The most basic building blocks of life are the biological molecules in our cells. While these molecules are too small to see with most microscopes, they have incredibly complex and beautiful structures.
Therefore, the Protein Data Bank in Europe (PDBe), The Art Society CANTAB and The Art Society GRANTA are working with local school art departments in Cambridgeshire, UK, to create artworks inspired by the molecules of life. In the PDB Art project, scientists help students explore the PDB database, which stores 150 000 3D shapes of molecules, and show them different methods of depicting these molecules. The students, with the support of their teachers, use these structures as inspiration for creating artworks.
The longstanding project shows that the fascination with how life works easily crosses the borders not only between scientific disciplines but also between science and art.
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.