Observing the Formation of Ribosomes

Identifying and observing the molecules that form ribosomes — the cellular factories that build the proteins essential for life — has been a key goal for biologists that had seemed nearly unattainable. But a new Scripps Research study, appearing in the October 29, 2010 issue of Science, yielded pictures of the chemical intermediate steps in ribosome creation.  The Scripps lead team developed a new technique, dubbed discovery single-particle profiling, which dodges a previously frustrating purification problem by allowing successful imaging of unpurified samples.