The Protein-Folding Problem, 50 Years On

Guest post from Dr. Gregory Bowman, UC Berkeley

Ken Dill, a long-standing leader in protein folding, just
published a beautiful review article about progress in the field.  The main point is that what began as a
specific research question has now evolved into an entire field with numerous
research directions.  It’s would be
difficult to provide a more eloquent explanation than Ken’s, so here are a few
excerpts from the article

    “The protein-folding problem was first
posed about one half-century ago. The term refers to three     broad questions: (i)
What is the physical code by which an amino acid sequence dictates a protein’s
    native structure? (ii) How can proteins fold so fast? (iii) Can we devise a
computer algorithm to     predict protein structures from their sequences?…  computer simulations of the physical forces
in     chemically detailed models have now achieved the accurate folding of small
proteins…  What began as     three questions
of basic science one half-century ago has now grown into the full-fledged research
    field of protein physical science.”

Insights and achievements from
Folding@home are highlighted on a number of occasions throughout the article.  So, congrats to all for helping to establish
this ever-growing field.

Also, there's a nice video about this online for those who are interested