The process of protein folding, the nature of tertiary structure itself, and its relationship to function, for lack of a better term remains one of the ‘holy grails’ of fundamental knowledge that cross cuts nearly every sub discipline of chemistry. From a polymer chemistry perspective, if we can master Nature’s ability to produce functional nano materials from a palette of simple monomers using the well-known tools of polymer chemistry, it would unlock an unexplored chemical space with enormous potential.
From the art desk
When we started discussing the cover, Justin, the first author on the paper, had the idea to portray an artist, with a protein structure on a pedestal, and our table of contents graphic on his canvass. Slightly discouraged by the inadequate attempt to perfectly recreate his muse, we had a collection of ‘failed’ paintings strewn about his studio.
When we settled on the idea, we contacted our good friend Shanna Zentner, a professional artist with extensive experience in scientific illustrations. She took our idea a step further and imagined, rather than an artist’s studio, the ‘artist’ should be in a laboratory, dressed in lab gear, with both scientific equipment and art supplies around. The line between art and science is often blurred, after all, so we thought that juxtaposition would make a great image. It worked!
Read the article: J P Cole et al, Polym. Chem., 2017, DOI: 10.1039/C7PY01133D
This image appears on the front cover of Polymer Chemistry, 2017, Issue 38.