Controlled Evolution In A Test Tube Produces Artificial Enzymes

Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 16:31 in Biology & Nature

Artificial Enzymes From Evolution This visual explainer should clarify the process. University of Minnesota / Peggy Rinard Researchers at the University of Minnesota have just created an artificial enzyme in a test tube by following the rules of natural selection. This artificial enzyme likely resembles what enzymes looked like billions of years ago, when life began evolving. Enzymes created in laboratories typically follow principles of rational enzyme design, in which researchers develop a preconceived idea of what an enzyme should be, model it on a computer, and then influence its development to produce the molecule that they want. By contrast, this new enzyme, developed by Burckhard Seelig's lab at UM's College of Biological Sciences, was developed in the same way enzymes evolve in nature. A large quantity of candidate proteins were placed together in culture and screened with every successive generation for their ability to perform a desired function (in this case,...

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