Since we like supplying schools and laboratories with important equipment, we regularly carry molecular model kits that are used to build models of various complex chemical compounds. These kits area a necessity for any biochemist or organic chemist.
Trouble is, these kits have a bit of a scaling problem. They are fine for molecules, but what if you wanted to build a model of something a bit larger. Quite a bit larger, actually. Mind you we are still talking about stuff that is microscope in scale, but by comparison are huge compared to the molecules built with the model kits.
We are talking about proteins.
Now, in theory, one could build a a protein out of models kits. This is not very practical, however, and would take multiple kits and would probably fill up a large sized room just make one protein. This is why there have been some attempts at making protein model kits but they haven’t been very impressive .
Enter a couple of new people thinking on the subject, one of Dr. Marcel Jaspars, professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Aberdeen,, the other person is Richard X Zawitz, whose company Tangled Creations has been making twisty bendy toys for ages.
As the story goes, Dr. Jaspars wife gave him a Tangled Toy as a gift and the good Professor realized it could be used to make models of proteins. Its twisty, curved pieces were perfect for modeling proteins. Somehow the professor and Mr. Zawitz got together and collaborated on making the Tangle Proteins Building Set.
With this building set, students and kids can use the Tangle pieces to build actual models of various proteins. The included booklet talks about what proteins are and some details on protein modeling, along with instructions on how to model 3 different proteins:
- Streptococcal Protein G
- ω – Conotoxin MVIII
Tips for building other proteins are given:
The kit includes 75 blue pieces, 75 red pieces, 75 white pieces, 25 green pieces, 300 normal hydrogen bonds, and 50 long hydrogen bonds.
This kit is an excellent, accurate and affordable protein building set that is a must for many biochem classes as well as for kids interested in biology or in need of a science project.
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