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Engineered Antibody

By  Anna Dumitriu 2016
“Engineered Antibody is a beaded necklace based on lab member Xiang Li’s research working with an antibody purified from the blood of an HIV positive patient. Made up of 452 hand-made beads, it both represents and physically contains the actual 21 amino acids of the antibody in the precise order. The light chain and heavy chain of the protein structure have been folded into the exact structure of the antibody. An antibody is a protein that is produced by the immune system in order to combat foreign bodies and viruses, which it can bind to. Xiang Li is working to improve this antibody by engineering it to better block HIV infections through the introduction of an additional amino acid called sulfotyrosine. The artist draws on the image that all forms of organic life are made of amino acids, which join together like strings of beads to form proteins that fold into three-dimensional structures essential to their function.“ (Mick Lorusso & Jens Hauser)

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