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Title:Inner simplicity of the bc1 complex
Author(s):Barragan, Angela
Abstract:Respiration and photosynthesis are the fundamental processes through which a living cell obtains its energy. In order for them to take place and improve their efficiency, these processes require special enzymes. The bc1 complex is a structure composed by six proteins, five of which are colored in the figure above and is shown embedded in a lipid membrane in gray. The inner working of the bc1 complex has so far eluded a complete description of the system due to unknown quantum processes that occur inside. This goal, however, is finally within reach as we are now able to tap into the power of new groundbreaking supercomputers and state-of-the-art programming. My research centers around understanding the quantum physics of the bc1 complex.The figure shown here is the result of simulating hundreds of thousands of atoms in the Blue Waters Supercomputer, at the University of Illinois, and also using highly accurate quantum mechanical computational methods. The output of the simulation is processed by the software Visualization Molecular Dynamics (VMD), which was created and is being developed in our group. Using these powerful tools, I hope to finally reveal the inner simplicity of the bc1 complex.
Issue Date:2014-05
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Angela Barragan
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-13

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