5th March 2007

A Molecular Happening

Protein Synthesis: an Epic on the Cellular Level, 1971

“Protein Synthesis: an Epic on the Cellular Level” is a short film created in 1971 at Stanford University. The intro features Dr. Paul Berg, who would go on 9 years later to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. As much as I enjoy Dr. Berg’s intro, things really start to get running a bit past minute 3, when the hippies show up, demonstrating protein synthesis “using the dance idiom.” And balloons. And smoke. And a drum circle. It’s actually a very good demonstration of how protein synthesis works, and apparently it’s still shown in classrooms today. I first saw this film a bit over a decade ago, when I was working at ZymoGenetics.

There are currently 3 responses to “A Molecular Happening”

  1. 1 On March 5th, 2007, ChadSpacey said:

    Love those crazy hippies! That was farout!

  2. 2 On March 19th, 2007, Protein Folding on the Sony PlayStation 3 » Junkyard Clubhouse said:

    [...] the machine that is your body. Proteins are created by following instructions in your DNA (read my A Molecular Happening post to learn more about how that happens). Each protein is made of a chain of molecules, called [...]

  3. 3 On April 1st, 2007, Humu's Brother: Booby said:

    Favorite quotes:

    Twas brillig, and slithy 30s Ribosome did gyre and gimble…

    Bound they were in the glorius sun by initiator factor 1!

    Initiator factor 2 went searching for tRNA, who bore the flacid amino acid.

    (sung by a hippie) whoooaaa whoa hoo hoo! HYDROGEN BOND!!!

    I only have two criticisms for this movie. First, I don’t ever remember hearing about amino acids wearing clothes, so these people should have been naked. Second, everything they are showing occurs on the molecular level. Molecules are small. They should have been using midgets. Naked midgets.

    In closing I would like to say that the producers were truly onto a “happening” when they introduced the “dance idiom” I have to wonder about how our lives would be improved if our politicians were forced to use the descriptive and exhuberant language of dance when introducing their ideas to the population of our great nation. This, I believe, would also have the effect of bringing a youthful freshness to our capital, since fillibustering would call for an all night freak out. Thank You.