Cell Invasions |Jason Sharpe, Donald Ly, Charles Lumsden et al
This Maya animation provides a visual simulation of fibroblasts moving through extracellular matrix - the 3D matrix and behavior of the cell population through the matrix are based on mathematical models implemented in MEL.
The Inner Life of the Cell |XVIVO & Harvard Univeristy
This Siggraph award-winning animation depicts the molecular players and signaling processes underlying leukocyte migration, adhesion and extravasation. Structural components of the cytoskeleton and the extracellular matrix, in particular, are highlighted.
A solid tumor secretes angiogenic molecules that induce new blood vessels to form in the vicinity of the mass. These new vessels eventually grow into the tumor providing it with the necessary oxygen and nutrients for continued growth.
This stunning Maya animation covers the death receptor signaling pathway that originates with binding of the Fas/TNF family of ligands, triggering of the caspase cascade, cytochrome C release from the mitochondria, apoptosome activation, and ensuing signal amplification.
A 3D model of the cell-division machinery. In bacteria like E. coli, FtsZ proteins assembles into the Z ring at the cell centre. The ring then recruits at least ten membrane-associated proteins to assemble the cell-division protein machinery.
A step-by-step depiction of a diversity-oriented organic synthesis reaction on beads (created for Professor Stuart Schreiber at Harvard/Broad). At the same time as the camera follows the reaction in 3D showing bond rearrangements, the viewer can simultaneously follow the reaction in standard stick notation at the bottom of the screen.
Melamine-PTCDI Self-Assembly on Si(111)-Ag Surface |Yan Liang
The first part of the animation describes the structure of Si(111)-Ag surface, which is another surface that took the surface science community 25 years to determine. The second part describes the melamine-PTCDI self-assembly on this surface.
The Si(111) 7×7 reconstruction was one of the most intriguing problems in surface science. It took surface scientists over 25 years to determine its structure. This 4-minute long animation tries to help the viewers understand and enjoy the beauty of this complicated surface structure.
ParM polymerization dynamics - ParM polymerizes bidirectionally at the same rate at either end. ATP hydrolysis (shown as color change to red) occurs spontaneously. When a filament end loses its ATP 'cap,' the filament undergoes rapid depolymerization from that end in a process termed dynamic instability.
This Maya animation depicts the dynamic self-assembly and dissassembly processes of microtubules. The animation incoporates atomic resolution structural information for tubulin (as it undergoes a GTP vs GDP-induced conformational change), as well as cryoEM data for 'protofilament peels' and 'helical ribbons' from the Nogales lab.
DNA segregation by ParM - ParM binds to DNA-binding proteins, called ParR (orange proteins) around which segments of genomic DNA are coiled. Sister plasmid segregation is achieved through bidirectional insertional polymerization of the ParM filaments.
Mechanotransduction through the cytoskeleton: a hypothetical model of mechano-biochemical conversion through protein-protein interaction. This animation depicts the tensegrity model of the cell's cytoskeleton.
Embryonic Development |Blake Porch, HHMI / Biointeractive.org
Covers the early stages of embyronic development (including fertilization, cleavage, blastocyst formation, implantation, cell migration in the inner cell mass and formation of the embryo's germ layers and neural tube formation).
‘Fighting Infection by Clonal Selection’ was created to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a revolutionary theory called ‘Clonal Selection’ by Nobel Laureate, Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet. The animation shows how clonal selection works during a bacterial infection of the throat.
Crohn's Disease |Gardenia Gonzalez Gil / Living Pixels
The first two parts of this animation illustrate features of innate and adaptive immunity relevant to Crohn's disease. The third part describes the mechanism of action of lipoxin resolving infection and inflammation, leading to restoration of healthy gastrointestinal function.
Approximately 25 million people worldwide, many of them children, suffer from type 1 diabetes. There is currently no cure for diabetes and those affected with this disease must endure daily insulin injections for the duration of their lives. This animation illustrates how insulin is normally produced in the body and how its production is destroyed in this disease.
Multiple Sclerosis |Gardenia Gonzalez Gil / Living Pixels
This Maya animation describes some immunological and brain barrier defects found in patients with Multiple Sclerosis. It illustrates how these defects progressively deteriorate neuronal signal transmission.
