Often considered the workhorses of the body, proteins are among the most important biomolecules critical to life processes. They provide structural foundation for cells and tissues and perform a dizzying array of tasks, from metabolizing energy and helping cells communicate with one another to defending the body from pathogens and guiding cell division and growth.
Because protein dysfunction is implicated in so many serious diseases, proteins are the primary targets for most therapeutic drugs.
In a new study, Shaopeng Wang and his colleagues describe a method for examining proteins in keen detail. To do this, his group makes clever use of a phenomenon known as surface plasmon resonance (SPR), incorporating it into an innovative type of microscope.
While SPR has been a powerful technique for investigating the world of the very small, including the interactions of bacteria and viruses, the study marks the first occasion when SPR has successfully been