Life isn't 2-D, so why should our encyclopedias be?

August 22, 2008

Biologists and biochemists are now able to access 3D images of biomacromolecules underlying biological functions and disease. Rather than relying on text to provide the understanding of biomacromolecule structures, a collaborative website called Proteopedia now provides a new resource by linking written information and three-dimensional structural information.

The wiki web resource, first described in BioMed Central's open access journal Genome Biology, displays protein structures and other biomacromolecules in interactive format. These interactive images are surrounded by descriptive text containing hyperlinks that change the appearance (such as view, representations, colors or labels) of the adjacent 3D structure to reflect the concept explained in the text. This makes the complex structural information readily accessible and comprehensible, even to people who are not structural biologists.

The resource was developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel by Jaime Prilusky, Eran Hodis, and Joel L. Sussman, together with colleagues at the Weizmann Institute and in the USA. According to Sussman, "Using Proteopedia, anyone can easily create descriptions of biomacromolecules linked to their 3D structure."

Aside from content added by Proteopedia's existing users, pages on each of the more than 50,000 entries in the Protein Data Bank have been automatically created with 'seed' information, creating pages that are already useful and primed for expansion by users. Members of the scientific community are invited to request a user account to edit existing pages and to create new ones.

Hodis says, "We are presenting Proteopedia to the scientific community to judge its usefulness and merit, and we truly hope that it will offer an effective and appealing way to convey the link between 3D structure and function."

Source: BioMed Central

Explore further: Overlooked elements of language and literature play a key role

Related Stories

Overlooked elements of language and literature play a key role

November 30, 2016

Everything is pointing towards success in unravelling the mysteries inherent in every human language, which for nearly 100 years have been an object of intrigue for mathematicians and linguists working on studies into statistics ...

Misinformation on social media—can technology save us?

November 28, 2016

If you get your news from social media, as most Americans do, you are exposed to a daily dose of hoaxes, rumors, conspiracy theories and misleading news. When it's all mixed in with reliable information from honest sources, ...

Mystery of biological plastic synthesis machinery unveiled

November 29, 2016

Plastics and other polymers are used every day. These polymers are mostly made from fossil resources through petrochemical refinery process. On the other hand, many microorganisms naturally synthesize polyesters known as ...

Recommended for you

Swiss unveil stratospheric solar plane

December 7, 2016

Just months after two Swiss pilots completed a historic round-the-world trip in a Sun-powered plane, another Swiss adventurer on Wednesday unveiled a solar plane aimed at reaching the stratosphere.

Solar panels repay their energy 'debt': study

December 6, 2016

The climate-friendly electricity generated by solar panels in the past 40 years has all but cancelled out the polluting energy used to produce them, a study said Tuesday.

Wall-jumping robot is most vertically agile ever built

December 6, 2016

Roboticists at UC Berkeley have designed a small robot that can leap into the air and then spring off a wall, or perform multiple vertical jumps in a row, resulting in the highest robotic vertical jumping agility ever recorded. ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Zero
5 / 5 (2) Aug 22, 2008
Awesome! Can't wait 'till they expand it to other areas of science. A wonderful tool for those of us who are visual people.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.