Sunday, December 23, 2012

Proteins, Art, and Aesthetics: Transducing Meaning

Science and art rule the world. Without them the world, especially human life, would be not just a duller place. It would not function. A year ago when I started writing about art and science it was hard to find popular work on the subject. Search now and you will find abundant material. But I'm a bit worried about where that effort is headed.

There is so much popular enthusiasm for linking, combining, and conflating art and science. There's nothing wrong with current concepts about art-as-science or science-as-art. But I sense the lack of a philosophical basis for these activities. Science isn't art nor is art science, but they do have many commonalities, especially in the way they approach problems. This idea has been wonderfully elucidated at the MIT List Center exhibit, "Man in the Holocene," which runs for a couple more weeks. Thank you Julia for encouraging me to go and see it!

Without the conceptual basis laid down in that exhibit, in year or two when the excitement has subsided I'm afraid we'll be right back where we started, an intellectual paradigm where science and art are seen as polar opposites, neither informing the other.

So many people right now are confusing art and science. A beautiful scientific image, a sumptuous map, or a brightly colored microphotograph do not, in my opinion, comprise a work of art. Nor do artists' works depicting nature or what they perceive as scientific phenomena actually inform science. Instead of these approaches, I have been exploring subjects related to the "Holocene" exhibit. How do we circumscribe a set of approaches that are common to both art and science? I think I am getting close in what I describe broadly as an "aesthetic" approach, something you can read in my recent previous posts.

Can we take the aesthetic approach further and unlock the way it works in a scientific context? I think we can.

Consider this. Composition, volume, proportion, and dynamics are abstract signals, properties within which we make and critique art. They are combined to create an aesthetic, which makes “sense” out of random signals, and through which we can understand the work of an artist. They hold the code that is translated into an aesthetic, which leads to an interpretation of reality. These signals are the carriers of meaning by which we organize abstract perceptions into articulated concepts, into a system of understanding. They do not have "meaning" on their own but combined and translated they can be transduced into artistic meaning.

From a scientific standpoint these carriers of meaning are like cellular ribonucleic acid (RNA). RNA delivers an abstract code (a sequence of nucleotides) to a submicroscopic body called the ribosome, where the code is translated into protein. The nucleotide sequence by itself does not have meaning. It has no function other than conveying a message. Only when the message is translated by the ribosome into a protein does it "make sense."

Proteins subsequently “make sense” of cellular activities by mediating all of the biochemical behaviors of the cell. Certain proteins act as pumps for other molecules, using energy to transport substances from one part of the cell to another. Other proteins behave as gatekeepers, allowing certain things into a cellular space and keeping others out. Proteins also function as electron transmitters, guiding the process of energy utilization (metabolism) in the cellular environment. Many proteins are classified as enzymes. In their role as enzymes, proteins are the "chemists" of the cell. They add to, take away from, or change the shape of other molecules.

To take the aesthetic-protein analogy further, these same abstract properties of composition, proportion, volume, and dynamics determine protein function. Proteins need to be a certain shape (conformation) in order to function. Protein conformation, folding, and affinities for other molecules are the basis of protein function similar to the way in which aesthetic principles determine to "function" or meaning of a work of art. Art has to have guiding principles of aesthetics. In the same way, proteins are defined by their ability to behave in certain specific ways. If proteins did not possess these characteristics they could not function in the cellular environment.

I would be interested to hear what you think about these ideas, and whether they have introduced you to a new way of thinking about art and science.

128 comments:

  1. Proteins mediate cellular environments. They do so by being "gate keepers" in the function of transportation (integral proteins). Integral proteins allow substances in and out of cellular compartments and/or pump substances in and out of cellular compartments. Proteins are being integrated into membranes. Proteins are also "chemists" and deal with enzymes. Enzymes alter other molecules by either adding, subtracting, or changing the conformation and shape that ultimately changes the function of the protein.

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  2. Proteins mediate the cellular environment by moving other molecules around the cell when necessary from areas of high to low concentration and vice versa. Proteins also act as gate keepers allowing things to move in and out of the cell so that the cell can remain stable.

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  3. Proteins mediate the cellular environment by acting using energy to transport substances from different parts of the cell. Other proteins can act as gatekeepers, which means they allow some things in and other things out. Many proteins are enzymes and are the "chemists" of the cell. They can change the conformation of the other molecules.

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  4. Proteins mediate the cellular environment because they regulate all cellular functions through transport or "gatekeepers and enzymes or "chemists". Active, facilitated and passive transport help pump and allow substances in and out of a cell with and against the concentration gradient. WHile enzymes alter other molecules by adding, subtracting or changing conformation (shape). Every enzyme has a single function and single substrate molecule it works on.

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  5. Proteins mediate the cellular environment by acting as pumps, gate keepers and electron transmitters. They act as pumps by other molecules while using energy; they are gate keepers because they allow certain things and not others in; they are electron transmitters by leading metabolism in the cellular environment.

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  6. Proteins mediate the cellular environment by acting as "gatekeepers" and "chemists". With that being said, proteins allow certain substances into and out of a cellular environment as well as potentially changing or adding to the shape of other molecules, respectively. In this way, proteins mediate the cellular environment through the use of energy.

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  7. Proteins mediate the cellular environment by telling cells what to do and how to behave. All of the proteins together create a shape and that shape allows the cell to function. Each protein has a specific function in the cell that allows the next protein to carry out their specific function. If every protein does this correctly, the cell will function properly.

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  8. Proteins mediate cellular environments because of their many different functions and their ability to perform different types of transport. They mediate cellular functions by acting as "chemists" when they are contributing to the function of enzymes. Enzymes alter other molecules by adding, subtracting, and therefor changing the conformation of other molecules. They mediate the cellular environment by engaging in transport in which they serve as integral proteins. Integral proteins pump or allow substances in and out of cellular compartments. When they engage in transport, proteins are acting as "gate keepers."

