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Image: Eric Martz, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Visualization of electrical charge flow on the nanoscale in proteins is crucial for understanding several life processes. This image shows the structure of a bacterial pili filament that carries electrons like a copper wire. Aromatic amino acids responsible for carrying the electrons are shown in yellow. The bacteria use pili to share energy by directly exchanging electrons among each other. Colors in the top figure represent different pilin monomers that assemble into a filament.