I’ve always thought that it takes a good imagination to study molecular and cell biology since we never actually see much of the molecular processes we study, dissect and hypothesize on every day. Think about the mental models you have of the processes of cytoskeleton polymerization/ de-polymerization or DNA translation for example. Aren’t they amazing?
Biovisions, a Harvard animation company have come up with an animation of cellular processes that is probably the closest thing to an external representation of a molecular biologist’s imagination you can get.
The movie, which lasts a couple of minutes sweeps through intra- and extra-cellular landscapes, zooming in to depict the elegance of processes like actin polymerisation, protein translation and protein-protein interactions. Alan Viel, Robert A. Lue and John Leibler are the individuals responsible for this creditable effort, which certainly entertains, inspires and fires the imagination. How close this is to the way things actually look is anyone’s guess, but it’s nice to get a glimpse inside the imagination of a fellow molecular biologist.
This is actually a fairly old movie – over a year old, but I have never come across it before now. Thanks to Attila at the excellent PIMM – Partial Immortalization blog for the heads up.