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  9. Proteins mediate the cellular environment and move molecules to different parts of the cell from high to low areas of concentration. They also act as gatekeepers and allows things to move in and out of the cell. Proteins are the 'chemists' of the cell and are also enzymes. They are needed to keep the cell stable.

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  10. Proteins mediate the cellular environment by acting as gatekeepers to the cell. The control what goes in and out of the cell by use of three types of transport

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  11. Proteins mediate the cellular environment because they both transport and alter molecules within the cell. In some ways, proteins are the foundation of a cell merely because they have so many different functions. They are both creators and facilitators. They can work hard to pump and allow substances to travel throughout the cell and they can change the conformation of the cell. Without the protein, a cell has no basis of existence

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  12. Proteins mediate the cellular environment because they are the "gatekeepers" during the process of transportation. This means that they allow some things in, while not allowing other things in. They are responsible for moving molecules around in the cell from areas of low concentration to areas of high concentration, and from areas of high concentration to low concentration, acting as pumps.

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  13. Proteins mediate the cellular environment by acting as the "gatekeepers" of the cell. They are embedded within the phospholipid bilayer of a cell and allow certain things to move through this layer by passive, facilitated, and active transport. This means that they can control the cell environment by transporting molecules that would normally be unable to penetrate the bilayer. They can also act as enzymes which mediate the cellular environment by adding, subtracting, or changing the conformation of other molecules.

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  14. Proteins mediate the cellular environment by pumping substances from regions of low solute concentration to regions of high solute concentration acting as a regulating force in the cellular environment.

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  15. Proteins mediate the cellular environment in a very strong way. Without proteins, signals could not be sent for cellular communication and items within the cell could not move around. Proteins can pump solutes in and out of molecules changing the cellular environment.

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  16. Proteins mediate the cellular environment by acting as a sort of strainer for the cell it is a part of. Different types of transport keep certain substances in and out of the cell, depending on what the cell needs. If solutes and other substances could enter and exit the cell freely, it could be detrimental to the cell which is why proteins are so important.

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  17. Proteins mediate their cell environment by acting as gatekeepers and chemists. Integral proteins are known as gatekeepers, which allow substances to be pumped in and out of cellular compartments. Gatekeepers are embedded into the phospholipid bilayer membrane. Enzymes are known as chemists because enzymes alter other molecules by adding, subtracting, and/or changing conformation.

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  18. Proteins mediate the cellular environment, and act aesthetically with the cell. Aesthetically, they are gate keepers of the cell. Each protein has a specific function in the cell and this dynamic creates a formula. Proteins work hard to allow substances to travel through the cell, so they basically are needed to keep the cell stable.

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  19. Proteins mediate cellular functions by being hypothetical "chemists" and "gatekeepers." The "chemist" function pertains to enzymes, which alter other molecules by adding/subtracting/changing their conformation. The "gatekeeper" function applies to the integral proteins which allow substances in and out of cellular compartments, or use energy to pump substances in and out.

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  20. Proteins mediate the cell activity by acting as "gatekeepers" of the cell. They pump substances in and out of the cell, and from low concentration to high concentration.

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  21. Proteins mediate the cellular environment by being the gate keepers of the cell, as well as the chemists. Through passive or facilitative transport, they allow substances in and out of cellular compartments, and through active transport, pump substances in and out of cellular compartments.

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  22. Proteins mediate the cellular environment. They are the gatekeepers of the cell by acting as a transport (allowing substances in and out of the cell), they act as a pump to push substances in and out of the cellular compartments, and they help energy production.

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  23. Proteins have a huge impact on the cellular environment as a mediator; not only as the gatekeepers of the cell (which I noticed was mentioned many times above), but also, the proteins structure and shape (often determined by the bonds) have a huge impact. Certain protein changes can cause mutation and denaturization which both have their individual impacts on the cell.

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  24. Proteins mediate the cellular environment by regulating specific processes within the cell. They act as pumps, gatekeepers, and also guide the process of energy utilization. They serve to break down the larger processes that occur within the cell.

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  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Proteins behave as regulators of the cell environment by acting as "gatekeepers." For example, integral proteins allow certain substances in and out of the cell. This is done through passive, facilitated, and active transport, which maintain the cell's homeostasis. Likewise, enzymes, which are made of proteins, add, subtract, or change the shape of other molecules. Cells have thousands of proteins within them that behave in ways that mediate the cell.

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  26. Proteins mediate the cellular environment through a variety of functions. They are able to transport and act as "gatekeepers" through passive, active, and facilitative transport. They are also able to act as "chemists" through altering other molecules.

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  27. I always thought of proteins as the doors to the cells. In a broader biological world, when an organism sees a change in its surrounding, it ultimately depends on millions of cells to change all together, so imagine how many proteins must operate to "adapt." Not to mention the regulatory responses that proteins normally do, like nervous impulses and energy production.

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  28. Proteins mediate cellular environments by being "gate keepers" in the function of transportation. They guide the process of facilitated and passive transport and pump the solutes in active transport. Proteins are embedded into the membranes, which is why they are called integral proteins. Proteins are also considered "chemists" because they deal with enzymes that alter other molecules through the addition or subtraction of the molecules in a protein.

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  29. Proteins mediate the entire cell. They are able to allow or reject substances entering the cell through passive and active transport. Through their transportation of substances, they give the cell what it needs to function properly.

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  30. Proteins help mediate the cellular environment mainly in two ways. First, there are transport proteins which act as "gate-keepers" by allowing certain substances in and out of the cellular compartment. Then, there are enzymes which act as "chemists" by adding, subracting or changing the conformation of different molecules. These are just two examples of how proteins work with in cellular environments, but it is important to remember that there are many types and they each have their own function.

