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If one bends rubber bands again and again, the sulphur bridges in the material break. The rubber becomes brittle. © RUB, Marquard

Splitting disulphide bonds in water is more complicated than assumed

Nature Chem.:In proteins and rubber, they are indispensable: bonds between two sulphur atoms that link long molecules together. Pulling from outside on the disulphide bonds triggers unexpectedly complicated processes.

From a chemical perspective, splitting disulphide bonds under tensile stress is a substantially more complicated process than previously assumed. A team headed by Prof Dr Dominik Marx from Ruhr-Universität Bochum found out what happens in detail during this process – with the aid of extensive computer simulations on the Jülich supercomputer “Juqueen”. The researchers report their results in the journal “Nature Chemistry”.

 

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