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How can one create images like those in the PDB 'Molecule of the month'?

How can one create images like those in the PDB 'Molecule of the month'?



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I am impressed by the illustrations for the Protein Data Bank 'Molecule of the month', e.g. the gorgeous image of DNA Helicase below. Does anyone know how they were made or how one might create something similar?


(source: rcsb.org)


Those (really cool) pictures are created by David Goodsell using custom-written software.

From an interview to the artist:

PDB: How do you create the illustrations?

Goodsell: Most of the pictures are created with a computer program that I developed back when I was doing postdoctoral work with Dr. Art Olson here at The Scripps Research Institute. I've been using this style of illustration--with flat colors and black outlines--for about 10 years now. I like the way that this style simplifies the molecule, giving a feeling for the overall shape and form of the molecule, but at the same time you can still see all the individual atoms. On the last page of each Molecule of the Month--"Exploring the Structure"--I always use RasMol, to give visitors an idea of the kinds of pictures that they can create themselves with off-the-shelf software.

There are good tools around if you want to replicate that look. Although it may take a bit of tweaking (and possibly programming) I would surely give PyMOL and Bioblender a try.


I don't actually consider these pictures either “gorgeous” or “cool” - they are not to my taste - and I'm not really sure that the question is about biology, but as it has resurfaced after almost 5 years I thought I'd give an answer which explained how one might create something similar, rather than how they were actually made.

The original 3D-graphics program used was RasMol, but as that only runs on Windows, hasn't been updated for years, and has no viable web version, I would suggest using JMol/JSMol instead. You can either download the application and work with it as described in my answer to a previous question. Alternatively you can just find a web page with a JSMol window (such as a page used in my own teaching material) and use that with the Console available from the JSMol logo. So what I do is:

  1. Get the PDB file I want to work with from the Protein Data Bank.
  2. Drag it into the JMol window when the molecule loads in wireframe mode as in (A), below.
  3. Give a series of commands such as the following to get a spacefilling image (B) in colours other than CPK (you can specify the colours of the chains if you wish) and without the shiny light patches, which are fine for standard images, but will cause problems. The beauty of JMol is you can generate high resolution images which you can drag back into a JMol window and work on again later (as long as you haven't edited them).
restrict protein wireframe off select protein spacefill on colour chains set specular off write pngj 2000 2000 "my.png">
  • Next you need access to decent bitmap graphics application. If you are in a University someone will have a copy of Photoshop (old versions are fine), but otherwise you will have to make do with what you can find. I am almost certain that the original artist would have developed the style he uses with Photoshop. He says he wrote a program himself to automate it, but he could just have well used a Photoshop script (Action) in my opinion. Any, for occasional use, just do it interactively.

  • The first thing to do is to get the outlines on the spheres and make the the colours flat. The former is done with a filter that finds the edges, and the latter by posterizing (reducing the number of colours in the image). I used a filter called 'Poster Edges' to produce C. There are sliders which allow you to change the intensity of the edges and degree of posterizing.

  • Finally to reproduce the rather washed out feel of the colours I used the 'Exposure' tool (Image > Adjustments > Exposure), but I could have used curves (Image > Adjustments > Curves) or, no doubt, other options.

  • And there you have the final image in D. It doesn't have quite the same posterization as the DNA Helicase illustrated in the question, but if you really wanted that you could experiment.


    • Capture the contents of the graphics window
    • Use chimera's Save Image dialog:
      • to generate a high quality image
      • to ray-trace your image for better shadows and transparency
      • to create a lenticular image (example shown in class)
      • to create a physical model (example shown in class)
      • to created a X3D file for viewing with a web page plugin or stand-alone
      • to be imported into another program e.g., Autodesk's Maya (often done for animations). Usually, the VRML format is the best format to export, but if the other program accepts X3D format files, that would be better.

      Image Workflow

      When you have everything setup just right, it's time to save your chimera session. There is a good chance you'll want to make modifications based on feedback from your colleagues or the journal. Or maybe you'll want to make a different sized picture of the same image.

      Animations will be discussed in next weeks class.


      Art as a tool for science

      Artistic techniques are essential tools to visualize, understand and disseminate the results of scientific research. The field of structural biology has enjoyed a particularly productive marriage of art and science.

      At a recent summer internship hosted by the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, I had the opportunity to watch several fine artists at work 1 . Once a year, this program tosses together six scientists and six artists for a month and provides them with the chance to create together. I was invited as one of the scientists. The experience was daunting, and in many ways, I came away with the impression that an artist’s task is infinitely more difficult than the work we face as scientists. Scientists work within very tight constraints: experiments must probe the nature of the world and must be reproducible hypotheses must account for observations in a logical way and most importantly, scientists must then devise new ways to test and possibly destroy these hypotheses with further experimentation. Fine artists have far fewer constraints. As they create work that speaks to their audiences, they are limited only by imagination and the technicalities and seductions of their chosen media. Consequently, fine artists need to create entire worlds from scratch. My time at this internship helped me to gain a better understanding of my own artwork, where the goal is more circumscribed: to create imagery as a tool for science.

      Photographer Felice Frankel beautifully articulated this goal in relation to her own work: “I do not view myself as an artist because an artist has a personal agenda and a very particular point of view—that of communicating the part of herself she wants the world to perceive. One may view the images I take as artistic, but their primary purpose is to communicate scientific information” 2 . The idea of borrowing the techniques of fine art for scientific communication has proven useful throughout the history of science and is currently undergoing a renaissance with the SciArt movement. The SciArt community is a wonderfully heterogeneous mix of creative people: artists working on scientific themes, scientists using art in their science, and every combination in between.

