Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Not just a bomb factory...

Los Alamos Bioscience Center Receives NIH Funds

[Associated Press, Monday, July 11, 2005]

LOS ALAMOS — A Los Alamos National Laboratory center devoted to the study of proteins in cells is among 10 facilities nationwide that are getting money from the National Institutes of Health.

The centers as a group will receive $300 million over the next five years. Los Alamos expects to get $3.7 million a year over the period.

The lab's Integrated Center for Structure and Function Innovation will collaborate with other institutions and in the first phase of the project they will submit findings to the Protein Data Bank, a public repository of three-dimensional biological structure data. Researchers can use the databank to access information that will help them understand the function of proteins, predict the shape of unknown proteins and compare protein structures from normal and diseased tissue.

Los Alamos' center will develop new technologies and ways to determine some of the elusive protein structures, the lab said in a news release Monday announcing the funding for the facilities, part of the next generation of research stemming from the former Human Genome Project.

Those include proteins from higher organisms, such as humans, as well as those that combine with other proteins to form complexes and special proteins that work to communicate with other cells.

Tom Terwilliger, principal investigator for Los Alamos' center, said that understanding the three dimensional shapes of proteins — the molecular machines of the cell — is important in understanding how cells work, understanding disease and creating new drugs.

Not all protein structures are easy to determine. Thus, six of the new centers nationwide, including the one at Los Alamos, will focus on the more difficult proteins and new ways to study them.

Scientists successfully mapped the human genome five years ago, and researcher now see the next step as understanding how cells work, especially what proteins do.

Proteins are widely used in cells for everything from enzymes to receptors, so scientists say that understanding their structure and function is essential.

The National Institute of Health's national effort, the Protein Structure Initiative, was created in 2000 to find the three-dimensional shape of a wide range of proteins so as to understand what role they play in disease. The focus now is to rapidly determine thousands of protein structures.

Comments:
That looks to be about .1% of the Work For Others pre shutdown.
 
This work is not part of the lab mission. We need to get rid of it.
 
To 11:08:20, This may be more relevant to homeland security than some of the crap that goes on behind the fence.
 
Doug, 9:06 needs to go. Morons don't deserve publication, here or anywhere else.
 
Done.

--Doug
 
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