Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Computer paints a charged bioportrait" by Ivars Peterson. Science News, 1 September 2001,page 135.

Until recently, mapping the electrical landscape of a biological moleculeconsisting of more than 50,000 atoms was impractical. This article tells ofwork done modeling a 1.25 million atom microtubule in less than an hour. Thework was done by chemists and is based on an approach arrived at last year bymathematicians Michael J. Holst and Randolph E. Bank at the University ofCalifornia, San Diego. Holst and Bank devised a new way to send portions ofthe massive computation involved to different processors. The findings of thechemists are published in the August 28th Proceedings of the National Academyof Sciences.

--- Mike Breen