      The power of SciArt has perhaps its strongest manifestation in structural biology, where the things we study are particularly amenable to visual representation. Molecules have a size and shape, so synthetic imagery can trick us into thinking we can see them for ourselves. The early days of structural biology relied heavily on SciArt, better known at the time as “visualization.” Macromolecular X-ray crystallography was one of the early drivers of computer graphics hardware and software development, and as part of this, an entire visual language was invented to depict the structure and properties of proteins and nucleic acids 3 .

      The impact of these visual tools is hard to measure, since they are so ingrained in every aspect of our work, both in research and in its dissemination. Today, we can head over to one of the worldwide Protein Data Bank sites (https://wwpdb.org) and instantly view more than 170,000 biomolecular structures using highly sophisticated graphics tools that are available, amazingly, directly in a web browser or on your phone. As structural biologists, we’re all intimately familiar with the uses of these methods. They allow us to pose structural questions on the fly and answer them interactively. We load a protein structure, measure distances and angles at coordination sites, look for neighboring amino acids and try to reconcile mutational data, color by surface charge or hydrophobicity to understand how this protein interacts with others, and so on. In my own research in computational biology and drug design, I use these tools every day without thinking twice. And when I want to present my work to other scientists or to a wider audience, I use these same tools, infused with a bit more artistic flair.

      This type of SciArt—visualization—comes with strong constraints. Visualization is a tool for study, essentially extending the capabilities of our eyes, and must be treated like any of the other materials and methods that we employ in our research. The graphical approach needs to capture the salient properties of the molecule so that the insights we gain during the visualization will translate into insights about the biology. When used as figures in our papers, these images are documentary evidence of our discoveries and thus require a direct connection between the data and image, with no cherry-picked image processing or manual tweaking. To me, the constraints of scientific visualization are far more a joy than they are a curse. They invite me to focus on the goals of the image, and once these goals are set, I can leverage the creativity that we borrow from fine art to refine and simplify the visual method until it perfectly captures the desired properties of the molecule.

      SciArt can also help us to see the larger context of our work. Artistic conceptions provide an easy way to explore speculative hypotheses about how our data fit together into a big picture. When constrained with a scientific sensibility, this is a powerful tool for synthesizing an increasingly comprehensive representation of the data to act as a touchstone for future thought and research. Speculative SciArtists continually ask difficult questions like this to explore unfamiliar worlds: Chesley Bonestell imagined what we would see if we stood on the surface of Titan Isaac Asimov asked what it would be like to journey through the bloodstream. We can take this same approach as a scientific tool in structural biology.

      In my postdoctoral work, I asked myself the question: “Can I paint an accurate picture of the molecular structure of a living cell?” After many hours in the library with the citation index and much enjoyable exploration of the Protein Data Bank (at the time,

      700-entries large!), my answer was “Almost.” With a liberal dose of artistic license and scientific intuition, I cobbled together as much information as I could find into an image of a portion of a bacterial cell 4 . This process was filled with hypotheses that needed answers: What direction do the peptidoglycan strands go? How bendy and supercoiled is the DNA? When RNA polymerase moves down the helical DNA strand, does the nascent mRNA end up wrapping around the DNA? In the years since then, as more and more structural, proteomics and ultrastructural data have become available, I have continued to update and refine this image (Fig. 1).

      This watercolor painting integrates information from structural biology, microscopy and bioinformatics. I explored many hypotheses during creation of the painting, which required making decisions about, for example, sieving effects of the DNA (yellow) on the distribution of soluble molecules and details of the orientation and cross-linking of peptidoglycan chains (light turquoise) in the space between the membranes. This image is available under Creative Commons at the RCSB PDB (https://doi.org/10.2210/rcsb_pdb/goodsell-gallery-028), along with more information on what is shown.

      The process of creating this type of integrative image, rather than the final image itself, is arguably the most important aspect of the endeavor. This is when the fun begins, as it involves searching for information from multiple disciplines, fitting it together to build a larger picture, and filling the gaps with best guesses. I have since worked with many researchers to create similar integrative illustrations based on their work (see for example work on depicting autophagy with Daniel Klionsky 5 ). Invariably, the researchers learn as much as I do as we gather information on the parts of the painting related to their work, as well as information about the many other details that need to be included: the cellular context of their molecular work, or the molecular details of their cellular work.

      In my laboratory, we are building software to help researchers create these types of integrative conceptions of their own work without the need for art classes and hours of painting. CellPAINT (Fig. 2) allows researchers to build up cellular illustrations that are similar to my paintings, using a set of molecular brushes that have molecule-like behaviors 6 . The goal is to put more tools into the hands of scientists, thereby reducing the barrier between their ideas and the manifestation of these ideas in images. In addition, by simplifying and streamlining the process of building these types of integrative illustrations, we can help in keeping up with the steady forward march of science. I always joke that my paintings go out-of-date the second I finish them. But that is the power of SciArt: it captures the current state of knowledge, warts and all, and hopefully spurs discussion and further exploration.

      In the digital illustration program CellPAINT (https://ccsb.scripps.edu/cellpaint), molecules are chosen from a palette on the left and painted into the scene, and various options for painting, grouping, locking and erasing molecules are available on the right. Each of the molecular brushes is controlled by the behavior of the molecule, so the spike proteins will remain embedded in the viral membrane but antibodies will be free to diffuse around the virion.


      Nanobody Atomic Model

      We will look at nanobodies that bind to SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins and neutralize the virus. These nanobodies were used to make a therapeutic aerosol that when sprayed in the nose can block SARS-CoV-2 infection. Aashish Manglik and many others at UCSF created this therapeutic.

      Nanobodies are much smaller type of antibody, a single protein domain, found in camels, llamas, alpaca ("camelids"), and sharks. They are much easier to engineer than full-size antibodies.


