Inspired by the remarkable sophistication and complexity of natural metalloproteins, the field of protein design and engineering has traditionally sought to understand and recapitulate the design principles that underlie the interplay between metals and protein scaffolds. Yet, some recent efforts in the field demonstrate that it is possible to create new metalloproteins with structural, functional and physico-chemical properties that transcend evolutionary boundaries. This essay aims to highlight some of these efforts and draw attention to the ever-expanding scope of bioinorganic chemistry and its new connections to synthetic biology, biotechnology, supramolecular chemistry and materials engineering.

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