I have a Computer Science background and a minimal biology knowledge. This is the question I am asked to answer in one of the biology courses:

What would be the structure of ribosomal proteins when isolated from the ribosome?

I do understand (on a high level) what a protein and a ribosome are. I read about the rRNA, ribosomal proteins, 30s and 50s subunits. That gave me an overall insight, but it didn't specifically answer the question. I also tried to Google some pictures of these proteins without much success. Thus, what I want to ask is:

i) What's the concrete answer to this question?

ii) Does the structure of an isolated protein differ to being part of a ribosome?

iii) What exactly do I need to say about its structure? Secondary, Tertiary, something else?

and most importantly

iv) How would a biologist attempt to answer this question?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A biologist would close-vote that question as "too broad" because there's loads of ribosomal proteins (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ribosomal_protein) and they all have different structures. o.O Then the biologist would search "ribosomal protein structure" and find this article which contains some pointers: link.springer.com/article/10.1134%2FS0006297912060028 But the question remains phrased in a strange way that suggests the teacher had something very particular (and probably subjective) in mind. $\endgroup$ – Armatus Apr 12 '18 at 11:15

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