Field of Science


When the Protein Data Bank releases a much-awaited protein structure which shows you *exactly* what you wanted to see, it's much like looking at a newly written Mozart symphony. There is a purpose to every single atom and water molecule, a rhythm to every single bond and interaction, a graceful yet deliberate elegance to every single curve of a loop, to every turn of an alpha helix, to the meandering pleats of every beta sheet.

The structure contains precisely the right number of interacting parts, not a single one more or less. Only this time the composer is nature, and the conductor is evolution. Looking at the structure you cannot help but get the feeling that nature has lifted a corner of her great veil for you to gaze in awe and appreciation at the edifice.

I don't say it enough, but today I feel grateful and humbled to be a scientist, to be granted the privilege of being able to sit in my modest little corner of the universe and revel in a movement from this grand performance.


  1. Hey, what structure prompted this outpouring of gratitude?

  2. We can see the subtle Order...
    Information on display!
    But we're tethered to this notion:
    Naturalism's Mindless Way.

  3. Blind and pitiless "nature" reveals herself as creative, "purpose"-ful and "deliberate". Hmmmmm....reminds me of an Intelligent Designing...("ahem")... Entity I read about with a gloriously devised Plan. (But don't tell anyone. We wouldn't want the children to speculate. They might start thinking that the world is flat.)

  4. crystallographer3:57 AM, August 02, 2013

    You're welcome. Don't forget to tell Stockholm.


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