Structural biology is a branch of molecular biology, biochemistry, and biophysics concerned with the molecular structure of biological macromolecules, especially proteins and nucleic acids, how they acquire the structures they have, and how alterations in their structures affect their function. This subject is of great interest to biologists because macromolecules carry out most of the functions of cells, and because it is only by coiling into specific three-dimensional shapes that they are able to perform these functions. This architecture, the "tertiary structure" of molecules, depends in a complicated way on the molecules' basic composition, or "primary structures."
Biomolecules are too small to see in detail even with the most advanced light microscopes. The methods that structural biologists use to determine their structures generally involve measurements on vast numbers of identical molecules at the same time. These methods include:
Most often researchers use them to study the static "native states" of macromolecules. But variations on these methods are also used to watch nascent or denatured molecules assume or reassume their native states. See protein folding.
A third approach that structural biologists take to understanding structure is bioinformatics to look for patterns among the diverse sequences that give rise to particular shapes. Researchers often can deduce aspects of the structure of integral membrane proteins based on the membrane topology predicted by hydrophobicity analysis. See protein structure prediction.
In the past few years it has become possible for highly accurate physical molecular models to complement the in silico study of biological structures.
Matching Structural Biology Colleges
Four or more years; Private not for profit; $34,200 average out-state tuition; $34,200 average in-state tuition
Baylor College of Medicine
Four or more years; Private not for profit; $0 average out-state tuition; $0 average in-state tuition
Structural Biology Scholarships
|FIRST Scholarship - University of Advancing Technology||$10,000||May 23, 2018|
|Novus Biologicals Scholarship||$1,500||July 20, 2018|
|Riley Thomas Greer Scholarship||$1,000||June 01, 2018|
|STEM Scholarship||$1,000||July 31, 2018|
|Carl and Brenda Grubb Scholarship||$200||June 15, 2018|
|Truman McEver Memorial Scholarship - Arkansas Tech University||Varies||November 15, 2018|
|Louise Berkeley Turner Scholarship Fund||Varies||November 15, 2018|
|Linda Douthit Memorial Scholarship - Arkansas Tech University||Varies||November 15, 2018|
|Greg A. Parks Memorial Scholarship||Varies||November 15, 2018|
|Doyle and Evelyn Sparks Scholarship - Arkansas Tech University||Varies||November 15, 2018|
Structural Biology Related Majors
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry/Biophysics and Molecular Biology
- Molecular Biochemistry
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- Molecular Biophysics
- Biomedical Sciences
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- Medical Microbiology and Bacteriology
- Cell Biology and Histology