      NEW WEB SITE FEATURES

      Simple searches

      The most common uses of the web site are simple text searches. To further improve the text search, we have added an autocomplete feature to guide the user to more specific results. After typing a few letters in the top bar, a suggestion box organizes specific result sets in different categories. Each suggestion, which includes the number of results, links to the set of matching structures. Some of the suggestions use external data resources, such as the NCBI organism taxonomy tree ( 8, 12). These possible matches can be especially helpful for finding structures when using common or vague search terms, as is shown in Figure 1 for the term ‘virus’.

      Top bar searching. This example shows several suggestions for the search term ‘virus’. In the Taxonomy category, the ‘Viruses’ link will return all entries in the virus superkingdom, even if the word ‘virus’ does not appear in the text of the entry. Conversely, entries with irrelevant matches for ‘virus’ (such as an occurrence in a related citation) are excluded. The searches with the most results are shown first, such as the hits for ‘Human immunodeficiency virus 1’ and ‘Influenza A virus’ under Organism. The ‘Molecule of the Month’ category offers related articles from PDB-101. Finally, a custom ‘Retrieve’ category provides easy access to all entries where the biological assembly represents the complete virus particle. Numbers in parentheses represent the number of entries that match a specific term, and text in brackets represents the name of a structural domain classification scheme or ontology. Search suggestions can be restricted to specific categories by selecting the ‘Author’, ‘Macromolecule’, ‘Sequence’ or ‘Ligand’ icon above the text search box. The default search is set to ‘All Categories’.

      Top bar searching. This example shows several suggestions for the search term ‘virus’. In the Taxonomy category, the ‘Viruses’ link will return all entries in the virus superkingdom, even if the word ‘virus’ does not appear in the text of the entry. Conversely, entries with irrelevant matches for ‘virus’ (such as an occurrence in a related citation) are excluded. The searches with the most results are shown first, such as the hits for ‘Human immunodeficiency virus 1’ and ‘Influenza A virus’ under Organism. The ‘Molecule of the Month’ category offers related articles from PDB-101. Finally, a custom ‘Retrieve’ category provides easy access to all entries where the biological assembly represents the complete virus particle. Numbers in parentheses represent the number of entries that match a specific term, and text in brackets represents the name of a structural domain classification scheme or ontology. Search suggestions can be restricted to specific categories by selecting the ‘Author’, ‘Macromolecule’, ‘Sequence’ or ‘Ligand’ icon above the text search box. The default search is set to ‘All Categories’.

      The top bar search is context-specific and intelligently detects the type of user input. Entering a sequence text string in the search box returns possible Basic Local Alignment Search Tool ( 13) search options. Chemical formulas and SMILES strings ( 14) are also recognized, e.g. the SMILES string for adenosine ‘Nc1ncnc2ncnc12’ yields choices of substructure, exact structure or structure similarity searches. If the suggestions are not what the user is looking for, it is still possible to perform a standard text search of the PDB entry (in mmCIF format) by pressing enter or clicking on the search icon.

      Top bar simple searches can also be limited to specific categories by selecting the ‘Author’, ‘Macromolecule’, ‘Sequence’ or ‘Ligand’ icon. The ‘Author’ icon restricts searches to the names of depositors or primary citation authors. The ‘Macromolecule’ icon returns structures based on polymer names from the PDB and associated entries in cross-referenced sequence databases like UniProtKB ( 15). For example, typing ‘caspase’ provides suggestions for different types of caspases. By selecting ‘caspase-1’ and examining the PDB entries returned, it becomes obvious that the actual search is for PDB structures with cross-references to various UniProtKB entries for caspase-1 from different organisms. The ‘Sequence’ icon reveals a link to additional options for selecting the method and the parameters for a sequence search. Similarly, the ‘Ligand’ icon links to further options, including a chemical structure editor to draw a structure, and a form to search for ligands by name, identifier, formula and molecular weight.

      New advanced search features

      Advanced Search expands on the search functionality of the top bar searches by using additional and more specific data categories. Advanced Search has the capability of combining multiple searches of specific types of data in a logical AND or OR. The result is a list of structures that comply with ALL or ANY search criteria, respectively.

      New Advanced Search options are available to search by: ‘All/Experimental Type/Molecule Type’ to quickly access all PDB entries or a subset based on experimental and macromolecular type, structure determination/phasing method (e.g. molecular replacement, MAD or SAD), ‘Link Records’ to find structures containing inter-residue connectivity (LINK records in PDB entries) that cannot be inferred from the primary structure, structures determined by electron microscopy for which experimental data files are available in the PDB or at the Electron Microscopy DataBank ( 16) and Pfam ID ( 17).

      All Advanced Search query results can be further refined, filtered to remove similar sequences or used to generate reports.

      Structure alignments

      Sequence and structure alignments are standard methods for analyzing the evolutionary and functional relationship between proteins ( 18–23). The Protein Comparison Tool offers a number of sequence and structure alignment algorithms for a detailed analysis of pairwise relationships ( 24). Additional algorithms are available via submission of alignments to some of the leading external web servers ( 25–28). The Protein Comparison Tool has also been used to provide the pre-calculated alignments, updated weekly, of a representative subset (based on sequence identity) of the PDB ( 24). The first version of this tool was based on alignments of whole protein chains. This has recently been refined to provide alignments on a domain basis.

      The calculation based on domains extends our sequence clustering approach. To remove redundancy, we start with a 40% sequence identity clustering procedure based on complete polypeptide chains, and select a representative chain from each sequence cluster ( 3). If the representative chain contains multiple domains, each is included. SCOP 1.75 domain assignments are used when available otherwise, assignments are computed using ProteinDomainParser (PDP) ( 29). Pairwise alignments of the domains are performed with the jFatCat version ( 24) of FatCat ( 22).

      For each PDB entry, the ‘3D Similarity’ tab provides a visual summary of the protein chains. Figure 2 highlights how the residues listed in the sequence (SEQRES) and in the atom records (ATOM) map onto the relevant parts of the UniProtKB sequence, along with annotations from DSSP ( 32), SCOP, PDP ( 29) and Pfam ( 33).

