Wolf foundation prize in chemistry

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<ul><li><p>192 TIBS 13-May 1988 </p><p>native category. But this only serves to highlight the dual issues raised by the birth of protein engineering; firstly that protein biochemistry is a dis,'ipline of first rank importance in fundamental biological research as in biotechnology and, secondly, that there is a lot more to be learnt about protein structure before we can design rather than engin- eer interesting as well as useful pro- teins. The general air of surprise that the first issue should be so is not un- related to the level of knowledge revealed by the second for, aside from the extreme complexity of many of its problems, protein biochemistry has been an under-researched and under- staffed discipline. The shortage experi- enced by industry of scientists trained in handling proteins is a direct result of this neglect. </p><p>This volume provides the material and the intellectual incentive for teach- ers and students to meet the challenges of this new discipline. The editors have taken the conference proceedings of a UCLA Symposium and developed it into a muitiauthor volume that shows a remarkable unity of purpose. It is pub- lished in the Tutorials in Molecular and Cell Biology series and is designed to instruct and to excite by a series of short but pointed articles that address the basic issues and philosophies in a wide variety of aspects pertaining to protein engineering. </p><p>The enabling technologies and con- cepts are grouped in three main sec- tions. In the first, the three high infor- mation techniques for determining protein structure (X-ray diffraction, NMR and structure calculation) are described. The salient features of X-ray crystallography are described in suf- ficient detail to allow the student to read original papers intelligently. The other two chapters realistically start from the known structure and show how the techniques described can be used to obtain the structure of a mutant protein. </p><p>The second group brings together site-specific mutagenesis, DNA syn- thesis and genetic analysis of protein structure with a less glamorous but indispensable chapter on protein- purification strategies. It continues with three chapters on protein folding and stability, again concentrating on principles, l~hilosophies and problems rather than a catalogue of recent achievements. </p><p>The third group of chapters tackles the principles and approaches to be considered in protein design. Particular emphasis is placed on the energetics of protein structures and the interactions by which natural proteins achieve their knife-edge balance of stability. </p><p>The final chapters give a number of examples where protein engineering has been applied. They range from a </p><p>clear account of the investigation of the transition state in tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase to the biological functions of ras genes in eukaryotic cells. Attention has been paid to providing sufficient background for the reader to be able to appreciate the problems. Many of these projects hay: advanced co.. siderably since writing but since the emphasis throughout is on the approach rather than on the immediate results this book is less likely to date than many others on recent advances in biochemistry. </p><p>An appendix containing coloured computer graphics structures illustra- ting points made in some of the chap- ters provides an attracti~ve and informa- tive conclusion to the book. </p><p>Well produced, dearly written and with subheadings that inform without the current trend towards condescen- sion, Protein Engineering is excellent value. It should be made available to all teachers and students on courses in bio- chemistry and biophysics, especially any who have not yet been gripped by the fascinating potential in proteins. This book is likely to become seminal in the history of biochemistry. </p><p>ROGER H. PAIN </p><p>Department of Biochemistry, Ridley Building, The University, Newcastle upon Tyne NEI 7RU, UK. </p><p>Grapevine Wolf Foundation </p><p>The Wolf Foundation have announced that the Wolf prize in chemistry for 1988 will be shared by Professor Joshua Jortner of Tel Aviv University, and Professor Raphael D. Levine of the Heb- rew University, Jerusalem, for 'their incisive theoretical studies elucidating energy acquisition and disposal in molecular systems and mechanisms for </p><p>prize in chemist~j </p><p>dynamical selectivity and specificity'. Their ideas, concepts and terminology in fundamental molecular processes have had an immense impact in many fields of modern chemistry, such as molecular dynamics and laser chemistry. </p><p>Awards Professors Jortner and Levine will </p><p>receive the Wolf prize in chemistry from the President of Israel, Chaim Herzog, in the tenth Wolf award ceremony to be held at the Knesset in Jerusalem on 12 May 1988. The non-governmental, Israel-based Foundation annually makes six international awards of $100 000 each for outstanding achievements in Chemis- try, Medicine, Mathematics, Agricul- ture, Physics and the Arts. </p><p>Solution to Hpsky Acrostic (December 1987) </p><p>'The mind is attracted by beautiful problems promising beautiful solutions. It is fascinated by the clues to a beautiful discovery. In fact we hear beauty more often mentioned today by scientists and engineers than by critics of art and literature.' </p><p>Michael Polanyi, The Study of Man, University of Chicago Press (1963). The prize of a one-year subscription to TIBS was won by David N. Burton, Winnipeg, Canada, whose answer was </p><p>the first to be drawn from entries received by 1 March 1988. </p></li></ul>