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Thursday, July 24, 2014

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Simple system yields custom-designed proteins

The diversity of nature may be enormous, but for Michael Hecht it is just a starting point.

Hecht, a Princeton professor of chemistry, has invented a technique for making protein molecules from scratch, a long-sought advance that will allow scientists to design the most basic building blocks of all living things with a variety of shapes and compositions far greater than those available in nature.

The technique, which Hecht developed over the last 10 years and validated in experiments to be published in November, could prove useful in a wide range of fields. Custom-designed proteins, for example, could become a source of new drugs or could form the basis of new materials that mimic the strength and resilience of natural substances.

More details are available in a news release.

Contact: Eric Quinones (609) 258-3601

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