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Innovations in Freezing

Glucose Isomerase

Technologies From the Labs of Robert Thorne and Sol Gruner

Robert Thorne

Robert Thorne

One would think that simply spending time in Ithaca during the winter months would make a person an expert on freezing. After all, freezing is something that occupies our minds for six months of the year as we worry about soaring fuel costs, frozen pipes, icy roads, ski conditions, and simply our own body temperatures in homes with lowered thermostats. It is also something that occupies the minds of the scientists in the research groups of Robert E. Thorne and Sol M. Gruner, Physics/Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics (LASSP), who are trying to understand the physics of freezing and how to do it better. It turns out that freezing is critical to more than just utility bills and winter sports; it is also of great importance to proteomics.

Proteomics is the study of proteins. While genomics has been getting most of the headlines lately, proteomics is a rapidly growing discipline of at least equal promise. Proteins are not only the basic building blocks of living organisms, but also the chemicals that do most of the work. Much more complicated than genomics—there are only about 22,000 genes in the human genome, versus nearly 400,000 proteins in the proteome.


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