This animation depicts the proces of DNA recombination. The DNA plasmid is first digested with the restriction endonuclease enzyme ecoRI. Then, a piece of DNA encoding a gene is inserted into the plasmid by DNA ligase.
De novo vesicle formation from fatty acid micelles - Protons are represented by the small glowing spheres. Upon protonation, the micelle structure becomes more fluid and may allow for larger numbers of micelles to join together. Vesicle formation occurs by chance after the fatty acid sheet has reached a threshold surface area.
Although the vesicle structure itself as a whole is extremely stable, individual fatty acids within vesicles are extremely dynamic and are constantly joining and leaving the vesicle membrane. Protonated fatty acids (shown by the glowing hydrogen in the head group and the lighter colored tail) readily flip between the inner and outer leaflets of the membrane.
This animation depicts hemoglobin molecules binding to oxygen. The mutant form of hemoglobin is also shown and results in the assembly of the long stiff protein fibers characteristic of the disease sickle cell anemia.
An animation that takes the viewer from the tissue level (i.e. a capillary inside a gut villus) all the way to the molecular level (by taking a look at the conformational changes that occur as a result of oxygen release by hemoglobin).
A 3D animation depicting the early molecular events underlying long term potentiation in the spinal cord of pain pathways. (Click on the icon in the "Master's Research Project Examples 2002-2005 area of the page).
E. coli Cytoplasm Brownian Dynamics Simulation |Sean McGuffee & Adrian Elcock
The simulation shows 1000 individual macromolecules diffusing, colliding and transiently associating with each other over the course of 10 microseconds of simulation; the translational diffusion coefficient of the GFP in this model is in agreement with experimental measurements.
This Maya animation provides an introduction to proteasome structure as well as an explanation for proteasome-mediated degradation of a target protein (including potential "wobble" of the regulatory particle as it interacts with the core particle).
Still one of the more complex and beautiful molecular animations ever made, this movie shows the components and dynamic processes involved in the replication of both the leading and lagging strands of DNA.
Dynamics of Lck in the T cell synapse - Upon T cell activation, clusters of signaling proteins form microdomains in the cell membrane. Some proteins, like the tyrosine kinase Lck (white) can freely diffuse between these clusters. Interactions between Lck and proteins in the signalling cluster can cause Lck to become immobilized.
Intestinal Crypt Stem Cells - A Clonal Conveyor Belt |Eric Keller / Digizyme Inc.
This animation, created for Hans Clevers' lab, shows how the entire surface of the intestine is populated via a "clonal conveyor belt" mechanism. Daughter cells born from stem cells located at the base of the crypts travel up and differentiate, thereby pushing existing cells up towards the villus tip (the oldest cells are jetisoned via apoptosis at the villus tip). Adenoma formation is also shown.
A series of animations with audio and text commentary that clearly explain the basics od stem cell biology (including their unique characteristics, pluripotency in the early embryo, presence in adult tissues and embryonic stem cels in culture).
Introduction to Transcription - part I |Drew Berry
Transcription factors assemble at a DNA promoter region found at the start of a gene. Promoter regions are characterised by the DNA's base sequence, which contains the repetition TATATA É and for this reason is known as the "TATA box".
Introduction to Transcription - part II |Drew Berry
The RNA polymerase unzips a small portion of the DNA helix exposing the bases on each strand. One of the strands acts as a template for the synthesis of an RNA molecule. The base-sequence code is transcribed by matching these DNA bases with RNA subunits, forming a long RNA polymer chain.
Shows the effects of drug-binding to the PPAR-delta transcription factor receptor on DNA - a repressor is released thereby turning on the muscle delta network on genes. Oxidative metabolism is activated and leads to reduction of fat pads in adipose tissue.
Shows fat cells in the adipose tissue adjacent to muscle - storage / breakdown of the cell's fat droplet affects the balance of secreted adiponectin and resistin hormones. The effect of drugs against PPAR gamma is also shown to affect this balance and resulting insulin sensitivity.
An animation highlighting the structural domains of elongation factor Tu and the surface involved in tRNA binding. The conformational change in the switch helix that occurs as a result of GTP hydrolysis results in the release of the tRNA.
