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Discovery of the Structure of the Ribosome

Submitted by jonathanrubi on Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:01

Yonath, Steitz, and Ramakrishnan dedicated over 20 years to discovering the structure of the ribosome. Using X-ray crystallography provided tremendous hurdles for Yonath when trying to figure out the atomic structure of the ribosome, which is a complex structure containing two subunits each with thousands of nucleotides of RNA and 32 and 46 proteins respectively. However, using ribosomes taken from bacteria living under tremendously harsh conditions in the dead sea, a high-salt environment, helped to provide the stabilization needed to  obtain a detailed mapping of the atomic structure. Still problems persisted, and it was Steitz who used both images generated by Yonath and electron microscopy from Joachim Frank that provided the information needed. After years of collecting additional data, and the structure of the small subunit of the ribosome from Ramakrishnan, it was finally possible to map the functionality of the ribosome at the atomic level.



Talking about the ribosome in depth might be benefit if you include what the ribisome does. As i read in another PP, they enjoy the way authors write scientific literature becuase they explain everything that non-scientist might not know. In this case, many may not know what a ribisome is.

The second sentance feels a bit long, I think it could benefit from being split apart. The first sentance could be up to "structure of the ribosome", and the second one could be explaining what the ribosome is.

The word tremendous seems a bit hyperbolic when describing the sodium content of the dead sea. While I agree, its tremendously high, the reader would likely prefer a comparison to the ocean perhaps to truely understand just how conentrated the sodium levels are.