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A. Decoding the Language of Proteins

Narrator: This is Science Today. Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley are using optics to decode a new language-the language of proteins in living cells. Working with the new Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology, chemistry professor Jay Groves is learning how signals transfer information in the hopes of answering some important biomedical questions.

Groves: We're using a variety of these new and optical techniques, many of which we're developing as we go, to give us the tools to resolve those signals and figure out what this language is.

Narrator: Groves says these technologies will enable researchers to determine how immune cells communicate with each other and how they recognize diseased cells in our bodies.

Groves: And ultimately if we can see into those communications ourselves, can we learn how to develop new pharmaceuticals that tune these things for perhaps being able to modulate the negative effects of an autoimmune disease.

Narrator: The Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology is a national effort linking together ten scientific research institutions. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.