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Conducting Biomolecules

David Konerding rafael at cse.ucsc.edu
Wed Jun 8 21:32:13 EST 1994


	In my biochemistry classes, I've started learning some fascinating
things about electron and proton movement during anabolism/catabolism processes.

	In my physics/electronics classes, I've started learning about basic
electronic elements, such as the inducer coil, which by the virtue of its coiled
conduction wire, can generate a useful magnetic field of uniform shape.

	This makes me wonder: could a small molecule be synthesized in vivo
which would spontaneously polymerize into a helical structure which could
carry charge, and therefore, generate a uniform magnetic field?

	Could this be harnessed, in vivo or in vitro, as a useful tool?

	Has this mechanism been observed in creatures which show sensitivity
to magnetic fields, such as sharks and birds, which use these fields for
navigations?

	I can imagine a biosensor of this helical element might work by the
following device:  since a magnetic field can induce a current through the coil,
a piezoelectric device attached to the helical element coudl transduce a signal
that the coil was experiencing a net magnetic field to a measuring device.

	I think that the easiest way to design this biomolecle would be a
computer program which could provide rapid helical tranforms, to model very
large helices in vitro/in vivo.  Do such programs exist?

---
  O~_    ---------------  David Konerding (University of California, Santa Cruz)
 c/ /'   ---------        rafael at cse.ucsc.edu
( ) \( ) -----            rafael at cats.ucsc.edu




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