Cryo-EM Reconstruction of Human Malaria Parasite

Authors

Joakim Andén, Eliot Feibush, Yoel Shkolnisky

Project Summary

Cryo-Electron Microscopy enables us to reconstruct the three-dimensional shape of molecules. This example shows the ribosome biomolecule found in the human malaria parasite.

A video showing a 360 degree view of this molecule with audio narration is available.

For more on the wider project related to this image, see the ‘Seeing’ Atoms by Combining a Million Blurry Shadows article.

Software/Technology Used

Scientific visualization helps us to understand the complex geometry of the molecule. The rendering, computed using the Chimera software, includes shadows and depth cueing. Shadows are particularly effective for reinforcing our depth perception. This shading approach enhances the three-dimensional model and clarifies the front-to-back ordering. Understanding the complex shape of this molecule provides in-sight for designing drug treatments.