Scientists are working to understand how disordered proteins interact with other proteins, with the hopes of unlocking mysteries of certain diseases or possible treatments. Flexible strands of protein were long thought to be destroyed proteins until researcher Richard Kriwacki combined them with other proteins to create structure. Now it's thought that "intrinsically disordered proteins" may play major roles in controlling cellular processes in the body. "Just like in physics, the protein universe seems to have this dark matter we have neglected, which now turns out to be important in cells," said Peter Tompa, a protein chemist and one of the lead researchers in the project.
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