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Trends Cell Biol. 2010 Dec;20(12):699-704. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2010.08.005. Epub 2010 Sep 9.

Animating the model figure.

Author information

1
Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, 240 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA. janet_iwasa@hms.harvard.edu

Abstract

In all branches of scientific inquiry, researchers build models that enable them to visualize, formulate and communicate their hypotheses to others. In cell biology, our conceptual understanding of a process is typically embodied in a model figure. These visual models should ideally represent pre-existing knowledge of molecular interactions, movement, structure and localization but, in reality, they often fall short. Cell biologists have begun to look to the use of three-dimensional animation to visualize and describe complex molecular and cellular events. In addition to aiding teaching and communication, animation is emerging as a powerful tool for providing researchers with insight into the processes that they study. Two case studies focusing on the structure/function of the motor protein dynein and the structure of the centriole are discussed.

PMID:
20832316
DOI:
10.1016/j.tcb.2010.08.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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