Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Biology animation

One of the reasons I've felt like I never have understood biology to the degree I feel I understand physics is because I can never understand how all those big macromolecules get all that cellular work done. Maybe I never will, but this neat animation seems to give a glimpse of the poetry of what might be going on.

Via: Dark Roasted Blend

1 comment:

Monte Davis said...

One thing to keep in mind is the very low mass -- and thus inertia -- of biomolecules.

When we look at that (very good) visualization, or use a metaphor such as "lock and key" for enzymes' active sites or cell-surface receptors, we inevitably think of objects on the scale of our everyday experience. But down at that scale, it's William James' "blooming, buzzing confusion": everything moves and flexes and jiggles much much faster than we're used to. So an enzyme molecule can have hundreds or thousands of chances per second to do its thing.