So far from contemplating the biological sciences in a bemused stupor of incomprehension, chemists and physicists have entered the world of biology and given us a new and deeper understanding of the structures of living creatures.–P. Medawar
Protein folding, the self-assembly process according to which a linear chain of amino acids acquires its specific three-dimensional functional shape, is one of the greatest achievements of biology. The function of each protein is determined by its native fold, and misfolded proteins self-associate forming a variety of protein aggregates including amyloid fibrils that appear in association with more than 40 conformational diseases (e.g. Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease). Therefore, revealing the physical laws that drive these remarkable biomolecular processes is a fascinating and tremendously challenging scientific task of paramount importance. Despite an intense research activity in the fields of biochemistry, biology and physics, the search for a complete understanding of the fundamental principles that govern protein folding and aggregation is still going on.