Los Angeles Times

Scientists smash thousands of proteins to find four 'Legos of life'

By "smashing" proteins and looking at the broken bits, scientists at Rutgers University say they've discovered four basic building blocks that can be stacked like Legos to build all kinds of different proteins.

The results described in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences could help researchers better understand the origins of life and design new biomolecules with special industrial and medical uses.

"We've developed methods for really looking at the deep-time evolution of proteins," said senior author Vikas Nanda, a biochemist

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