[Humanist] 29.616 revealing analogies: noodles in the air

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed Jan 13 08:22:25 CET 2016

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 29, No. 616.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Tue, 12 Jan 2016 12:16:45 -0600
        From: Stan Ruecker <sruecker at ualberta.ca>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 29.609 revealing analogies?
        In-Reply-To: <20160110105902.0AAC879E6 at digitalhumanities.org>

This isn't a published example, but I've recently been doing a project
with a mathematical chemist on new online interfaces to a system for
therapeutic drug design. To explain the goal of getting the small
molecule (the new drug, or ligand) to dock as tightly as possible into
the massive molecule (the protein being drugged), we use this mixed
metaphor: "Imagine a big bowl of noodles thrown into the air. That's
the protein. It's constantly changing shape. Then you have a little
piece that you want to fit in there, like a key in a lock. That's the
ligand. Our goal is to design the key to fit as closely as possible
into one or more of the locks in the protein."

Stan Ruecker
Associate Professor
Coordinator, PhD program
IIT Institute of Design
Chicago IL

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