Walking on DNA


EMBL is a world-leading organisation for life science research. Its scientists work in diverse research fields spanning the whole of molecular biology. While the molecules the researchers are working on are often microscopic and impossible to see with the naked eye, one research topic clearly becomes macroscopic in the interior of the Advanced Training Centre (ATC) building, visible in this picture of the week.

The ATC is located on the EMBL campus in Heidelberg, where EMBL has its headquarters. The German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), the Klaus Tschira Foundation and the federal state of Baden-Württemberg contributed to the ATC project, which was completed in 2010. The ATC was designed by the architects Bernhardt + Partner, and the interior of the spectacular building was inspired by the DNA double helix.

Two independent ramps wind up the inside from the bottom to the top of the building. Several glass bridges span the building’s central atrium, allowing you to cross from one side to the other – if you’re not afraid of heights. The two ramps and the bridges that form the double helix are about 50 billion times larger than the original.

If you have a stunning picture of your science, your lab or your site, you can submit it here.

Tags: Architecture, ATC, DNA, Heidelberg, Picture of the Week, Premises

More from this category

Picture of the week

To study the effect of commonly used drugs on bacterial envelopes, EMBL scientists applied a biochemical assay using a colour reaction. The deeper the red, the stronger the disruptive effect of the drug.

By  Marius Bruer

A metal rack holding glass test tubes with yellow and red solutions in them.


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