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  31. Proteins have two main function as "Gate keepers" and "Chemists". The former acts as a security system outside the cell that allows certain substance to flow in and out of the cell. This happens through three types of transport: Active, Passive, and facilitative. The later refers the enzymes which add and subtract molecules as well as change the conformation of the molecules.

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  32. Yina Cordero
    Proteins mediate cellular environments by acting as "gatekeepers" in the process of transport. As the transport they are integrated or embedded in the phospholipid bilayer and allow substances in and out of the cellular compartments and also pump. These transport processes are called passive, active and facilitated. Proteins also act as enzymes by altering other molecules as they add, subtract or change shape of molecules.

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  33. As mentioned in lecture, proteins act as either "Chemists" or "Gatekeepers". As Gatekeepers, integral proteins (integrated into the phospholipid bilayer) act as a pump and transport substances in and out of the cellular compartments. As "Chemists" proteins are enzymes and alter the conformation of the molecules (add or subtract from the molecules). Furthermore (as mentioned in the blogpost), proteins mediate cell environment through their role as electron transmitters, in which they guide cellular metabolism.

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  34. Proteins mediate the cellular environment in a number of ways. Proteins act as "gatekeepers" letting certain things into the cell and keeping other out. Proteins also act as transporters, pumping substances in and out of cellular compartments. Another way to look at proteins is like that of a chemist. Proteins are able to add or take away from other molecules, effectively changing their shape and function.

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  35. Proteins mediate the cellular environment because they have many functions that help the cell. For instance, proteins provide support, transportation, defense, storage, and energy as just some of their functions. Proteins act as gatekeepers of the cell, mediating what goes in and out through transport methods. Proteins also alter molecules which gives them the function of chemists of the cell. They can add or subtract different molecules and change their shape. In these ways proteins mediate the cellular environment.

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  36. Proteins mediate the cell structure by choosing what it allows to transport or transform. The protein's interaction with the substrate is also an example of how the protein mediates with the cell environment. With the substrate, the protein can change its shape, and by doing so, the protein can change its function and the molecule's function. Each protein has a different function, but all of the different functions help mediate and determine the function of the cell itself.

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  37. Proteins mediate the cellular environment through transportation, transmission, metabolism, etc. During these processes, proteins can act as "gatekeepers" or electron transmitters.

    Katy Cooke and Jaime Stilwell #teamwork

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  38. Proteins mediate the cellular environment by acting as both a "gatekeeper" and "chemist". Proteins allow for substances to be transported, or pumped in or out of cellular compartments. When acting in this way they are called upon as the "gatekeeper", whereas they act as a "chemist" when they alter the conformation, by adding or subtracting of molecule.

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  39. Proteins act as the "gatekeepers" of the cell in mediating substances that go in and out of the cell. Enzymes are a type of protein that mediate the chemical reactions within the cell. Proteins also involved in the structural support of the cell.
    Gabrielle Kanellos

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  40. Proteins mediate the cellular environment by acting as the "gatekeeper" or a "chemist" which translates to transport and enzymes respectively. The integral proteins that act as the gatekeepers allow substances in and out (passive and facilitated transport) or pump substances in and out (active transport) of cellular compartments. The enzymes alter other molecules by adding, subtracting, and changing the conformation.

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  41. Proteins can be seen as the middlemen of all chemical reactions. As mentioned in lecture, one task of proteins is that of gatekeeper. Gatekeeper proteins assist in the transfer of other proteins through the bilayer while also preventing the movement newly synthesized proteins. Proteins, as enzymes, or chemists, facilitate the chemical processes that are necessary parts of sustaining life and developing other molecules.

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  42. Proteins mediate the cellular environment by acting as gatekeepers. Proteins allow substances to come in and leave the cell. Proteins are also seen as the chemists of the cell, they alter and subtract things from molecules.

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  43. Proteins mediate cellular function by acting as “gatekeepers” or “chemists.” The “gatekeeping” proteins are integral and involved in transport. These proteins mediate the cellular environment by allowing substances to enter and exit the cell through active transport (requiring energy), and passive or facilitated transport (requiring no energy). The proteins associated with “chemists” are enzymes. Enzymes mediate the cell by altering other molecule by changing their shape or function. Proteins are used economically in the cell, recycled, and have the ability to move around the cell as needed. These three functions allow the protein to mediate the cellular environment to its full efficiency.

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  44. Proteins mediate the cellular environment in a couple ways. First, they act as "gatekeepers" by transporting things through the cell. This transportation can be done in three ways: active, which requires energy, passive, or facilitative, both of which do not require energy. Enzymes are a type of protein that act as the "chemist" and are another way proteins mediate cellular environments. Enzymes alter the shape and therefore the function of a molecule.

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  45. Proteins mediate their environment through many different processes. Proteins are used as the "gate-keepers" of the cells due to their ability to facilitate transportation of molecules as needed with in each cell. This can be done through active transport, passive transport, or facilitated transport. Each transport works differently require different amounts of energy. Proteins also provide support for the cell, aid in storage, are receptors of messages, and are involved in the defense of the cell.

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  46. Proteins mediate cellular environment by letting certain substances in and out of the cell. They can simply let substrates in through passive transport or pump them in through active transport.

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  47. Proteins mediate their environment by acting as "gate-keepers" and allowing for molecules to enter in and out of the cell, which can be seen as three types of transport (passive, facilitated and active: the latter is the only transport that uses energy). Enzymes, a type of protein, act as "chemists" and help alter their environment to help the cell function. Without proteins mediating the cell environment, the cell could not function…. and the rest would be history. literally.

