I moved this from the life article:
- Physical recognition of the molecular shape of other molecules is a crucial attribute of proteins and enables them to perform numerous roles in living organisms. Whether a protein will have a surface that clings to fats or whether it will have a chain that ionizes in aqueous solution are each specified by the amino acids, and how they fold together into an assembled protein molecule.
Benner SA. Caraco MD. Thomson JM. Gaucher EA. Planetary biology--paleontological, geological, and molecular histories of life.[see comment]. [Review] [58 refs] [Journal Article. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't. Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.. Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.. Review] Science. 296(5569):864-8, 2002 May 3. UI: 11988562 (only article that came up with search of full-text articles, reviews, life, and protein) "A key goal for biology in the post-genomic era is to use the sequences of genes and proteins to generate information about molecular, cellular, and organismal biology."..."For this reason, considerable attention has been directed toward the fact that biomolecular sequences contain information about their historical past." search for homologs, or protein sequences that diverged from a common ancestor, is frequently the principal tool used to annotate sequence databases...This theme has been amplified by recognizing that two other fields, geology and paleontology, also provide records of the history of life on Earth. In many respects, these records complement the record contained in molecular sequence data.