Issue No. 02 - March/April (2004 vol. 6)
<p><div><em>Top7: From Computer-Aided Design, A New Protein</em>, by Pam Frost Gorder</div> Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, is one of many incurable diseases caused by malformed proteins in the body. How protein molecules form into useful shapes-and what causes proteins to go wrong as with BSE-is unknown. It's a puzzle called the protein-folding problem, and it's key to developing treatments for diseases as diverse as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, cataracts, cystic fibrosis, and diabetes' most common form. Scientists have taken one small but intriguing step toward solving the protein-folding problem by synthesizing a protein called Top7.</p> <p><div><em>A Dark Universe Like Our Own</em>, by Pam Frost Gorder</div> As scientists confront an increasingly mysterious universe of mostly dark matter and dark energy, there's comfort in the discovery that the dark matter, at least, moves in ways that are already familiar. A new theory by Chung-Pei Ma and Edmund Bertschinger suggests that dark matter doesn't hover around galaxies in formless halos as once thought; rather, it clumps together in ways that mirror normal matter. In fact, dark matter might move according to a 90-year-old equation (developed by Albert Einstein in 1905 and named after Robert Brown, who first observed it in 1827), which describes the path of pollen granules floating in water. </p>
Top7, Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), protein-folding problem
P. F. Gorder, "News," in Computing in Science & Engineering, vol. 6, no. , pp. 6-11, 2004.