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  48. Proteins mediate the cellular environment by acting as "gatekeepers". When they are acting as "gatekeepers" they are allowing things to be transported in and out of the cell.

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  49. Proteins mediate the cellular environment by being protecting in integral proteins (which is why they're called gate keepers) as they are being transported. Integral proteins are able to flow in and out of cellular compartments and eventually make their way into membranes. Enzymes then change the shape thus changing the function of the molecule.

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  50. Proteins mediate the cellular environment through transportation and altercation of molecules. They are transporters because the allow substances in and out of cellular compartments (through passive or facilitated transport) and pump substances in and out of cellular compartments (through active transport). They alter other molecules by adding or subtracting things from the molecule or changing the conformation of other molecules.

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  51. Proteins act in many different ways in the cellular environment. They allow substances in and out of the cell, and the also use energy to pump substances across the phospholipid bilayer membrane of the cell, keeping a relative balance of solute-water concentration on both sides of the membrane. The act as enzymes and catalyze molecular changes. They also act as electron transmitters. Proteins are essential to cell function.

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  52. Proteins mediate cell environments. They are able to do so by acting as what many people refer to as "gatekeepers" in the sense that they control where and how many of a certain part travels through the cell. They are able to move things from an area of low concentration to high concentration to help to mediate the cells functions. The shape of the cell is also extremely important in the function of the cell, which can be influenced by the proteins as well. The enzymes are a main factor in influencing the shape of cells.

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  53. Proteins mediate the cellular environment by acting as gatekeepers that protect the cell. Solvents also travel through the proteins (that act like pumps), high solute concentration to low water concentration, low solute concentration to high water concentration. Proteins are also electron transmitters, balancing the metabolism in the cell. And last but not least, there are other proteins that are enzymes which change the shape of the molecule, which changes the function. Proteins mediate the cell because they are gatekeepers, transmitters of metabolism and solutes, and they change the function of the molecule.

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  54. Proteins mediate the biochemical behaviors in the cellular environment. Proteins are seen as transporters, transporting certain substances from one part of the cell to another. They also are seen as "gatekeepers", keeping certain substances out of the cell and allowing necessary substances in it. Proteins also are electron transmitters, regulating the metabolism. Proteins are also classified as enzymes, where they act as "chemist" of the cell by changing the conformation of a cell.

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  55. Proteins mediate the cell by allowing substances in and out of cellular compartments through facilitated and passive transport (which does require energy) or by pumping substances in and out of the cellular compartments (requires energy). Proteins are integrated or embedded in the phospholipid bilayer membrane and being so, let substances in and out of the membrane therefore controlling the environment of the cellular membrane.

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  56. Proteins mediate the inside of the cell through many different functions. Proteins can act as pumps for other molecules, as storage for the cell, or as gatekeepers. Proteins are perfect gatekeepers because they can transport things in and out of the cell through passive transport, facilitated transport, and active transport.

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  57. Science as an art or art as a science never seemed to parallel to me before taking this class. Now having had been exposed to this idea, I can see how proteins can be seen as such a beautiful creation. Their many layers of complexities determine whether they can function and what type of function they may serve as. Proteins can be transporters, gate keepers, enzymes, structure, etc. and they all get their function from coding that "tells" them what to be. It's similar to our subjective opinions on what something could be. There are many interpretations, but each one has an aesthetic appeal of its own.

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  58. This article addresses the role of proteins in the cell, and also art and/versus science. There is, after reading this article, a definite connection between the two. Proteins are responsible for "gatekeeping" the cell, but also the make up and shape. If even one amino acid is out of place, the whole thing changes. This is similar to how for example, adding just a little bit more white to red paint can turn it a significantly lighter shade, from a deep red to a pink. Another example is in adding a few more lines to a sketch, then the whole picture can change in entirety. Even the smallest movements and changes influence the big picture, in both art and in science.

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  59. In this article, we are able to learn about the functions a protein possesses as well as how science and art are connected. We know that proteins are used to determine the function of a cell or as a "gatekeeper." We can see that art and science are connected by thinking about how a piece of artwork is created. For the creation of art, there must be many components used in order for it to be produced: as artist, mediums, tools, a plan, and time. This correlates with science because there are many factors that are required in order for a protein to function properly: a correct amino acid sequence, preferred living conditions (temperature, pH level, moisture). When you look at science and art, you can quickly see that there are many underlying, small factors that build upon each other in order to create the big, final product.

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  60. Before taking this class I never associated science and art together. There are so many connections between the two and I am amazed not many teachers if any at all compare the two. Thinking of the connections between art and science comes from an interest in both of them. There are so many ways to interpret certain things especially before a scientific discovery. I bet many people looked at the fluid mosaic model in a completely different way than Singer and Nicholson, for example Signer and Nicholson looked at it abstractly and some others could have looked at it in a more classical Greece way. Science and art are filled with interpretations and from that the two interests can go together.

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  61. There is a clear connection when it comes to science and art. More specifically, this post points out the connection between proteins and its function to artistic aesthetics. If the smallest thing changes in a protein, for example the protein changing shape, it has a new function. This change can be seen as an "aesthetic" of proteins. It is interpreting its shape differently, which causes a new function. The protein is therefore reading itself, or understanding itself in a different way. This is similar to how people view art in that people may have different interpretations of different pieces of art.

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  62. Just like aesthetic principles determine the “function” or meaning of a work of art, protein conformation, folding, and affinities for other molecules are the basis of protein function. We discussed mutation, denaturization, and protein affinity and the environment in class yesterday. Mutation changes the amino acid sequence, consequently changing the entire shape and conformation of the protein. The protein then loses its function. In addition, denaturization occurs when there is a change in either the hydrogen or tertiary bonds. Again, this changes the shape of the protein, which evidently, alters its function. Lastly, protein affinity and the environment relates to how willing the protein is to interact with its substrate. If you change one amino acid, it will change the shape of the active site and then the active site will not be able to function. Hence, art and aesthetics influence protein function because protein function critically depends upon protein shape.

