Are there proteins whose operation we can describe from first principles using chemistry or physics?
I've had introductory college courses in biology, and some classes in neuroscience, so I know that the behavior or purpose of many proteins is well characterized. But the descriptions of how proteins work—at least in what I've read—are always sort of similar and vague, “X binds to Y and the shape of the protein changes, which does Z”. At the level of the material I'm reading, I wouldn't necessarily expect much more, but I am curious whether researchers actually have a more detailed understanding of how proteins work. Can we describe the way that (some) proteins work in the same way that an engineer can describe how an internal combustion engine works?