Susan Lee Lindquist revealed the profound ramifications of a process that most scientists had overlooked: protein folding. Through elegant experiments in yeast, plants, flies and human cells, Lindquist demonstrated how this process by which proteins adopt their proper shapes fuels evolution. It can buffer the effects of genetic variation, allow new traits to emerge and enable the rapid evolution of new adaptations. Her insights have paved the way for innovative strategies to treat diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cancer.
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