      Domain-based structural alignment database search results for PDB ID 1ZUP ( 30), a hypothetical protein and a putative nuclease. (a) The sequence is shown with different annotations, starting with the UniProtKB sequence at the top. Most of this sequence has been resolved (SEQRES) with ATOM records available in the PDB, with the exception of a region at the N-terminus and two short regions toward the C-terminus of the protein. SCOP provides an annotation of a single domain protein, the PDP software assigns two domains to this protein and Pfam detects a NurA domain motif. (b) The hits listed in the table show similarities to a NurA structure, as well as several endonucleases. (c) When viewing the details of the first alignment [1ZUP shown in orange and NurA domain of 2YGK ( 31) in cyan], one notices that several loop and helical regions are not conserved between the two structures, but the core is well conserved. Structural alignments are accessible from the 3D Similarity tab of any entry’s Structure Summary page.

      Domain-based structural alignment database search results for PDB ID 1ZUP ( 30), a hypothetical protein and a putative nuclease. (a) The sequence is shown with different annotations, starting with the UniProtKB sequence at the top. Most of this sequence has been resolved (SEQRES) with ATOM records available in the PDB, with the exception of a region at the N-terminus and two short regions toward the C-terminus of the protein. SCOP provides an annotation of a single domain protein, the PDP software assigns two domains to this protein and Pfam detects a NurA domain motif. (b) The hits listed in the table show similarities to a NurA structure, as well as several endonucleases. (c) When viewing the details of the first alignment [1ZUP shown in orange and NurA domain of 2YGK ( 31) in cyan], one notices that several loop and helical regions are not conserved between the two structures, but the core is well conserved. Structural alignments are accessible from the 3D Similarity tab of any entry’s Structure Summary page.

      The results of the pre-calculated database searches are shown in a table that displays the most important calculated alignment scores ( Figure 2). For multi-domain proteins, it is possible to switch between the results for different domains by selecting a domain from the pull-down menu above the table, or by clicking on a domain in the sequence image.

      The results table can be sorted and filtered, and links to the 3D structure alignment in Jmol (http://www.jmol.org) ( 34) ( Figure 2) and to information about similar domains.

      Ligand reporting and visualization

      Information about the chemistry and structure of all small molecule components found the PDB is contained in the Chemical Component Dictionary maintained by the wwPDB at wwpdb.org ( 35). As described earlier, specialized ligand queries can be made using the top bar search or Advanced Search. Special support is also offered for the analysis of ligands associated with PDB entries. The RCSB PDB web site builds on the functionality developed for the small molecule resource Ligand Expo (http://ligand-expo.rcsb.org) ( 36) by providing special support for the analysis of ligands associated with PDB entries.

      Any ligands included with a PDB entry are listed in the ‘Ligand Chemical Component’ widget of the entry’s ‘Structure Summary’ page. This area displays the name and formula of each ligand, links to the summary page for the ligand and provides access to 3D visualization of the ligand in the context of that particular PDB entry using the Ligand Explorer viewer ( 37). For non-trivial ligands, a PoseView ( 38) interaction diagram shows which atoms or areas of the ligand and the polymer interact with each other, as well as the type of interaction.

      ‘Ligand Summary’ pages are organized into widgets highlighting different types of hyperlinked information, similar to Structure Summary pages for individual PDB entries. These widgets provide an overview of the ligand, with links to PDB entries where the component appears as a non-polymer or as a non-standard component of a polymer, links to ligand summary pages for similar ligands and stereoisomers, 2D and 3D visualization and links to many external resources. Ligand Summary pages also display information about molecules that have been annotated as having sub-components. For example, the summary page for ligand 0GM lists the sub-components with identifiers BNA, GLU, STA, LEU and TRJ that are connected with peptide-like or other bonds.

      Ligand Summary Reports can be generated for query result sets and downloaded in a text file or a spreadsheet. These reports include information about the selected ligands, such as formula, molecular weight, name, SMILES string, which PDB entries are related to the ligand and how they are related. Each ligand included in the report can be expanded to show a sub-table of all related PDB entries that contain the ligand, the entries that contain the ligand as a free ligand and entries that contain the ligand as part of a polymer.

      Visualization of molecular surfaces

      Protein Workshop ( 37) is one of several 3D molecular viewers offered from the RCSB PDB web site. It offers quick default styles and views, with additional appearance options. Chains and atoms can be selected by either clicking on the structure or molecules displayed as a tree.

      Protein Workshop now supports molecular surfaces to aid in the display of quaternary structure, protein–protein interactions and binding sites. Surfaces are created for all macromolecule chains in a PDB entry using the Euclidean distance transform algorithm from Xu and Zhang ( 39). For biological assemblies, surfaces are generated using the symmetry operation of the space group, which allows the display of even the largest assemblies in the PDB [i.e. the PBCV-1 virus capsid with 5040 chains, PDB ID 1M4X ( 40)] on a standard laptop computer. Surfaces can be color coded by chain, entity (unique macromolecules) and hydrophobicity. Color-blind friendly color schemes were adopted from ColorBrewer, a tool for selecting color schemes for maps ( 41). In addition, options to export high-resolution images with custom sizes for publications and posters are available for the three RCSB PDB viewers: Protein Workshop, Simple Viewer and Ligand Explorer.


      Abstract

      The RCSB Protein Data Bank (RCSB PDB, http://www.rcsb.org) provides access to 3D structures of biological macromolecules and is one of the leading resources in biology and biomedicine worldwide. Our efforts over the past 2 years focused on enabling a deeper understanding of structural biology and providing new structural views of biology that support both basic and applied research and education. Herein, we describe recently introduced data annotations including integration with external biological resources, such as gene and drug databases, new visualization tools and improved support for the mobile web. We also describe access to data files, web services and open access software components to enable software developers to more effectively mine the PDB archive and related annotations. Our efforts are aimed at expanding the role of 3D structure in understanding biology and medicine.