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  63. Before taking your class, it never occurred to me that science and art could be intertwined. Before, I always just thought of art as art and science as science. By combining the two, I can see how different aspects of science can be considered "beautiful" rather than just looking at it in scientific terms. Everything has their own aesthetic appeal and everyone has a different way of perceiving that appeal. Proteins in scientific terms are complex and serve many functions whether its being a transporter, gate keeper, enzyme, and etc. However, they can also be described as an awing creation. They are beautiful and their complexity adds to that beauty.

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  64. I see proteins as being the different mediums, like canvas and acrylic, wood carving, clay sculpting. They determine what you can do with the medium, and how you go about creating with it. Changes in small aspects, like free form clay molding or using a pottery wheel, can have a huge impact on the final shape, consistency, and style of the object. This is very much like how proteins function within a cell. There are different proteins and based on their shape and makeup, determine how they manipulate the cellular environment.

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  65. The comparisons drawn between Science and Art have always been of interest to me. To me, both science and art structures seem simple at a first look, but when you start to dig deeper and examine them you discover complex formations and patterns. A protein, like many pieces of art, is a unique structure that shares similar general characteristics to other proteins yet each has a different purpose in life. Whether a transport protein or "gate keeper," these proteins serve a purpose, and this relies greatly on its shape.

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  66. While reading this blog post, I was thinking about the way Professor Hammer stressed communicating science to non-scientists at the beginning of the year. So artists have a way of making things visually appealing and scientific models can be boring and confusing. So my immediate thought was that we should find a way to link the two in way that artists take the models and make them more visually appealing so that we find more interest in understanding these models.

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  67. Art and Science never really seemed to go together before this class. I have always been interested in art but science never came as easy. I like that this class connects the two because it helps in understanding concepts. After reading this article i can see that the way proteins function, how all components working together changing effect the protein as a whole in how it works and codes. Much like how a small detail can change the whole integrity of a piece of artwork one small "mistake" made by the proteins can change the who function of the cell.

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  68. In the article, comparison was made between the interpretation of art/science and the way proteins function. I suppose the way to limit a set of approaches that are common to both art and science it to realize, like you said, that alone something can seem meaningless (like a lone protein) but when combine with something else (a substrate) it reveals its function.You can ask the question “If I combine these two properties does it enhance my understanding of it?” if the answer if yes you can add it to your set as it combine to your understanding of art and science. On the other hand, through this method you can see that, like your example, adding color to a microphotograph does not add to your understanding so it would not be added to the set.

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  69. I find it interesting to think that science and art can have connections, two things that typically seem like opposites. The shape and structure of a protein are crucial to its function; similarly, the shape or color of artwork may change the piece in numerous ways.

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  70. The connection between combined abstract signals of art to form an interpretation of reality and the RNA's ability to deliver code to a protein really drives home the point about how art and science are related. For art, a piece cannot be just composed of volume, or proportion, or dynamics. These are all properties that make up an art piece. Science works the same way in that, for example, the RNA code is useless unless translated by a ribosome to make a protein. RNA code, by itself, cannot anything greater than what it is, just like how components of art are not art unless combined in some fashion to create a work of art. The interesting thing about proteins is that they act as pumps for other molecules, behave as "gatekeepers," function as electron transmitters, and overall change the shape of other molecules. The shape of a protein is critical to its function just like how the aesthetic principles determine the meaning of an artwork.

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  71. Proteins mediate their cellular environment through a few different processes. First, the proteins act as “gatekeepers” throughout the transportation of the cells. This process can be seen through passive transport of active transport. Enzymes, a type of protein, also act as a “chemist” of the cell. The enzymes alter the shape of the protein, which causes a change in the function of a molecule.

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  72. Initially I had thought that science and art were not very closely related if at all. Over the past few weeks I have been beginning to see just how closely they are related. The way proteins must take a specific shape in order to complete their function can be comparable to how artists feel they must design their art in a specific way in order to convey it exactly how they want.

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  73. Science and art connected in so many ways but it is hard to find an accurate and equal way to compare them to each other. In the article we learn that proteins act as the gate keepers of the cell. This is them controlling the environment inside the cell and if one amino acid changes then the entire shape changes and I think this is like art in a way.

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  74. The study of proteins is a very scientific and complex study, however it is very easy to see that enzymes and proteins can also be very aesthetically pleasing. Proteins must be a very specific shape in order to complete their "gate-keeper" job in the cell membrane. So the shape of the protein is very important, but the shape is also what make the protein artistic. The shape of a protein is what makes it unique, both scientifically and aesthetically. When it comes to proteins it's all about their cellular function and in this case..... Aesthetic appeal.

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  75. It’s amazing how there are such similarities between proteins and art and science. Proteins mediate cellular environments by acting as “gatekeepers,” but also make up a particular shape. But, one amino acid can be changed and cause a completely different shape. With art, if someone is painting on a canvas, and they paint a part of the canvas that should be a different color, it changes the whole composition. Also, with art and science, at first, they seem to be very simple, but when closer analyzed, you see a lot of complex patterns and formations. A protein is the same. A protein is a very unique structure.

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  76. Before this class, I never really connected science with art. I think it's because, since the beginning of our schooling, we have been taught that some people are "art people" and some are "science people" and we should not mix the two. However, since taking this class, I have realized that there are definite connections between art and science. I think you are correct, however, when you say that art is not science and science is not art. It does not make sense to define art and science as the same thing, for they have obvious differences. Like you said, proteins need conformation, folding and affinities in order to function properly, just as art needs aesthetics in order to perform its function. Like in proteins, one small change in an art piece can change its whole aesthetic and the entire meaning of the piece.

