Scientific texts in 3D with interactive formats developed

August 23rd, 2008 - 6:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 23 (IANS) Biologists and biochemists can access 3D images of biomacromolecules underlying biological functions and disease, thanks to a collaborative website called Proteopedia. The web resource displays protein structures and other biomacromolecules in interactive format. These interactive images are surrounded by descriptive text containing hyperlinks that change the appearance (such as view, representations, colors or labels) of the adjacent 3D structure to reflect the concept explained in the text.

This makes the complex structural information readily accessible and comprehensible, even to people who are not structural biologists.

The resource was developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel by Jaime Prilusky, Eran Hodis, and Joel L. Sussman, together with their colleagues. According to Sussman, “using Proteopedia, anyone can easily create descriptions of biomacromolecules linked to their 3D structure”.

Aside from content added by Proteopedia’s existing users, pages on each of the more than 50,000 entries in the protein data bank have been automatically created with “seed” information, creating pages that are already useful and primed for expansion by users.

Members of the scientific community are invited to request a user account to edit existing pages and to create new ones.

Hodis said: “We are presenting Proteopedia to the scientific community to judge its usefulness and merit, and we truly hope that it will offer an effective and appealing way to convey the link between 3D structure and function.”

These findings have appeared in open acces journal Genome Biology. (

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