The Hidden Life Of the Cell (57:24)
There is a battle playing out inside your body right now. It started billions of years ago and it is still being fought in every one of us every minute of every day. It is the story of a viral infection - the battle for the cell. This film reveals the exquisite machinery of the human cell system from within the inner world of the cell itself - from the frenetic membrane surface that acts as a security system for everything passing in and out of the cell, the dynamic highways that transport cargo across the cell and the remarkable turbines that power the whole cellular world to the amazing nucleus housing DNA and the construction of thousands of different proteins all with unique tasks. The virus intends to commandeer this system to one selfish end: to make more viruses. And they will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. Exploring the very latest ideas about the evolution of life on earth and the bio-chemical processes at the heart of every one of us, and revealing a world smaller than it is possible to comprehend, in a story large enough to fill the biggest imaginations.
You may be familiar with molecular movies from my two previous megaposts collecting them, but this extended documentary uses original animation that is collected into a coherent educational narrative and is just so fucking gorgeous. Enjoy. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Mar 24, 2013 -
[MediFilter] The 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
goes to the discoverers of RNA interference (RNAi)
[Note: Links to original 1998 Nature paper .pdf]. The finding that cells have an intricate mechanism for blocking viral RNA replication
quickly spawned a new technology for investigating the role of different genes by allowing scientists to quickly
, (relatively) cheaply and easily "knock down" their expression and measure the effects. When Kerry Mullis won in 1993
for the discovery of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), there was talk of whether or not the prize had gone to a technical advance and not a fundamental discovery. It will be interesting to see, in this case, which receives more focus: the discovery of a new technology or of a new cellular mechanism.
posted by scblackman
on Oct 2, 2006 -
Vernon Ingram, who discovered the molecular cause of sickle cell anemia, has died.
Dr. Ingram, a professor
and active neuroscientist
at MIT, demonstrated that conversion of glutamic acid to valine at position 6 of the ß-chain of human hemoglobin
[Note: .pdf of original paper] was the sole abnormality in sickle hemoglobin. This seminal observation, which was based on an early version
of 2-D protein electrophoresis
, demonstrated that a protein abnormality in which a single amino acid is altered can produce a complex clinical disorder
. Linus Pauling
said, in response to Ingram's discovery, "“It is astounding that the difference in structure is so small – only about a dozen atoms out of 10,000 in the molecule are different. On such small atomies man’s fate depends!” Often called "The Father of Molecular Biology," Ingram's discovery is part of a remarkable, fascinating, and century long
scientific endeavour to understand the biology of sickle cell disease.
posted by scblackman
on Sep 10, 2006 -
"We have [a substance]
that extends the life of every species it's given to. We're 50 years ahead of where I thought we would be 10 years ago." While Harvard Medical School rules prevent David Sinclair
from recommending product
, "I know a number of scientists who think [it]
is their best shot. Others satisfy themselves with a glass of red wine
," which contains the compound. Too good to be true?
posted by stbalbach
on Oct 6, 2004 -