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  77. Lately, we have been learning about the functions of proteins and how they contribute to the wellness of a cell. They act as gatekeepers as they regulate what goes in and out of the cell and do this using passive or facilitative transportation. The structure of the protein itself, and its amino acid formation is crucial to the protein as a whole, and thus crucial to the cell that it facilitates itself in. If one amino acid is missing, the protein's shape changes entirely, and thus, its function is altered. There is a clear connection to art here. When mixing together paint on a palate, an artist often searches for the optimal mix, or the perfect color-- one that no one else can mimic perfectly. However, when mixing these colors together, they must use the perfect amount of each to find this color. A variation in amount or viscosity of even one color added can change the color as a whole, and can thus change the whole art piece.

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  78. Proteins' functions are completely reliant on the structure. In this sense, if a protein wants to be the "gatekeeper" function, or aid in defense mechanism, or act as an enzyme, it is important the structure - or "aesthetic" of the specific protein. If the protein's structure even slightly changes, the entire function of that protein is changed. In this sense, the artistic format of the protein causes the identity of the protein.

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  79. It's interesting that art and science are connected, but the article makes sense. Proteins help the cell function, with their different roles. and each of these proteins have their own shape, which would be the art portion.

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  80. We’ve read a lot about the connection between science and art. After reading this article, I now understand it is important to be cautious when comparing the two or replacing one with the other because they do not necessarily always have the same meaning.

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  81. I agree that science and art, while relatable, are not interchangeable. We've spent so much time this semester looking at the similarities, so it's good to be reminded of this. That being said, I also agree that art needs certain aesthetic "rules," if you will, to really be considered a work of art. In this same way, proteins must follow the patterns that make them proteins.

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  82. Proteins are gatekeepers only allowing certain things to pass through the membrane. By only allowing certain things to pass, this makes it so that the cell will be kept in balance and nothing that will harm the cell will be able to pass through. Proteins are meant to keep the cell in balance and not let anything harmful pass.

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  83. I had never really thought of art and science being connected until this year, it makes sense that they could be but I truly believe, especially after this reading, they are mostly independent of each other. The protein itself has cell functions that are far from what art does but at the same time the shape of the protein could be a form of art even if it wasn't created by a person.

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  84. There is definitely a strong connection between art and science, which has become more and more apparent as this class has progressed. A lot of the our labs over the course of the semester have involved building models and in each of these assignments there has been a lot of room for artistic interpretation. A lot of the labs have also provided us with opportunities to take photos and record videos, which are also forms of art and yet another way to connect art and science.

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  85. The connection between science and art is something I had never thought deeply about before reading your blog this year. It never occurred to me that proteins were so aesthetically pleasing. Thinking about the "pleated sheet" and "helix" structure of proteins, it is easy to develop a scientific approach. To even build a model of a helix for example is difficult without an artists understanding of shape. It is important to not over exaggerate art in science, but when it is there it is certainly clear.

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  86. I never really thought about analyzing science as art until I came into the class. Such things as proteins really depend on the artistic element of shape. Proteins and, more specifically, active sites have to be a certain shape in order for the protein to function properly. If the active site changes, the protein loses its function and the substrate will no longer be able to bond.

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  87. After reading this article, I learned how we use scientific terms to describe artistic forms. For example, we use proportion, depth perception, shape, form, etc. to describe a piece of art's merit. These "codes" are made up by the artist and are interpreted by the viewer. These codes help the viewer make sense of what the yard seeing, much like how RNA holds the code for a protein, but the protein's message isn't understood until the ribosome translates it. The RNA is the artist for chemistry within our bodies and the ribosome is the agent that makes sense of this chemistry in our bodies
    - Grace Alessi

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  88. Like others in this class, I had never really connected art and science before. We have experimented this year with relating the two, and have succeeded. The two definitely coincide; we can use art to demonstrate science and scientific concepts, and we can use scientific concepts in relation to art as well. However, science and art are still independent of each other. Art can be used to explain science much more effectively than science can be used to explain art, making them two concepts that relate in some ways, but not completely.

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  89. The connection between art and science can easily be confused as similar things. But after reading this article, I realized that it is not that simple. Just because it is a picture of something scientific does not mean science is art and neither can we be confused with art as science. However, there are links between science and art, you just have to be aware of exactly what it is. For example, protein structure is very important. This structure is the aesthetic part where its conformation and shape allows cellular activity to take place. This, like art, needs guiding principles in order to happen.

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  90. This class has definitely introduced me to a new way of thinking. Growing up, I did not have much appreciation for art since no one in my family has artistic abilities. Once I got to Boston, however, I took a trip to the MFA and thats when I became interested in art. In high school I learned all about RNA and some other topics you have mentioned in class, but none of my high school teachers ever connected these topics to art. Not only is there a real connection between science and art, but putting scientific ideas in an artistic perspective makes science easier and more fun to understand. Science seems to be a foreign concept to most students, but art is something students have known since a very young age which is why it's an ideal perspective to put science in. Before college or before your course, I would have never thought to put these seemingly different things together.

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  91. My View of art and science is different. It’s in my opinion that we use nature as an example for art because it is considered to be pure and unaltered beauty. Science studies nature and can be seen as the study of beauty. Through this science and art are connected. I don’t believe that artists take in to account science when they are painting nature, but that they only take into account the rules of nature. Science, on the other hand, is strictly confined to the rules of science and cannot take into account an artists point of view on aesthetics.

