History of the Universe

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Protein Structure

Protein is made of a chain of amino acids. Their interaction with water makes the chain curl up to give the protein its correct shape.

Protein folding illustration courtesy of Tomixdf

In the diagram the dots represent amino acids. The white ones are hydrophilic, the stick to water with hydrogen bonds. The black ones are hydrophobic, they are slippery like oil and do not stick to water.

When placed it water it curls up into a specific shape because the sticky ones are pulled to the outside while the slippery ones slide into the inside of the protein. So a proteinís shape is decided by which amino acids it contains and in what order they are joined together.

This is another reason water is essential for life. In life today we find enzymes, hair, muscle and feathers made from protein.

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History of the Universe eBook
History of the Universe eBook
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Written by Wyken Seagrave
Copyright © 2017 Penny Press Ltd