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The amount and types of proteins our cells produce tell us important details about our health.

Researchers from Delft University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign published a proof-of-concept study in Science showing that it is possible to identify individual proteins with single-amino acid resolution.

Their method uses nanopores — minute, engineered openings that generate an electrical signal when DNA-peptide hybrid molecules are pulled through by a specific enzyme.

The research relied on several of the most powerful supercomputers in the world to calculate the correct signals for each nucleotide and explain why certain peptides generate counterintuitive charged. These included Frontera at TACC, Blue Waters at NCSA, and Expanse at SDSC.

The research sheds light on the proteins that we carry with us, including their post-translational modifications.


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