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amyloids of insulin

Colorful Clues

Post-doctoral fellow Anna Loksztejn of the Center for Biologically Inspired Materials created this image of aggregated insulin proteins using atomic force microscopy. Colors are used to show details of structure, giving crucial information on how misfolded proteins can be stacked into fiber-like structures called amyloids. Understanding the molecular causes of protein misfolding and aggregation  can be key to understanding several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimers, and may aid biotechnology techniques as well.  This image was one of more than 50 entered  into the first Abhijit Mahato Memorial Scientific Visualization Contest in Sept. 2010.