1434: Classroom Puzzle: Phosphates in Biology
|Name:||1434: Classroom Puzzle: Phosphates in Biology|
|Expired:||10/04/2017 - 23:00|
|Description:||Note: Due to player feedback and an excessive number of bugs, this puzzle was closed early and is worth zero points.
Welcome to the first of the U. of Denver educational puzzles! In this puzzle, students will be asked to fold an RNA structure to help learn about the distinct chemical and structural properties of phosphorous in nucleic acids. Phosphates are essential to the structure of the RNA backbone; after enabling "Show advanced GUI" in General Options, try adjusting the View options to Stick mode with CPK colors to see the chemical structure of the RNA backbone. The RNA used for this puzzle is a section of Xist RNA, which is very important in gene transcription and cancer, but whose tertiary structure is still unknown. See if you can find a high-scoring structure for this RNA!
U. of Denver students will be asked to read two articles alongside this Foldit puzzle. The first is a landmark 1987 paper by Frank Westheimer discussing the unique role of biological phosphates; the second is a controversial 2010 paper by Wolfe-Simon et al. suggesting arsenic as a viable substitute for phosphorus.
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