A message produced by melodysheep worthy of your attention, for past, present and future generations…

There’s a question that troubles us all from the time we are first able to think, and that is: Where did we come from? And this question is so compelling that we’ve invented the science of astronomy. We’ve discovered these natural laws so that we can learn more about our origin and where we came from. This is what drives us; this is what we want to know. Let’s keep looking; let’s keep searching! We have come to be because of the Universe’s existence, and we are driven to pursue that—to find out where we came from. The joy of discovery—that’s what drives us. And these questions are deep within us: Where did we come from? What was before the Big Bang? To us, this is wonderful and charming and compelling; this is what makes us get up and go to work every day! We are—you and I—at least one of the ways that the Universe knows itself. It fills me with joy to make discoveries every day, of things I’ve never seen before […] to know that we can pursue these answers.

Bill Nye “The Science Guy" || February 2014

The Structural Biology of HIV

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is composed of two strands of RNA (yellow), 15 types of viral proteins, and a few proteins (purple) from the last host cell it infected, all surrounded by a lipid bilayer membrane. Together, the molecules allow the virus to infect cells of the immune system and force them to build new copies of the virus. Each molecule in HIV plays a role in this process, from the first steps of viral attachment to the final process of budding.

25 years of research on the structural biology of HIV have revealed the atomic details of these proteins. These structures are all publicly available in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) archive. Using these data, researchers have designed new treatments for HIV infection, including effective drug regimens that halt the growth of the virus. The structures also provide new hope for development of a vaccine.

To learn more about the function of each of the viral proteins depicted, check out this interactive Flash activity.

The science behind the painting is described in: BaMBEd 40(5): 291-296.

Caption: courtesy of the RCSB Protein Data Bank.
Image Credit: David S. Goodsell at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), La Jolla, California, USA.


Apologies for Absence

This was an unexpected, prolonged hiatus. I’ll return to posting as soon as I can squeeze Tumblr back into my schedule.

But just in case you were wondering, I started dating. And, well, the time I used to have for myself and Tumblr is now usually being spent with someone else.

Sorry, Tumblr — we need a break. (But my dear followers, I still ♥ you all! You are not forgotten!)


Björk’s Journey Within: Video For Biophilia’s ’Hollow’

The Biophilia project has been a true gift. From the iOS app it spawned to videos such as this, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more engaging multimedia exploration of where science meets art in today’s pop culture.

This video for the song “Hollow” is a collaboration with digital bio-artist Drew Berry, who is a bad-ass. Here’s my annotated story summary, but feel free to explore your own interpretations:

As we journey through the cytoplasm, past mitochondria, and into the twitching nuclear pore, we run into a lonely DNA-binding protein as it travels along the spiral path of the major groove in search of, well, something. As it passes wagging histone tails and dynamic nucleosomes, our green friend comes head-to-head with a mighty replication fork, thrown aside as leading and lagging strands are drawn through its replication machinery. A ghostly face, perhaps Björk’s ghost in her cellular machine, watches over as the protein is forced to wander on, alone, but not, to do whatever it is that little green proteins do.

Love this, more than you know. I’ll leave you with this line from the song:

The trunk of DNA
Now come forth
All species

(via All Songs Considered)

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