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Perspective: Quantum mechanical methods in biochemistry and biophysics
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In this perspective article, I discuss several research topics relevant to quantum mechanical (QM) methods in biophysical and biochemical applications. Due to the immense complexity of biological problems, the key is to develop methods that are able to strike the proper balance of computational efficiency and accuracy for the problem of interest. Therefore, in addition to the development of novel ab initio and density functional theory based QM methods for the study of reactive events that involve complex motifs such as transition metal clusters in metalloenzymes, it is equally important to develop inexpensive QM methods and advanced classical or quantal force fields to describe different physicochemical properties of biomolecules and their behaviors in complex environments. Maintaining a solid connection of these more approximate methods with rigorous QM methods is essential to their transferability and robustness. Comparison to diverse experimental observables helps validate computational models and mechanistic hypotheses as well as driving further development of computational methodologies.
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