An interesting read. I'm hoping designer-proteins help our symptoms or end up with a cure (make a protein that can change our epigenetics in UC)! Certainly, biologics are designer proteins but not designed from the ground-up (more a difficult process of modifying proteins found in nature). This process could make prototyping new biologics easier. If scientists can change our epigenics and shut off some of the active inflammatory processes related to our crazy immune system, then maybe UC can eventually be turned-off. Pretty wild stuff!Scientists Are Designing Artisanal Proteins for Your Body
Scientists have been stumped by one great mystery: how the building blocks in a protein take their final shape. David Baker, 55, the director of the Institute for Protein Design at the University of Washington, has been investigating that enigma for a quarter-century.
Now, it looks as if he and his colleagues have cracked it. Thanks in part to crowdsourced computers and smartphones belonging to over a million volunteers, the scientists have figured out how to choose the building blocks required to create a protein that will take on the shape they want.
In a series of papers published this year, Dr. Baker and his colleagues unveiled the results of this work. They have produced thousands of different kinds of proteins, which assume the shape the scientists had predicted. Often those proteins are profoundly different from any found in nature.
This expertise has led to a profound scientific advance: cellular proteins designed by man, not by nature. “We can now build proteins from scratch from first principles to do what we want,” said Dr. Baker./www.nytimes.com/2017/12/26/science/protein-design-david-baker.html