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Why life needs water

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From Ohio State University:

A study in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides the strongest evidence yet that proteins—the large and complex molecules that fold into particular shapes to enable biological reactions—can’t fold themselves.

Rather, the work of folding is done by much smaller water molecules, which surround proteins and push and pull at them to make them fold a certain way in fractions of a second, like scores of tiny origami artists folding a giant sheet of paper at blazingly fast speeds.

Dongping Zhong, leader of the research group at The Ohio State University that made the discovery, called the study a “major step forward” in the understanding of water-protein interactions and said it answers a question that’s been dogging research into protein dynamics for decades.More.

Keep the crowd moving, Zhong. It’s all just a big accident.

See also: Thought you’d heard all there was to know about water as unique?

Getting the fine-tuning argument wrong

and

Origin of life (the skinny)

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