by PhilipJ on 26 March 2008
I’m taking a class on the chemistry of biological systems this term (part of the reason why it has been relatively quiet around here recently). A large section of the course was on the details of protein synthesis, or how the ribosome takes mRNA and turns it into protein. Somehow this film was never shown in class, where a (literal) interpretation of the molecular dance is depicted:
Directed in 1971 by Robert Alan Weiss for the Department of Chemistry of Stanford University and imprinted with the “free love” aura of the period, this short film continues to be shown in biology class today. It has since spawn a series of similar funny attempts at vulgarizing protein synthesis. Narrated by Paul Berg, 1980 Nobel prize for Chemistry.
Called “A Protein Primer”, the film is surprisingly accurate given that it was produced in the 70s. The dance starts around the 3:30 mark. Enjoy!
(Hat tip: Kottke)