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J Biomol Screen. 2010 Mar;15(3):321-6. doi: 10.1177/1087057109357116. Epub 2010 Feb 3.

The Feynman trajectories: determining the path of a protein using fixed-endpoint assays.

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  • 1MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, University College London, London, United Kingdom.


Richard Feynman postulated in 1948 that the path of an electron can be best described by the sum or functional integral of all possible trajectories rather than by the notion of a single, unique trajectory. As a consequence, the position of an electron does not harbor any information about the paths that contributed to this position. This observation constitutes a classical endpoint observation. The endpoint assay is the desired type of experiment for high-throughput screening applications, mainly because of limitations in data acquisition and handling. Quite contrary to electrons, it is possible to extract information about the path of a protein using endpoint assays, and these types of applications are reviewed in this article.

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