Proteins, art and seeing the world through a new lens

The PDB Art project is a collaboration between scientists, artists, school children and teachers. The project encourages students to explore the 3D protein structures available in the Protein Data Bank in Europe (PDBe) and create original artworks.

Photo showcasing red fluorescent protein from snake-locks sea anemone, an underwater creature.
Credits: Samuel Barker and Jack Bentley, Thomas Gainsborough School

For the second year running, the PDB art exhibition will be hosted  online and will be accessible to anyone in any country around the globe. The exhibition opening will take place on 1 October from 18:00 CET.

Proteins are the essential building blocks of all living organisms and having a better understanding of their structure is critical for advancing medical research and drug discovery.

What is the PDB Art project?

The PDB Art project aims to make science understandable, creative, and enjoyable for schoolchildren, by combining art and molecular biology. Inspired by the different protein structures available in public databases, students create their own artworks, which are displayed in this online exhibition for everyone across the world to enjoy.

“The PDB Art exhibition is an annual event and it’s fantastic to see it grow and develop every year,” says Deepti Gupta, PDBe Scientific Database Curator at EMBL-EBI. “This year the event will be virtual which makes it even easier for more schools to get involved all around the world.”

What to expect

The opening ceremony of the 2021 PDB Art exhibition will take place on 1 October 2021 at 18:00 CET. The event is free to attend and will take place entirely online. This year’s exhibition will bring together over 200 students from five schools including Viewbank College in Melbourne, Australia.

“I wanted to get both staff and students from the Viewbank College involved in the PDB Art exhibition because it seemed like a really fun way to get the students thinking about what are the molecules that make up the living world and what do they look like,” says Onisha Patel, structural biologist at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. “The PDB Art exhibition is a fantastic way to demonstrate these concepts.”

Tags: pdb-art, pdbe, protein structure


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