MACKAY & MATTHEWS LAB

Protein structure, function and engineering

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Xmas stroll in the Royal National Park

Joel and Jacqui took advantage of the cool weather to head down the RNP and see what the wildflower situation was like. It's still pretty impressive - and we even spotted some native orchids with amazing dappled petals. The bridge at Audley is very Monet-esque too... And plenty of wildlife on show, mostly in the lizard department. Then there were the Aboriginal carvings hidden away on the Uloola ridge...

You don’t get this aesthetic beauty from Alphafold…

We have just solved a structure working with SOLES colleague Tara Christie (not to mention Toby Passioura and Rich Payne). The structure determination was a bit of a wrestle for Tara (as you'd expect at 3.9 A!), but gee - you can't help but love the packing in the crystal (side-on and end-on views provided). Maybe we should be using this protein to make nanotubes!

Beautiful, but CruEL…

Well, it's one of those classic structural biology stories... Scientist (Anjumara) purifies and crystallizes protein, gets 3-A dataset at synchrotron (with Chandrika's help). Can't be solved, but scientists ask cryoEM colleagues kindly and they acquire some images (thanks Alastair and James!). Images are exquisite and quickly yield a 3-4 A map.....of GroEL. Scientists then have a good model for molecular replacement, and - lo and behold - can now solve crystal structure.... of GroEL... Hard not to admire the beauty of the structure though!

Here is President Biden signing a bill that prevents Science, Nature, or Cell from publishing papers that are just rehashes of results already shown in plants, just now done in animal systems.

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Ngaio, Mario and Martina

Ngaio, Mario and Martina

Although the proud parents missed the opportunity to give the new addition to their family a name ending in "o", we're still excited that they have recently announced baby Martina to the world. It sounds like she's reading the journals already, and planning to join...

Joels NBD…

Joels NBD…

...which means New Bike Day in bike geek lingo... Joel has spent a bit of time (well, quite a bit of time) building up a new all-road touring bike based on a custom Ti frame built by titanproduct in China. Kitted out with an old Ultegra crankset (+38T Wolftooth...

Priya + 1

Priya + 1

Priya Thaivalappil - who worked with Joel as a Research Assistant way back in 2014 - is now the proud mother of a bouncing (well, hopefully not bouncing too much) baby boy named Neil. He looks like a handful...! Congratulations Priya and thanks very much for...

Jason heads to Blighty

Jason heads to Blighty

Former lab member Jason Schmidberger (postdoc 2015-6) has packed up his Akubra (and his family) and made a big move to the UK to join the drug discovery alliance and consulting company Evotec. Looks like an exciting company and we look forward to hearing from him...

Jessica hands in

Jessica hands in

Always a big milestone in the PhD journey, Jessica Zhong has clicked the upload button (which isn't quite the same as the old days with the endless photocopying and page juggling, but still...) and submitted her thesis (and now is an expert on definite articles),...