      Assessment

      Anecdotally, students often mention that this activity (or, in previous years, the computer lab using the program RasMol 17 ) is their favorite (although sometimes most frustrating) experience of the semester. Rarely have they had any experiences similar to this, where they are asked to use specialized software.

      Students are asked to respond to a series of survey questions upon completion of the activity to assess its effectiveness (Table 1). The survey is administered through online course management software (Blackboard). Students receive credit for completing the survey regardless of how they respond to the survey items. Two types of questions were asked. Students were asked how the activity affected their understanding of protein structure. They were also asked to indicate any improvement in their confidence in identifying protein structural elements. A few students admitted that through previous courses and experiences they were familiar with protein structure prior to completion of this activity. Not unexpectedly, these students indicated a lower degree of improvement in understanding of protein structure. As mentioned, this activity is designed to help novice learners, and most students responding to the survey indicated significant improvement in their understanding of protein structure. Additionally, almost every student indicated a strong improvement in their confidence in identifying structural elements. This indicates a broader improvement in visual literacy, as students feel more comfortable with how protein structures can be represented.

      Question Average response ± standard deviation
      Indicate the degree to which the PyMOL activity improved your understanding of protein secondary structure (helices, sheets, loops). 5=improved significantly…1=minimal improvement 3.90 ± 1.08
      Indicate the degree to which the PyMOL activity improved your understanding of protein tertiary structure? 5 = improved significantly…1 = minimal improvement 3.77 ± 1.08
      Indicate the degree to which the PyMOL activity improved your understanding of protein quaternary structure? 5 = improved significantly…1 = minimal improvement 3.88 ± 1.10
      Indicate any improvement in your confidence in identifying protein secondary structural elements in visual renderings of protein structure (ie in a picture of the protein). 5 = significantly more confident…1 = no change 3.91 ± 1.01
      Indicate any improvement in your confidence in identifying protein quaternary in visual renderings of protein structure (ie in a picture of the protein). 5 = significantly more confident…1 = no change in confidence 3.83 ± 1.05

      “The PyMOL activity really helped me to visualize how a protein structure looks. Before this, I really thought that proteins were a big blob. I really enjoyed this activity!”

      “I feel that the PyMOL activity was really nice. I am not familiar with biology and it helped me understand how I should be thinking of a protein and what a helix is versus a loop or beta-sheet. I think this is a must keep lab.”

      “It did a lot for helping me to see the relationship between secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structures.”

      The activity provides a firm foundation upon which faculty can add increasing levels of complexity using future course assignments.


      How can one create images like those in the PDB 'Molecule of the month'? - Biology

      Experimental Data Snapshot

      • Method: X-RAY DIFFRACTION
      • Resolution: 1.40 Å
      • R-Value Free: 0.207 
      • R-Value Work: 0.186 
      • R-Value Observed: 0.187 

      wwPDB Validation   3D Report Full Report

      Visualizing Rev1 catalyze protein-template DNA synthesis.

      (2020) Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 117: 25494-25504

      • PubMed: 32999062  Search on PubMedSearch on PubMed Central
      • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2010484117
      • Primary Citation of Related Structures:  
        6X70, 6X72, 6X71, 6X74, 6X73, 6X76, 6X75, 6X77, 6X6Z
      • PubMed Abstract: 

      During DNA replication, replicative DNA polymerases may encounter DNA lesions, which can stall replication forks. One way to prevent replication fork stalling is through the recruitment of specialized translesion synthesis (TLS) polymerases that have evolved to incorporate nucleotides opposite DNA lesions .

      During DNA replication, replicative DNA polymerases may encounter DNA lesions, which can stall replication forks. One way to prevent replication fork stalling is through the recruitment of specialized translesion synthesis (TLS) polymerases that have evolved to incorporate nucleotides opposite DNA lesions. Rev1 is a specialized TLS polymerase that bypasses abasic sites, as well as minor-groove and exocyclic guanine adducts. Lesion bypass is accomplished using a unique protein-template mechanism in which the templating base is evicted from the DNA helix and the incoming dCTP hydrogen bonds with an arginine side chain of Rev1. To understand the protein-template mechanism at an atomic level, we employed a combination of time-lapse X-ray crystallography, molecular dynamics simulations, and DNA enzymology on the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rev1 protein. We find that Rev1 evicts the templating base from the DNA helix prior to binding the incoming nucleotide. Binding the incoming nucleotide changes the conformation of the DNA substrate to orient it for nucleotidyl transfer, although this is not coupled to large structural changes in Rev1 like those observed with other DNA polymerases. Moreover, we found that following nucleotide incorporation, Rev1 converts the pyrophosphate product to two monophosphates, which drives the reaction in the forward direction and prevents pyrophosphorolysis. Following nucleotide incorporation, the hydrogen bonds between the incorporated nucleotide and the arginine side chain are broken, but the templating base remains extrahelical. These postcatalytic changes prevent potentially mutagenic processive synthesis by Rev1 and facilitate dissociation of the DNA product from the enzyme.

      Organizational Affiliation

      Department of Cancer Biology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66160.


