This session is meant to experience structure/dynamics of biomolecules in an intuitive manner. For that purpose we use the scientific discovery game foldit. To know more about this software you may read an article about Foldit written by some of our students (in french) or watch this TED-talk by Z Popovitc.
After download and installation you will run tutorial exercises at least until 3-1 (ideally until 3-3). In parallel you should answer the following questions:
- Why is the study of protein structures interesting? Why model them when experimental methods exist to determine them?
- What does represent the score? i.e. what do points mean?
- What are the molecular forces in play?
- Why should hydrophobic residues be regrouped? Would it be identical in a membrane protein?
- Which part of amino-acids is involved in the formation of beta-sheets (and alpha-helices)?
- What mathematical function could represent Van-der-Waals forces? hydrogen bonds? covalent bonds? steric repulsion?
- Do you think you have experienced those interactions with the game? In which exercise of the tutorial?
The answers to questions can be evaluated with the following rubric:
This session is partly inspired by this article.
Foldit exercise from Antoine Taly is proposed under the term of the licence Creative Commons Attribution – Share in same Conditions 3.0 France.