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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The secret life of cells


In collaboration with the BioVisions program at Harvard, Xvivo Scientific Animation has created some amazing animations of the insides of cells. The first one was made in 2006 and entitled The Inner Life of the Cell.



You can watch DNA and RNA zipping and unzipping and proteins busily going about their business in their internal metropolis.

Now there's a new video (Inner Life of a Cell/ Protein Packing) which gives people a better idea of just how crowded it is within a cell: 



In both videos, the oddly shaped clumpy objects are proteins. Here's one shot from the second animation, showing a variety of proteins in close contact, just as they are in real life:


A jumble of proteins inside the cell, visualized in a scientific animation. Credit Harvard University, XVIVO Scientific Animation

Carl Zimmer has more about these videos.