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Tom Steitz passes away

  1. Oct 12, 2018 #1


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  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 12, 2018 #2


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    Very sad news. In addition to the ribosome, Steitz was helped solve the structure of a number of other important biomolecular complexes involved in DNA replication, transcription, and translation (the "central dogma" of biology). His wife, Joan Steitz, was recently awarded the Lasker-Koshland Award for Special Achievement in Medical Science http://www.laskerfoundation.org/awards/show/leadership-rna-biology-and-scientific-mentorship/

    I remember reading one memorable paper from his lab in which they solved the structure of fatty acid synthetase (FAS), a large macromolecular complex involved in lipid metabolism. While scientists had been working on solving the structure since the 1970s, (finally achieving a low-resolution crystal structure in 2006), Steitz's group came across the enzyme in an unusual way:

    While many crystallographers can spend decades trying to get crystals of the protein they are studying, Steitz can get crystals by accident!
  4. Oct 16, 2018 #3

    Sanborn Chase

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    What we call accident is usually the order of a higher level.
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