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Protein Packing

Harvard University and XVIVO have come together again (Previouslyw/ a commercial focus, Previouslierw/an Academic focus) to add to the growing series of scientific animations for BioVisions -- Harvard's multimedia lab in the department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. 'Protein Packing' strives to more accurately depict the molecular chaos in each and every cell, with proteins jittering around in what may seem like random motion. Proteins occupy roughly 40% of the cytoplasm, creating an environment that risks unintentional interaction and aggregation. Via diffusion and motor protein transport, these molecules are directed to sites where they are needed.
Much of this is no doubt inspired by the beautiful art and explained illustrations of David Goodsell, a biologist at Scripps who has been accurately portraying the crowdedness of the cellular landscape for a long time now.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Apr 10, 2014 - 9 comments

 

Secret Universe

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 - 20 comments

“Why do we eat shrimp and crawfish but not their brethren on land?”

The San Francisco Street Food Festival is an annual Summer event in the Mission District that features around 60 different Bay Area vendors and is attended by tens of thousands of foodies. This year the usual mainstays were joined by Don Bugito, which served up insect-based dishes and billed itself as the first "PreHispanic Snackeria." When the food truck commences permanent operations this month, it may be the first eatery in the country devoted exclusively to preparations involving insects. But they're not the only entomophagy pioneers in San Francisco, where Bug Cuisine is Booming. So just how tasty are insects? (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 5, 2011 - 30 comments

My name is LUCA, I live on the ocean floor.

Scientists have come closer to finding the common ancestor of all Earth life. The last common universal ancestor (LUCA) is an idea that goes back to Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species and whose existence is supported by the fact that all Earth life is based on DNA. But the tantalizing search is getting closer, primarily based on the question, "Which features of the archaea, bacteria and eukaryotes can be traced back to their common ancestor, LUCA?"
posted by Renoroc on Oct 8, 2011 - 34 comments

Foldit - Crystal structure of a monomeric retroviral protease solved by protein folding game players

Gamers solve molecular puzzle that baffled scientists. The structure of a protein causing AIDS in rhesus monkeys had not been discovered in 15 years of attempts. Players of a videogame did it in ten days. Foldit, the game in question. Abstract. Previously, previously.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Sep 18, 2011 - 54 comments

master of information

The New Biology - Eric Schadt's quest to upend molecular biology and open source it. (via)
posted by kliuless on Apr 9, 2011 - 35 comments

Jolecule

Jolecule is an HTML5 viewer for three-dimensional protein structures that requires no plugins. "Jolecule works in modern browsers such as Chrome and Safari and mostly in Firefox." Check out the 3D structure of myoglobin. Or view an animated slideshow of how the glucocorticoid receptor binds DNA (press spacebar to advance).
posted by grouse on Jan 26, 2011 - 21 comments

Gamers Are Credit To Team!

Today's issue of Nature contains a paper with a rather unusual author list. Read past the standard collection of academics, and the final author credited is... the FoldIt multiplayer online gaming community. Even though most of them had no biochemistry experience, the human players of FoldIt turned out to be better at identifying three-dimensional protein structure patterns than the algorithms of Rosetta@Home. (Previously on MeFi)
posted by zarq on Aug 5, 2010 - 12 comments

Learn.Genetics

grumblebee's post about cell size and scale the other day was quite fascinating. Pulling back to the home for that site, the Genetic Science Learning Center at the University of Utah delivers educational materials on genetics, bio-science and health topics ranging from stem cells to gene therapy, and from epigenetics to heredity. Explore the neurobiology of normal and addicted brains and the genetic contribution to this chronic disease.
posted by netbros on Oct 31, 2009 - 4 comments

Darwin, extended

The "blind watchmaker" may not be as blind as we thought. A team of scientists at Princeton University discovers that organisms are not only evolving, they're evolving to evolve better, using a set of proteins to "steer the process of evolution toward improved fitness" by making tiny course corrections.
posted by digaman on Nov 11, 2008 - 66 comments

God schmod. I want my monkey man.

"We'll breed him and we'll see if his kids glow, too!" Meet Mr. Green Genes: (No, not that Mr. Green Jeans) Pic. Pic. [more inside]
posted by cjorgensen on Oct 24, 2008 - 30 comments

Nobel Prize Chemistry 2008: The notorious GFP

The 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to scientists who advanced the use of jellyfish green florescent protein, or GFP (previously), an indispensable tool in molecular biology. The man who discovered the GFP gene, however, is doing something quite different these days. [more inside]
posted by NikitaNikita on Oct 9, 2008 - 13 comments

But Mom, it's for science!

foldit is a new computer game scientists have created that lets YOU help them make science!! [more inside]
posted by Koko on May 10, 2008 - 24 comments

Protein Sculpture

Julian Voss-Andreae is a German-born sculptor based in Portland, Oregon. [more inside]
posted by prostyle on Jan 19, 2008 - 10 comments

Ruling reptiles taste just like chicken. For a reason.

Put down that McChicken sandwich, punk, and back away slowly. OK, now run! The chicken is T. Rex's closest known living relative.
posted by jfuller on Apr 13, 2007 - 29 comments

50s...RIBOSOME!

Only rarely is there an opportunity to participate in a molecular 'happening'. On an open field at Stanford University in 1971, several hundred students convened to undulate and impersonate molecules undergoing protein synthesis by a ribosome. Narrated by Nobel laureate Paul Berg and performed by a cast of very groovy cats. (via)
posted by Turtles all the way down on Jul 28, 2006 - 16 comments

Researchers discover how cancer spreads in the body.

Researchers discover how cancer spreads in the body. They have discovered that a key protein molecule - called Src - helps to loosen the structure of tissues surrounding a tumour, opening the way for cancer cells to spread around the body.
posted by Espoo2 on Aug 5, 2002 - 2 comments

Well, if SETI@HOME is too much of a long-shot for you, then how about something absolutely certain to result in important findings? GENOME@HOME is trying to search the results of the human genome sequencing project to find the place in the genome where certain important proteins are encoded, and FOLDING@HOME is trying to figure out how proteins are folded to become enzymes, where shape is more important than chemistry.

FOLDING@HOME is working on some of the critical proteins of HIV, among other things. HIV has been sequenced and from that they know the amino acid sequences of the enzymes it makes. But without understanding their shapes it's not possible to figure out how they work. This represents one of the best applications of volunteer distributed computing I can think of. With 40,000 participants, FOLDING@HOME has already had successes, including one of the HIV enzymes. (Courtesy of Firing Squad)
posted by Steven Den Beste on Feb 17, 2001 - 14 comments

Immortality Protein May Offer Cancer Vaccine.

Immortality Protein May Offer Cancer Vaccine. You know, I'm glad they're making progress, but once the 'cure' is found, I can't daydream about being this smart, intelligent doctor, (something right out of a soap), that creates the cure for cancer, and woos all the la-a-dies... then again there is always being that evil-twin and start cloning, with that, you won't need to wooo anyone, they're your toys! mwahahaha!
posted by tiaka on Aug 30, 2000 - 0 comments

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