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  92. Before this course I had never connected art and science. In face i thought them as two completely separate entities. Now I can see how science and art can be connected, especially when it comes to proteins and their functions. The active site and the protein must be specifically made and shaped for each other. With even a simple change the two will not fit together. this shape can be related to art and science, as shapes are incredibly important in both.

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  93. Art and science intersect at the point of creation. Art is, in essence, a process that revolves around movement--whether or not this movement is internal (in the artist's mind) or external (in the actual piece) is irrelevant. Science is movement along many different lines of processing all at once (evolution, genetics, environment, etc). Both rely on non-static, dynamic processes in creating theirs respective things.

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  94. It was interesting to see that I had fallen victim to the same way of thinking you were warning about. I didnt realize that how science and art are connected was by the way we approach understanding the meaning of both. I now understand that observing the principles/properties of protein (science) and the principles of aesthetics (art) help us understand the meaning of the art and the function of the protein. Art and science are connected by the way we go about understanding them.

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  97. Judy Le:
    You describe the confusion of art and science in a way that I haven’t thought of. I can see why certain pieces of art and science are not considered a work of the other. Certainly, there are guidelines and conditions that make them a work of art or science. They have the commonality of requiring certain properties to be called either art or science, and something that has both qualities can be considered both. In the same way that a protein must be a specific structure to function in a specific role and are able to flow through an enzyme, something must follow guidelines to be art, science, or both, with the flexibility of being fluid (if that makes sense).

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  98. The idea of connecting art and science is foreign to me. All throughout my life education has taught me that they are radically different subjects, one creative and imaginative and the other straightforward and blunt. The class and this article are slowly breaking down my concept of two completely separated subjects, and instead showing me the connections, and blurring the boundaries between art and science. Just how the meaning of art changes when the structure does, the function of a protein changes as its structure changes.

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  99. Proteins provide critical functions to the cell such as acting as the "gatekeeper", an enzyme, or a defense mechanism. The proteins allow certain substances in and out of the cell. These functions represent the artistic aspect of the protein because of the movements of the proteins.

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  100. Before this course, I would have never thought of connecting the two words: art and science. After this week's lecture with the artist rendering of electrostatic interaction and then being able to actually see how similar it is to the scientific depiction. The same thing can be be said about labs this year. Thinking about how proteins interact with each other is critical in the science fields and can be understood so much easier and visually through the arts. They are not substitutes by any means, but complement each other better than anybody could imagine.

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  101. Thinking about the RNA to DNA process is a clear way that I relate science to art. It is highly specific the way the amino acids are are positioned in their order while the bonds between them random like art. The translation process is highly specific too like an art because there is repetition and patter and the use of reciprocals. The way music and math are related seeing the similarities of math and art will help a person succeed in both.

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  102. Before this class, I hadn't thought of connecting art and science. But I do think that the visuality of art helps one understand the complexity of science. I think having visuals to connect to helps the understanding. Art is meant to serve as a view on something. It's a POV of how the artist sees something. As for proteins (science) and the aesthetics (art), combining them creates a deeper understanding of the function and properties of science. We make art by building proteins in class, which furthers the understanding of the physical properties of the protein itself. Art and science fit together better than I thought.

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  103. The idea that art and science are connected something easy to delve into. Yet, I agree that in no way are they the same thing. Proteins and art have nothing in common. Rather, their approaches are extremely similar along with the fact in the end they both have some sort of meaning. In this sense the concept seems very loose as I keep saying they have nothing in common but have similar ideas- that is why I agree with the idea a philosophical base is extremely important in order for the comparison to continue.

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  104. In the article it describes how proteins, which are the "gate keepers" of the cell act in a similar way in that art can sometimes be described. For example with art there are different forms, shapes even variations which can also be found in proteins. When proteins have different shapes they have different functions and therefore vary from each protein. Its interesting to connect art and science to be able to describe and understand it differently.

    Gina Ford

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  105. Connections between the abstract and conceptual is our function as humans, just in the way proteins do with decoding the hidden messages in cells. So precisely and effectively the protein translates and finds meaning in the things that pass into it. These gatekeepers can determine what to do with what it is given and, like an artist, give it a purpose.

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  106. Personally, I have never thought of art and science as something that could be looked at from a singular point of view due to elements such as volume, composition, and proportion. However, after taking this class, I realized how much the two are connected. I feel as if all science has some artsy tendencies while all art as some sciency values.

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  107. I had never thought about comparing art and science before. The way in which you use the protein as example really helps me understand the whole concept about how the two are similar. Both art and science require aesthetics to give purpose otherwise there is no meaning.

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  108. I believe art and science can be connected in many ways, but I do agree that they are not the same. Art and science complement each tother rather than mock each other. Artists create their pieces with an intended meaning behind them, however, the way the artist views a piece may differ from the way a bystander views the piece. everyone has their own interpretations of art, something that is hard to do in the scientific field. There are certain aspects of science that allow for personal interpretation/opinion, such as global warming or even evolution (to some). In general though, many scientific concepts are factual and not necessarily open to interpretation. Combining both science and art does help one develop a greater understanding of certain ideas. Art is also the build up/ development of something, and we as students practice and understand this by building things in class, culminating in a great grasp for the topic at hand.

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  109. This article helped me think about science and art in a new way thinking about the interpretations of art and the interpretations of proteins in a cell. As a viewer needs to make sense of the different signals they're receiving from an art piece to properly analyze it, a protein needs to interpret the signals its receiving from the cell to maintain homeostasis or properly change a substrate. Instead of viewing science and art as one in the same, when they are not, it's a way of viewing complex processes in a similar way to provide better comprehension.

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  110. Prior to taking this course, I would have never thought of science and art being related to each other. However, throughout this semester so far, I have grown to see the relationship between both. Specifically, in this article about proteins, it is very apparent that there is a relationship between science and art. For example, it explains how protein's shape or conformation is extremely important and dictates their function. Just like proteins have to have guiding principles of aesthetics, so does art.

