Lab makes 3-D enzyme mimicking architectures using full pallet of synthetic chemistry

The Martell group’s research focuses on making artificial enzymes and artificial receptors by combining biomolecules with synthetic molecules. “We synthetically modify individual DNA arms by using functional groups that are not found in naturally occur- ring amino acids and cofactors, therefore broadening the scope of our reactivity,” said Prof. Jeffrey Martell. “We then rely on complementary base-pairing for the arms to self-assemble into a 3-D cage, such that the attached functional groups are displayed into a central cavity.”

Exciting discovery made from incorrect hypothesis

A hypothesis can be a scientist’s best-educated guess about how an experiment might turn out or why they got specific results. Some- times, they’re not far off from the truth. Other times, they’re wrong. Being wrong isn’t always a bad thing. Often, it means that the researchers get to discover something new and exciting. This exact scenario happened when the Burstyn and Buller labs decided to work together on a project.