Funnel (image) Rice University Caption A protein folding funnel, the product of algorithms created by Rice's Center for Theoretical Biological Physics, is a graphic representation of the energy landscape a protein navigates as it goes from its initial floppy state to a folded, functional unit. The funnel shows smooth slopes as well as outcroppings where parts of a protein may pause while others catch up, and also traps that could cause a protein to misfold. New Rice research shows how the interplay between evolution and physics developed the skills necessary to conserve useful proteins. Credit Center for Theoretical Biological Physics/Rice University Usage Restrictions None Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.