      How can one create images like those in the PDB 'Molecule of the month'? - Biology

      Experimental Data Snapshot

      • Method: X-RAY DIFFRACTION
      • Resolution: 2.80 Å
      • R-Value Free: 0.263 
      • R-Value Work: 0.201 
      • R-Value Observed: 0.201 

      wwPDB Validation   3D Report Full Report

      RNA Synthesis in a Cage--Structural Studies of Reovirus Polymerase [lambda] 3

      (2002) Cell 111: 733-745

      • PubMed: 12464184  Search on PubMed
      • DOI: 10.1016/s0092-8674(02)01110-8
      • Primary Citation of Related Structures:  
        1N35, 1N38, 1MUK, 1MWH, 1N1H
      • PubMed Abstract: 

      The reovirus polymerase and those of other dsRNA viruses function within the confines of a protein capsid to transcribe the tightly packed dsRNA genome segments. The crystal structure of the reovirus polymerase, lambda3, determined at 2.5 A resolution, shows a fingers-palm-thumb core, similar to those of other viral polymerases, surrounded by major N- and C-terminal elaborations, which create a cage-like structure, with four channels leading to the catalytic site .

      The reovirus polymerase and those of other dsRNA viruses function within the confines of a protein capsid to transcribe the tightly packed dsRNA genome segments. The crystal structure of the reovirus polymerase, lambda3, determined at 2.5 A resolution, shows a fingers-palm-thumb core, similar to those of other viral polymerases, surrounded by major N- and C-terminal elaborations, which create a cage-like structure, with four channels leading to the catalytic site. This "caged" polymerase has allowed us to visualize the results of several rounds of RNA polymerization directly in the crystals. A 5' cap binding site on the surface of lambda3 suggests a template retention mechanism by which attachment of the 5' end of the plus-sense strand facilitates insertion of the 3' end of the minus-sense strand into the template channel.

      Organizational Affiliation

      Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.


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      Above is a drop-down alphabetical list of all the molecules. Click on your molecule of choice to take you directly to it in the chronological table below.


      Buy a book containing many of these molecules!

      Paul May and Simon Cotton have compiled a set of some of the most important and interesting molecules from this website, as well as many more that have never been published before, and published them as a book that you can buy from the Taylor and Francis website or from other online retailers.

