Student makes front cover of BioPhysical journal

Riddet Institute PhD scholar Davide Mercandante is principal author of an article that has led to the cover image on the latest issue of BioPhysical Journal, a prestigious publication published by the BioPhysical Society.

The article is entitled, Bovine β-Lactoglobulin Is Dimeric under Imitative Physiological Conditions: Dissociation Equilibrium and Rate Constants over the pH Range 2.5 to 7.5, by authors Davide Mercadante, Laurence D. Melton, Gillian E. Norris, Trevor S. Loo, Martin A.K. Williams, Renwick C.J. Dobson and Geoffrey B. Jameson.

Mr Mercadante said, “The cover image was composed in two phases. First, the electrostatic potentials for bovine beta-lactoglobulin A were calculated and visualised by colouring the protein surface by the electrostatic potential and representing the electric field using field lines. Considering that the research has been carried out through a combined experimental and theoretical approach, we wanted to make sure that not just the computational part of our study was represented in the image. Therefore, on the white background we decided to insert samples of sedimentation velocity and sedimentation equilibrium curves, fitted in order to reveal the oligomerization behaviour of beta-lactoglobulin A. The collage of the different bits, experimental and computational, gave us the results we wanted.

Essentially, the nature of our results prompted us to create and submit a cover art image. The investigation of the electrostatic properties of macromolecules has a strong visual component that is very often conducive to art work. Science is as much about images as it is about numbers.”

Mr Mercadante has recently submitted his PhD dissertation and has begun looking for a post-doctoral position. His main supervisor is Professor Laurence Melton at the University of Auckland.

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