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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Monday's Molecule #124: Winners

This week's winner is Mike Fraser of the University of Toronto. (Yeah, Canada!) Here's what he wrote,
The molecule is the Na+/K+ ATPase ('sodium-potassium pump'). The stoichiometry is 3Na+ out for 2K+ into the cell. In the process, ATP is converted to ADP + Pi (inorganic phosphate).

The Nobelist is Jens Skou, Chemistry 1997.
The Undergraduate winner is Jason Oakley of the University of Toronto.

The fastest correct answer was from an ineligible American but the next four correct answers were from Canadians. Maybe I should extend the ineligible delay even more!!!

Europeans and the rest of the world weren't even in the top ten.

Name this molecule. Be as specific as possible. You must also identify the missing products and reactants. Be sure to get the stoichiometry correct or it doesn't count!

Identify the Nobel Laureate who discovered this molecule.

The first person to identify the molecule plus its reactants and products and identify the Nobel Laureate, wins a free lunch at the Faculty Club. Previous winners are ineligible for six weeks from the time they first won the prize. Please note the change in the length of time you are ineligible. The idea is to give more more people a chance to win.

There are seven ineligible candidates for this week's reward: Laura Gerth of the University of Notre Dame, Stefan Tarnawsky of the University of Toronto, Dima Klenchin of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Adam Santoro of the University of Toronto., Michael Clarkson of Waltham MA (USA), Òscar Reig of Barcelona, and Maria Altshuler of the University of Toronto.

The rest of the world has pulled ahead of the Canadians. If it wasn't for the special free lunch for people who can actually collect it, there would be no Canadian winners at all!! What's happened?

I still have one extra free lunch donated by a previous winner to a deserving undergraduate so I'm going to continue to award an additional free lunch 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) and I'll pick the first email message that correctly identifies the molecule 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.

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


  1. Who is this legendary Dima Klenchin, and how does she (?) get notices of your posts faster than me checking an rss feed?

  2. Why don't you make them harder next time? The last two were a joke, an ECG should be known by every Life Sci student, and the active transport pump is taught in gr.11 Biology, all that is needed is simple googling to find the stoichiometry and the exact name.

    Try to put stuff that isn't taught, or hard to remember, like a picture of Vitamin B12 or something.