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Computer paints a charged bioportrait

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4:36pm, August 28, 2001

By employing a novel computational strategy, researchers have mapped the electrical landscape of biological molecules made up of more than 1 million atoms. Previous methods were typically limited to fewer than 50,000 atoms.

Electrostatic properties play an important role in the stability and dynamics of proteins, nucleic acids, and other biomolecules. With the new approach, scientists can model electrostatic interactions in functional parts of cells. These include microtubules, which usher nutrients and other substances back and forth within the cell, and ribo

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