the person who correctly identifies the molecule and the Nobel Laureate. Previous winners are ineligible for one month from the time they first collected the prize. There is one ineligible candidates for this week's reward because Sandwalk readers were not very successful in December. The prize is a free lunch at the Faculty Club.


Nobel Laureates
Send your guess to Sandwalk (sandwalk(at) and I'll pick the first email message that correctly identifies the molecule and the Nobel Laureate. Note that I'm not going to repeat Nobel Laureates so you might want to check the list of previous Sandwalk postings.

Correct responses will be posted tomorrow along with the time that the message was received on my server. I may select multiple winners if several people get it right.

Comments will be blocked for 24 hours. Comments are now open.

UPDATE: We have a winner! This one proved to be far more difficult than I imagined. Everyone got the Nobel Laureate (Sidney Altman) but very few people got the molecule correct. Some people failed to identify the species correctly even though I specifically asked for the species. Most people said that the molecule is RNase P but that isn't quite correct.

The molecule is the M1 RNA subunit of RNase P from E. coli. The other subunit is a small protein called the C5 protein cofactor. This RNA is sometimes called RNA P and that would have been an acceptable answer.

Only one person got everything right and that response just arrived a few minutes ago. Congratulations to PonderingFool for knowing that the molecule was the M1 RNA component of E, coli RNase P and the Nobel Laureate is Sidney Altman.

1 comment :

  1. Cool, I won. Wasn't able to visit the site until this morning and submitted I guess right before the cut off. Was aided by the fact I hear a talk last week on RNase P. See kids, going to seminars does pay off.

    Sorry won't be able to make lunch. Perhaps you can take a deserving young scientist in my place.