      Sialyl Lewis X
      (H,C) --> H,C -->
      DateMoleculeVersionsContributorLocation
      June 2021 Astaxanthin
      The reason flamingoes are pink!
      HTML
      JSmol
      Catherine Cook Sussex University, UK
      May 2021 Semaglutide
      The diabetes drug that might
      also be a cure for obesity
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul May Bristol University
      April 2021 Methylmercury Cysteinate
      How mercury reaches the human brain
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      March 2021 Titanium dioxide
      The pigment also known as 'brilliant white'
      HTML Roderick Edmonds Eton College, UK
      February 2021 Curcumin
      The colour and flavour of turmeric
      with controversial health claims
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul May Bristol University
      January 2021 Hydrogen Fluoride
      The notorious acid.
      HTML
      JSmol
      Efa Wilson and Stephen Belding Rugby School, UK
      December 2020 PETase
      The plastic-eating fungal enzyme
      HTML Laurie Guard Rugby School, UK
      November 2020 N-nitrosodimethylamine
      (NDMA)
      A possible carcinogen in some medicines
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      October 2020 Diborane
      The story of an undergraduate
      vs a Nobel laureate
      HTML
      JSmol
      Ollie Whitley and Stephen Belding Rugby School, UK
      September 2020 Paracetamol
      Also known as Acetaminophen
      or by the brand names
      Tylenol or Panadol
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      August 2020 Chlorhexidine
      The broad-spectrum antiseptic
      used in mouthwashes
      HTML
      JSmol
      Yu Xi Ke and Claudia Orellana Hereford Sixth Form College
      Hereford, UK
      July 2020 Dexamethasone
      The new treatment for Covid-19
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul May Bristol University
      June 2020 Benzaldehyde
      The smell of almonds and Maraschino cherries
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul May Bristol University
      May 2020 Quadricyclane
      Liquid Sunshine!
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      April 2020 Thyroxine
      The metabolic rate hormone
      that prevents 'a pain in the neck'!
      HTML
      JSmol
      Mike Thompson and Becky Ting Rugby School, UK
      March 2020 Theobromine
      The caffeine-like alkaloid
      in chocolate that is good for you
      HTML
      JSmol
      Rob Lyon, George Mitchell and Claudia Orellana Hereford Sixth Form College
      Hereford, UK
      February 2020 Desomorphine
      (a.k.a. Krokodil, the ‘flesh-eating’ drug)
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      January 2020 Lycopene
      The red colour of tomatoes
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul May Bristol University
      December 2019 Modafinil
      A Nootropic
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      November 2019 Luciferin
      The glowing group of molecules
      responsible for bioluminescence
      HTML
      JSmol
      Leila Hewitt, Elise Lacey, Columbus Layton and Emilia White Hereford Sixth Form College
      Hereford, UK
      October 2019 Nitrogen trifluoride
      The etching gas that's recently been found to be a major Greenhouse gas problem
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      September 2019 Dimethyltryptamine (DMT)
      The so-called spirit molecule
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul May Bristol University
      August 2019 Testosterone
      The male hormone
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      July 2019 Estradiol
      The main female hormone
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul May Bristol University
      June 2019 Trichlorofluoromethane
      (CFCl3 or CFC-11)
      The ozone-eliminating gas that we thought had gone for good.
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      May 2019 Rose Bengal
      The pink eye stain
      that might be a cancer treatment
      HTML
      JSmol
      Claudia Orellana Hereford Sixth Form College
      April 2019 Cannabidiol (CBD)
      (and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC))
      Ingredients in cannabis and marijuana
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      March 2019 Cytisine
      The poisonous plant that might help people stop smoking
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul May Bristol University
      February 2019 Octane
      The molecule in petroleum
      used for car engines
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      January 2019 Vitamin B3 (Niacin, Nicotinic acid)
      The vitamin that prevents pellagra
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul May Bristol University
      December 2018 Carfentanil
      The tranquiliser for wild game that is
      the most powerful commercially available opioid
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      November 2018 Narcan (Naloxone)
      The 'miracle' antidote for opiate overdoses.
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul May Bristol University
      October 2018 Scopolamine (Hyoscine)
      Dr Crippen’s Drug,
      which is also used to rob people
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      September 2018 Cathinone
      Known on the street as 'Monkey Dust'
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul May Bristol University
      August 2018 Novichok
      The notorious nerve agent
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul May Bristol University
      July 2018 Thallium sulphate
      Rat poison used for Murder
      HTML Mike Thompson, Matty Coe and Thomas Sloan Rugby School, Rugby, UK
      June 2018 Ethylene glycol
      (Ethane-1,2-diol)
      and antifreeze poisoning
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      May 2018 Tartrazine
      The controversial yellow food-colouring and dye
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul May Bristol University
      April 2018 Ninhydrin
      It turns amino acids deep purple
      HTML
      JSmol
      Li Liang National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan
      March 2018 Zingiberene
      (and Epizingiberene)
      It's a ginger spice!
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      February 2018 Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
      More than just a food colouring
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul May Bristol University
      January 2018 Glycerol (Glycerine)
      How the SAS start fires in the Jungle
      HTML
      JSmol
      Mike Thompson and Charlie Thompson Rugby School, Rugby, UK
      December 2017 Incensole
      and other molecules in frankincense, including incensole acetate
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      November 2017 Amygdalin
      “The slickest, most sophisticated,
      and certainly the most
      remunerative cancer quack
      promotion in medical history”
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul MayBristol University
      October 2017 Lariam
      The controversial antimalarial drug
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      September 2017 Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
      Deficiency of this causes beriberi
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul MayBristol University
      August 2017 Methyl hexaneamine
      The illegal stimulant that cost Usain Bolt one of his 9 gold medals.
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      July 2017 Vitamin C
      The cure for scurvy
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul MayBristol University
      June 2017 Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
      Records, tubing, flooring and unusual clothing.
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      May 2017 Methanethiol
      and other stinky components of durian
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul MayBristol University
      April 2017 Nitrogen trichloride, NCl3
      The explosive liquid that injured both Sir Humphrey Davy and Michael Faraday
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      March 2017 Nepetalactone
      The molecule in catnip that makes cats stoned.
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul MayBristol University
      February 2017 Benzoyl peroxide
      (and other chemicals used for the treatment of acne)
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      January 2017 Vitamin A
      The molecule of vision.
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul MayBristol University
      December 2016 2,4-Dinitrophenylhydrazine
      The standard test for carbonyls which can be explosive!
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      November 2016 Neohesperidin
      The bitter taste in bitter-oranges that can be converted into a sweetener.
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul MayBristol University
      October 2016 Ferric Chloride
      Not just for etching copper.
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      September 2016 Vitamin E
      The 'sex drug'.
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul MayBristol University
      August 2016 Acrylamide
      The (possibly) poisonous molecule that results from cooking starchy foods at high temperature.
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      July 2016 Resveratrol
      The Fountain of Youth and the explanation for the French Paradox?
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul MayBristol University
      June 2016 Cobalt chloride
      A drug used to dope racehorses that's also a water indicator.
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      May 2016 Vitamin K
      The vitamin required for blood klotting
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul MayBristol University
      April 2016 Acetic acid
      The main constituent of vinegar.
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      March 2016 Melanin
      The pigment that causes different skin colours
      HTML Paul MayBristol University
      February 2016 Cocaine
      The notorious recreational drug.
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      January 2016 Congo Red
      A red dye, but not from the Congo
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul May Bristol University
      December 2015 Codeine and Oxycodone
      Painkillers that can become addictive.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      November 2015 Vitamin D
      . or how Shaun the Sheep helps prevent rickets!
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul MayBristol University
      October 2015 Ivermectin
      The treatment for river blindness.
      HTML Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      September 2015 Stevioside
