Molecular Movies

9 07 2008

Cell has an interesting article on the benefits and the technical challenges associated with pretty movies that illustrate cellular events. When done well, these really help remind me of the scale of cellular components and their interactions. Here is a short snippet from the text.

Although animation is a powerful tool that lets one dissect the chronology and mechanism of a multistep process, how do we depict the variety of molecular motions that occur on drastically different timescales within a single movie? Thermal motion of individual atoms (10−15 to 10−12 s), amino acid side chain motions (10−9 s), diffusional events (10−6 s), transient conformational changes and folding (10−6 to 10−1 s), and large conformational changes all contribute to our understanding of molecular function. When one also considers the timescales relevant to processes in cell biology (1 − 102 s), we are faced with a daunting range spanning 17 orders of magnitude!

The article also has the most comprehensive collection of links to cool molecular visualization movies, which are also appended below.

A. Olson, A.J. (1981)
B. McGill, G. (2007)
C. Martinez, G. (2007)
D. Ortiz, J. (2006a)
E. Ortiz, J. (2006b)
F. Sharpe, J., et al. (2005)
G. Iwasa, J. (2007)
H. Sannuga, S. (2006)
I. McGill, G., and Iwasa, J. (2008)
J. Berry, D. (2007)
K. Berry, D. (2008)
L. Johnson, G. (2000)
M. Keller, E. (2003)
N. Keller, E. (2007)
O. Martinez, G., and Davy, S. (2007)
P. XVIVO (2006)

UPDATED : UCSD Neuroscience Movies Back Online

27 03 2008

Almost every year, the UCSD Neurosciences Graduate program makes a movie or performs some skits lampooning the faculty (and sometimes other students). These videos used to be hosted on my server in the Tsien Lab, but that machine came with me to DC. I’ve finally taken the time to re-encode them and upload them to Google Video. I also uncovered the DVD of the excellent 2003 movie “Les Lettres Perdues”. The video quality is not as good from this host as from a private server, but at least they will be universally accessible. Email me if you want a higher quality version.

UCSD Neuroscience Skits 2006

The Investigator – UCSD Neuroscience Movie 2005

Les Lettres Perdues – UCSD Neuroscience Movie 2003

Tsien Lab Baby