It sounds like hype from a late-night infomercial: It can twist and bend without breaking! And wait, there's more: It could someday help you fend off disease!
But in this case it's true, thanks to scientists from several institutions including the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. They derived atomic-scale resolution structures of the cell's protein-making machine, the ribosome, at key stages of its job.
The structures, developed primarily at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source, reveal that the ribosome's ability to rotate an incredible amount without falling apart is due to the never-before-seen springiness of molecular widgets that hold it together.
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