Most of the well-studied proteins in our bodies are like metal; some can change shape easily, like aluminum foil, and others are rigid, like steel beams, but they typically have a solid, well-defined structure. Many other essential proteins are more like water — able to change phase from liquid to solid ice. A team of researchers led by Nicolas Fawzi, an associate professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology and Biotechnology, used a combination of techniques to determine the atomic interactions that stabilize the liquid, yet “condensed” phase of FUS, one of the important phase-changing proteins. Fawzi’s team includes doctoral student Anastasia Murthy, the lead author on the study. The findings were published on Monday, July 1, in the journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology. Read more.