"In reality, protein folding is like evolution by natural selection. As a protein starts to fold, local structures form quickly, leading to a dramatic reduction of the available 'space' to be searched. These local structures then try out a more limited number of structures, with successive steps nailing down more and more of the correct structure. What seemed like a miracle is now quite well-understood, although it's still a challenge to actually predict the specific steps for a given protein."
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