A visualization of a cell's cytosplasm derived from electron tomography data from Brad Marsh's laboratory. The different components - nucleus, microtubules, mitochondria, ribosomes, smooth ER, rough ER, Golgi - are highlighted in separate 'passes' and then overaid as one. A great reminder of how crowded cellular interiors are!
Signal Recognition Particle |Eric Keller, Steve Davy / Stylus Visuals
This Maya animation depicts the process by which the translating ribosome is halted by the signal recognition particle (SRP). The ribosome is subsequently brought to the membrane and docked with a channel to translocate the nascent polypeptide chain.
Part 3 in Drew Berry's "Central Dogma" animations - the mRNA (yellow) is decoded inside the ribosome (purple and light blue) and translated into a chain of amino acids (red) as aminoacyl-tRNAs (green) deliver each amino-acid cargo (red/pink tip) to the ribosome.
An accurate visualization of the Bacteriophage T4 based on Cryo-EM datasets of the virus. The scope of the animation is to show the infection process of T4 into an E. coli cell. All scientific data sets and motion based off of research from Michael Rossmann Laboratory (Purdue University).
A Maya-rendered visualization of a VMD molecular dynamics simulation. Created for David Chandler's lab at UC Berkeley, this movie depicts the physics of viral capsid formation while summarizing some of the technical steps involved in its creation.
A narrated animation depicting the events that lead to Dengue virus entry into a host cell. In particular, rearrangements and conformational changes in the Dengue glycoprotein E are shown. These lead to membrane fusion and subsequent release of the viral payload into the host cell cytoplasm. Created for WGBH.
HIV Assembly, Budding and Maturation |Ken VanderStoep
A visualization of the capsid protein lattice structure that forms during the assembly of immature HIV-1 particles. (Click on the icon in the "Master's Research Project Examples 2002-2005 area of the page).
HIV Entry - gp41-mediated membrane fusion |Gaël McGill
This Maya animation depicts the process by which HIV's gp41 protein mediates the fusion of viral and cellular membranes during virus entry. In addition, strategies for inhibiting this process with peptide or small molecule inhibitors are shown.
This animation represents part-1 of a 2-part series depicting the events of the malaria parasite lifecycle.
The parasite is shown entering the human host following a mosquito bite and we follow its progression initially to the liver and subsequently targeting erythrocytes on a large scale.
This 1985 animation (programmed in GRAMPS) describes the structure of the poliovirus (seen here at near-atomic resolution). Icoshedral symmetry of the capsid, positioning and interaction of each of the V 1 - 4 proteins is described in detail.
This animation highlights the structure of the reovirus - we follow the virus as it gets cleaved/activated in the gut lumen, undergoes endocytosis and subsequently begins replication and export of its viral RNA once in the cytosol of the target cell.
Early Events in Reovirus Entry |Gaël McGill, Janet Iwasa
A more in-depth look at the early events of reovirus entry. This current version highlights each of the 8 proteins that make up the virus as well as its icosahedral symmetry. The virus is activated upon trypsin 'attack' and cleavage of the outer protein layer. The virus then binds to and enters the cell via the JAM-1 receptor and clathrin-mediated endocytosis.
This 1981 landmark molecular animation was programmed in GRAMPS and captured from a computer screen with a Bolex 16 mm movie camera. Elegantly choreographed and paced, the movie presents the structure of the tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV) - the first viral structure solved at atomic-resolution (2.9 angstroms) by Steve Harrison in 1978. Morphing animations of capsid proteins are also shown and explain the swelling of the viral particle observed at high pH.
Viral DNA Packaging - Part I |Eric Keller / Stylus Visuals
This 2-part Maya animation depicts the process of nucleic acid packing/assembly into the viral capsid. Part I shows the process simultaneous with the measured kinetics of packing and force (displayed on the right).
Viral DNA Packaging - Part II |Eric Keller / Stylus Visuals
This 2-part Maya animation depicts the process of nucleic acid packing/assembly into the viral capsid. Part II focuses on the molecular machinery responsible for pulling the nucleic aacid strand inside the capsid.