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  111. I have always seen a connection between our physical surroundings and art. Nature in its most untouched form is in my opinion what inspired all art to be created. Therefore a connection between art and science (the natural world) is a very obvious thing. Although I do agree art and science are not the same thing, I definitely appreciate nature and science in an artistic way. For example this week we have been discussing proteins and learned that a proteins function is based upon its shape. It is incredible to think that out of all the combinations of shapes which poly-peptide chains form they formed into certain shapes which allow proteins to function. If that is not a connection between art and science I don't know what is.

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  112. Some proteins classify as enzymes in that their job is the "gatekeeper" or "chemist" of the cell allowing certain things in and certain things out. They add, take away or change the shape as other molecules.I would say they play a very important role in doing this. This related to art in that they are the guiding principle in the shape and characteristics of a molecule. Like art, which aesthetically guides the characteristics and the "look" of a particular piece of work. To my surprise, both art and science share the same job as structuring and altering many things in the society we live in. In relation to how enzymes participate in the function of "lock and key" related to the fact that they are the "gatekeeper" of the cell. They have the key to unlock and get in to change things about a molecule.

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  113. I never considered art and science to be similar before I took this class. When you bring up the ideas of composition, volume, proportion, and dynamics, I think these terms are very relevant to both art and science. Because without one of these aspects, art wouldn't be able to function and neither would something in science. An example for science would be that a cell cannot function without proteins and their unique organizations of amino acids and bonds.

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  114. The article describes the idea of gate keepers. Event though there are differences between proteins and art work, especially when considering the idea that art can be viewed differently among people, there is also a key similarity. Artists and functions of proteins have one thing in common, they both chose how to function. The artist makes his piece and understands it for what it it. A protein has a function and without a change in itself the function will not change. Just like how an artist can add to his piece, changing its function.

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  115. This article has brought about a similar thinking with the previous articles mentioned, about aesthetics. This article provides a clear cut analogy that allows readers to see the connection between art and science perfectly. It has shown me the explicit connection between the two, which is the complete opposite of my previous thought. When I was in London for the summer semester, I went to many museums for both art and science. Never did I think they were so connected. The properties in the article apply to both art and science. Very cool.

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  116. To me, this article draws a connection between art and science by describing the transition from abstract to concrete ideas. It accomplishes this by using an example of a protein and its functions.On their own, protein function and makeup are abstract concepts. However, if protein function and makeup are studied as complements, it makes the concepts more concrete, in other words they have more meaning.

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  117. Your class has opened my eyes to this idea of connecting art and science, and now I see it everywhere in science. When I think about the structure of proteins I see it as a set structure, like a chair. A chair requires 4 legs to stand evenly but if you cut just one leg off then you change the whole structure and it falls over. This is like changing an amino acid in a protein.

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  118. This class has been the first science class I've taken to connect science and art. I usually jus thought of science as one thing and art the other, but it all makes sense now. DNA and RNA have a specific job for the success of the overall protein. In art, the blue strokes or the curved head has a specific job for the overall understanding and beauty of the piece of work. Being able to combine these two things allows for a deeper understanding of either or. It's quite amazing!

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  119. As the Earth is nothing without art, I see art in everything, especially in science. The purpose of art is not to be perfect, but to capture the eye. I find structures, such as the Helix structure of DNA, to be very visually appealing. The coolest part is how natural it is. Artists may come close to constructing similar designs, but natural functions are the best artists when it comes to this. Proteins are naturally awesome in the way that they act in specific functions. Personally, I workout a lot, and protein is a big deal for helping my muscles recover. I use a vegan pea protein powder that is particularly high in arginine, lysine, and phenylalanineprotein- therefore, high levels of branched chain amino acids. These amino acids all serve the function of helping my muscles recover, restoring my glycogen levels, as well as lowering my ghrelin levels. I think the ability of protein to naturally do all this is art in itself!

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  120. There is such a significant difference that proteins can make. I had no idea that it was proteins that had to do with all these different functions. Before, I would have thought of art and science as too completely different things; art being creativity and science being factual. Now, I can see that the too can be closely related as they are with the concept of proteins.

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  121. I would have never thought before taking this course that science and art were related in any form or way to each other. Now, I realize that there is a relationship between both, even when talking about proteins in a cell. Without properly analyzing the cells functions through the pricinples of aesthetics, like we do in art, we would never understand its complex processes. If we view science and art, hand in hand, we would have better comprehension of everything as a whole.

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  122. I've always thought about certain types of art as the amount of work that went into making something so complex able to seamlessly work trillions of times over and rarely make any error in doing so, and this blog and class has kind of reinforced that a bit. It relates proteins and RNA and DNA to programming -- a subject which also reminds many of art when you hear terms like "beautiful code". So in that sense, art and science have become more related for me.

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  123. Before this class I had never made the connection between science and art, or more specifically, aesthetics. Proteins have several roles -- as "gatekeepers", or 'chemists, for instance. Proteins' functionality within the cell is entirely dependent on the conformation of the cell in question. This kind of restrictive circumstance is apparent in art, too, as it is all of the components of a piece of art that come together to create a final product -- any minor change might change the whole picture.

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  124. Proteins mediate the cellular environment by acting as a gatekeeper and regulator. It controls what is allowed to travel in and out of the cell through active and passive transport. It regulates because it alter molecules within the cell when another function must be met by that molecule.

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  125. In art, shapes and structure of the image create the function of the art work. By combining these shapes, artists convey a message through art work. The message the art sends is the art works function. Proteins in cells have a certain function based on their structure. I'm able to see the connection between the two. I would not think the two were comparable before this class, but the connection is becoming more clear.

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