Molecular biology in the 3D world

7 Minutes


3D animation videos are becoming powerful tools for scientific communication. Apart from their increasing use in the marketing strategies of pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries, 3D animation technologies can also help scientists to easily communicate their data.

Molecular biology is one of the scientific research areas with more complex concepts to understand. Dynamic molecular processes such as plasmatic membrane organization or protein degradation by protein recycling machinery have been studied so far using data collected with 2D techniques – as cryoEM, X-ray or NMR.

The visual representation of molecular processes is the only link we have to understand what is happening within our cells. The combination of molecular and cellular data set up the basis to create more realistic and accurate 3D representations of molecular structures and dynamics.

3DforScience is committed to displaying molecular objects in 3D animation videos or illustrations to facilitate scientific communication of complex concepts as molecular biology advances.

Protein degradation by the Ubiquitin-Proteasome System

Proteins are the main structural components of cells. Their correct function has a direct impact on the activity of the cell. Thus, to guarantee the proper activity of cells, a correct protein balance – called protein homeostasis – has to be maintained.

The ubiquitin-proteasome is a protein recycling system that acts as a trash can to maintain protein homeostasis within the cell. The dynamic process of protein degradation by the ubiquitin proteasome system can be easily visualized in a 3D animation video for better understanding.

Briefly, when proteins are damaged or at excessive levels, this protein recycling system tags the polypeptides to be degraded with a signal tag called ubiquitin. This ubiquitin tag is then specifically recognized by the proteasome, which finally unfolds and degrades the tagged proteins.

This complex molecular process is not only necessary for maintaining protein homeostasis but also to prevent some diseases related to the accumulation of misfolded/damaged proteins, like cancer or neurological disorders.

Molecular biology techniques: antibodies production

In the laboratory we can teach the cells to produce, for example, an antibody to detect a specific protein. How can we do that? Through 3D illustrations this process can be easily explained. Briefly, through recombinant DNA technologies we can synthesize a piece of DNA coding for the antibody of our interest and insert it – in a copy-paste manner – into a plasmid.

Then, the plasmid is introduced in the recipient cell by a process called transfection. The DNA coding for the antibody is going to be integrated randomly into the cell´s chromosome. Thus, the cells will begin to produce our desired antibody.

Finally, the cells which produce the best-quality antibody will be selected to create a cell library and be grown in large-scale bioreactors to isolate and purify the antibody we want.

One image is worth a 1000 words and explaining molecular biology techniques is true!

How 3DforScience can help scientific communication?

3DforScience is a scientific communication company specialized in visual content for the life science sector. We are a passionate creative team of scientists, marketers, artists and animators with a shared aim: help you improve your scientific communication.

We do so by designing unique creative solutions as 3D animation videos or illustrations, among others, to facilitate the communication of science in seminars, congresses or in other educational activities.

Would you like to bring your scientific messaging to life? Contact us. We would be pleased to provide you with an unique creation.

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