In a previous blog post, we talked about Molecular Dynamics Simulations (MDS) and their role in the biotechnology industry, such as structure-based drug design. MDS are the closest thing we have to replicate the flexibility and conformational changes proteins (as well as other molecules) undergo when performing their function, such as interacting with other molecules. In order to capture all of the dynamics involved, however, we require very powerful tools that can perform massive amounts of calculations in a feasible time period.

Some say that two heads are better than one. Supercomputers, simply put, are just a cluster of many…


Slime mold fruiting bodies, photograph by Ian Lindsay on Pixabay, used under the Pixabay License.

Intelligence All the Way Down

We typically think of the brain as the seat of intelligence, and, well, we typically think this thought with the brain as well. The human brain has been described by some as “the most complex thing in the universe,” although that should be taken with a grain of salt as it is usually a human brain that makes these claims. An alternative perspective combines the ideas of general intelligence and universal computation and says, “sure, a brain is cool and all, but it’s not the fundamental unit of intelligence by most reasonable estimates.”

Society is more complicated than a single…


Predicting a protein’s structure and function from only its sequence is one of one of the most significant problems in modern computational biology. This “protein folding problem”, as it is known, has been in the news recently with DeepMind’s groundbreaking AlphaFold2 results at CASP14. This progress comes after decades of research and attempts at the problem by hundreds of research groups. A key part of what makes this problem so difficult is that proteins don’t fold by themselves, but by complex interactions with the surrounding environment, water. While we might take water for granted as the background where other chemistry…


Visiting the grocery store to pick up fresh fruit and vegetables is an uneventful — even bothersome — part of our day. This is especially true for those of us in the United States where these items have long been plentiful. There are even times we treat ourselves to the “posh” variety of fresh, hand-picked organic plants from the local farmer’s market. Imagine for a moment if we didn’t have such a privilege. Sadly, many families throughout the world lack access to affordable and nutritious foods that are necessary for a safe and healthy lifestyle — in other words; they…


Once thought to be science fiction, DNA cloning has become a routine practice in protein research labs. Since the production of proteins for scientific study is a fairly difficult and pricey process, DNA cloning using a unique strain of E. coli allows for targeted protein production using the bacteria’s already optimized cellular machinery. [5]

Image from Khan Academy

The process of DNA cloning is well refined and best thought of in the following steps [4]:

  • Preparation of an insert. This is a small DNA segment that ultimately codes for a scientist’s desired protein.
  • Preparation of a plasmid vector. This is what will carry the…


This month, last year, COVID-19 was declared a national emergency in the United States. At that time, it seemed improbable that a vaccine would be developed and approved for use by the end of the year. When the improbable happened, there was no doubting it as our favorite scientific breakthrough of 2020. With vaccines being at the center of public attention today, we think it’s important to not let that attention overshadow the importance of treating patients with COVID-19. One therapeutic path we like to follow is monoclonal antibody therapy, as it has proven itself to be a potential lifesaving…


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the U.S. has approved two vaccines for the SARS-CoV-2 virus (responsible for COVID-19) and countries around the world have begun vaccinating their populations. This means the pandemic finally has an end in sight! Once you’ve been vaccinated, however, it doesn’t mean you can start visiting your favorite restaurant for brunch with your besties or unmask at the barber shop. We haven’t collected enough evidence to support that a vaccinated individual can stop using social-distancing and other preventative measures. Life will continue as normal in the pandemic world — social-distanced and masked-up. …


If you haven’t yet, check out our countdown of the Macromoltek team’s top 9 favorite scientific breakthroughs of 2020 here. Our top pick is:

01. The Development and Approval of The SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccine

Without a doubt, everyone in the world was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Scientists in academia and industry changed gears on the spot to tackle this problem from all possible angles. To our advantage, coronaviruses were first discovered in 1965 as the causative agent of mild respiratory illness or the common cold, and scientists have been studying them ever since. …


2020 was an indescribable year for many around the world. The international community had to adapt to a new era of nearly total virtual collaboration. In-person work was minimized to the most fundamental parts of society and organizations had to make the best out of the time they got at their work facilities. Here at Macromoltek, we are no exception. You can check out our blog post about how we navigated these changes here.

Despite all the difficulties, scientists all around the world slowly but surely continued their paths to discovery and innovation. …


A machine learning algorithm developed by the super-nerds at Google made headlines recently. New algorithms and machine learning methods are developed across the world daily, however, it is extremely rare for any of them to get mainstream media attention. So why is AlphaFold2 such a big deal? Just because it was developed by Google? Well, no, but we could see why you would think that. The actual reason is that Google’s AlphaFold2 has made a leap of progress towards solving one of the greatest modern problems in structural biology.

So, what is AlphaFold2? Put briefly, AlphaFold2 is a machine learning…

Macromoltek, Inc.

Welcome to the Macromoltek blog! We're an Austin-based biotech firm focused on using computers to further the discovery and design of antibodies.

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