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Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday's Molecule #187

Last week's molecule was the core nucleosome complex [Monday's Molecule #186] and nobody who was eligible for a win got it! That's quite shocking. Here's an easy one for today.

Name this molecule, including the name of the "R" group. You'll have to guess but there's really only one possibility in living cells. Don't forget, I need the full name of the most likely molecule given the partial structure that you see.

Post your answer as a comment. I'll hold off releasing any comments for 24 hours. The first one with the correct answer wins. I will only post mostly correct answers to avoid embarrassment. The winner will be treated to a free lunch.

There could be two winners. If the first correct answer isn't from an undergraduate student then I'll select a second winner from those undergraduates who post the correct answer. You will need to identify yourself as an undergraduate in order to win. (Put "undergraduate" at the bottom of your comment.)

Some past winners are from distant lands so their chances of taking up my offer of a free lunch are slim. (That's why I can afford to do this!)

In order to win you must post your correct name. Anonymous and pseudoanonymous commenters can't win the free lunch.

Winners will have to contact me by email to arrange a lunch date. Please try and beat the regular winners. Most of them live far away and I'll never get to take them to lunch. This makes me sad.

Comments are now open.

UPDATE: The molecule shown in the figure is N-formylmethionine in an ester linkage to group "R." The most likely R group is the methionyl initiator tRNA, tRNAfMet. The compete molecule is N-formylmethionyl-tRNAfMet. Only three readers guessed the correct molecule and none of them got the specific tRNA but I feel generous today so I awarding a win to Mikkel Rasmussen for being the first one to come close. He should contact me to arrange a date for lunch.

Nov. 2009: Jason Oakley, Alex Ling
Oct. 17: Bill Chaney, Roger Fan
Oct. 24: DK
Oct. 31: Joseph C. Somody
Nov. 7: Jason Oakley
Nov. 15: Thomas Ferraro, Vipulan Vigneswaran
Nov. 21: Vipulan Vigneswaran (honorary mention to Raul A. Félix de Sousa)
Nov. 28: Philip Rodger
Dec. 5: 凌嘉誠 (Alex Ling)
Dec. 12: Bill Chaney
Dec. 19: Joseph C. Somody
Jan. 9: Dima Klenchin
Jan. 23: David Schuller
Jan. 30: Peter Monaghan
Feb. 7: Thomas Ferraro, Charles Motraghi
Feb. 13: Joseph C. Somody
March 5: Albi Celaj
March 12: Bill Chaney, Raul A. Félix de Sousa
March 19: no winner
March 26: John Runnels, Raul A. Félix de Sousa
April 2: Sean Ridout
April 9: no winner
April 16: Raul A. Félix de Sousa
April 23: Dima Klenchin, Deena Allan
April 30: Sean Ridout
May 7: Matt McFarlane
May 14: no winner
May 21: no winner
May 29: Mike Hamilton, Dmitri Tchigvintsev
June 4: Bill Chaney, Matt McFarlane
June 18: Raul A. Félix de Sousa
June 25: Raul A. Félix de Sousa
July 2: Raul A. Félix de Sousa
July 16: Sean Ridout, William Grecia
July 23: Raul A. Félix de Sousa
July 30: Bill Chaney and Raul A. Félix de Sousa
Aug. 7: Raul A. Félix de Sousa
Aug. 13: Matt McFarlane
Aug. 20: Stephen Spiro
Aug. 27: Raul A. Félix de Sousa
Sept. 3: Matt McFarlane
Sept. 10: Matt Talarico
Sept. 17: no winner
Sept. 24: Mikkel Rasmussen


  1. The molecule is N-formylmethionine-tRNA

    The -R part is tRNA.

    I want to be listed as a winner. My name is Mikkel Rasmussen.

    Not an undergraduate though, just a lowly lab-tech :P

  2. Formylmethionine-tRNA, the first aminoacyl-tRNA for protein synthesis in bacteria, or any freshly produced protein in bacteria, before the fMet gets removed

  3. N-formylmethionyl-tRNA. The R group is fMET tRNA.