      The ‘natural’ sweetener that’s an alternative to sugar.
      HTML
      JSmol
      Paul MayBristol University
      August 2015 Beta-Damascenone
      A rose by any other name.
      HTML
      JSmol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      July 2015 Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)
      A molecule of relaxation.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Gabriella Zanetti Hull Collegiate School
      Hull, UK
      June 2015 1,3-Butadiene
      Golf balls, tyres and Lego.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul MayBristol University
      May 2015 Dinitrophenol (DNP)
      The weight-loss pill that's potentially fatal.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      April 2015 Colchicine
      The poison that's also a treatment for gout.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      March 2015 Fentanyl
      The knock-out gas controversially used to end the Moscow theatre siege
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May Bristol University
      February 2015 Thiomersal
      The molecule that prevents vaccines from going stale.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      January 2015 Tetranitratoxycarbon
      The explosive molecule discovered by a 10-year-old girl.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May Bristol University
      December 2014 Trinitrotoluene (TNT)
      The explosive that won WWI & WWII
      HTML
      JSMol
      Mike Thompson and George Innes Rugby School, UK
      November 2014 Triclosan
      The antibacterial molecule found in soaps, detergents, toys and surgical cleaning treatments that maybe becoming an enviromental problem
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      October 2014 Aconitine
      A poisoner’s potion of choice.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul MayBristol University
      September 2014 Tramadol
      The painkiller used by racing cyclists to give them an edge
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      August 2014 Myristicin
      The psychoactive molecule in nutmegs, and the story of the nut that changed the world.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May Bristol University
      July 2014 Salvinorin A
      The psychoactive drug that's the key ingredient in Mexican Magic Mint
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      June 2014 Chloroauric acid
      What you get when you dissolve gold in acid.
      HTML Quazi Hasibul Hasan, Niloy Kumar Das Shahjalal Science & Technology University
      Bangladesh
      May 2014 Sucrose
      Table sugar
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul MayBristol University
      April 2014 Streptomycin
      One of the main drugs to treat Tuberculosis.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      March 2014 Cholesterol
      Bile, membranes, hormones, vitamins and untimely death (and more)
      HTML Ben Benjamin Torbay Hospital
      Devon, UK
      February 2014 Fluorine
      The most reactive non-metal
      HTML
      JSMol
      Mike Thompson and Hugh Campbell Rugby School, UK
      January 2014 Hydrazine
      Rocket fuel, spandex suits, power stations and car air-bags!
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul MayBristol University
      December 2013 Dimethyldisulfide
      A molecule with a-rum smell.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      November 2013 Silica
      The macromolecule that makes up sand, glass and quartz, and which is a major component of rocks and mountains.
      HTML Guillermo Godino Sedano King´s College
      Madrid, Spain
      October 2013 Linalool
      The main component of lavender oil, which is also found in lots of other places.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      September 2013 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluroethane
      The refrigerant gas that replaced CFCs
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      August 2013 Bisphenol A
      The controversial plastic additive
      HTML Mia Monte School of Ramiro de Maeztu
      Madrid, Spain
      July 2013 Wilkinson's catalyst
      The famous inorganic catalyst
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      June 2013 Ammonia
      A very important molecule for biological organisms to make proteins or nucleic acids
      HTML Quazi Hasibul Hasan and Niloy Kumar Das Shahjalal Science & Technology University
      Bangladesh
      May 2013 Artemisinin
      The new antimalarial drug from China
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      April 2013 Phenylbutazone
      The controversial horse painkiller
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May Bristol University
      March 2013 Lithium Aluminium Hydride
      The versatile reducing agent
      HTML Mike Thompson and Jess Abel Rugby School, UK
      February 2013 Vaska's Compound
      An inorganic molecule that reversibly binds oxygen
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      January 2013 Fluoroform
      It's not the same as chloroform!
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      December 2012 Nitrogen Dioxide
      One of the gases in smog
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      November 2012 Galanthamine
      The anti-Alzheimers' drug derived from snowdrops
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      October 2012 Medroxyprogesterone acetate
      The drug used for chemical castration
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May Bristol University
      September 2012 Filbertone
      The smell of hazelnuts.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      August 2012 Captopril
      The treatment for high blood pressure derived from snake venom
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May Bristol University
      July 2012 Raspberry Ketone (or Rheosmin or Frambinone)
      The smell of raspberries.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      June 2012 Tropane
      The bicyclic amine that is the precursor to $4 billion pharmaceutical industries
      PDF Quazi Hasibul Hasan Shahjalal University of Science & Technology
      Bangladesh
      May 2012 Carbon Dioxide
      The gas we exhale that's both a Greenhouse gas and a fire extinguisher
      HTML
      JSMol
      Mike Thompson and Jess Abel Rugby School, UK
      April 2012 Lauric Acid
      The main constituent of coconut oil
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May Bristol University
      March 2012 Phenylethylamine
      and the amine responsible for the 'Cheese effect'
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      February 2012 Botulinum Toxin
      The anti-wrinkle treatment that's the most powerful neurotoxin known.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Guillermo Godino Sedano King´s College
      Madrid, Spain
      January 2012 DMSO (Dimethyl sulfoxide)
      The smelly solvent that may have a variety of medical uses
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May Bristol University
      December 2011 2,4,6-Tribromophenol
      The test for phenol
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
      November 2011 Hydrogen Cyanide
      From Prussian Blue to Schrödinger's Cat
      HTML Alberto Morón Hernández King's College
      Madrid, Spain
      October 2011 Sodium Hypochlorite
      The chemical name for household bleach
      HTML Paul MayBristol University
      September 2011 Doxycycline
      The antibiotic that's an alternative to penicillin
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      August 2011 Benzene
      The first aromatic compound
      HTML
      VRML
      JMol
      Mike Thompson and Charlie Style Rugby School, UK
      July 2011 Sulfanilamide
      The antibiotic drug that saved the life of Winston Churchill
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      June 2011 Endosulfan
      The controversial insecticide
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May Bristol University
      May 2011 Octanal
      The smell of oranges that birds use as 'perfume'
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      April 2011 Eribulin (Halaven)
      The anti-cancer drug made from a sea-sponge
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May Bristol University
      March 2011 Muscone
      The deer musk used in perfumes
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      February 2011 Warfarin
      The blood anti-coagulant used as a rat poison
      HTML John MaherBristol University
      January 2011 DEET
      The spray-on insect repellant
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May Bristol University
      December 2010 Eucalyptol (1,8-Cineole)
      A koala's favourite food
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      November 2010 Kevlar
      The super-tough fibre used to make bullet-proof vests
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May Bristol University
      October 2010 Heptan-2-one
      The stilton cheese molecule
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      September 2010 Kispeptin
      The molecule of puberty and sexual fertility
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May Bristol University
      August 2010 THG (tetrahydrogestrinone)
      The illegal performance-enhancing drug used by some athletes and sportspeople
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      July 2010 Insulin
      The hormone that converts sugar in the blood into a source of energy
      for our body's metabolic processes
      HTML Maria Kyriakou Bristol University
      June 2010 Nylon
      The wonder material that made stockings, parachutes and toothbrushes
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      May 2010 Diacetyl
      The buttery flavour of popcorn, butterscotch, and margarine.
      HTML Trevor Gates Western Oregon University
      USA
      April 2010 Glycine
      The amino-acid that may have kick-started life on Earth
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      March 2010 Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
      The main cleaning agent in soap and detergent.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Zara Kauffer and Paul May Bristol University
      February 2010 Heavy Water
      It's water - just heavier!
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      January 2010 Green Fluorescent Protein
      A molecular tag that can be inserted into genes to make animals and plants glow green.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Timothy King and Paul May Bristol University
      December 2009 1-Octen-3-ol
      The smell of mushrooms.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      November 2009 Citalopram
      A new treatment for depression
      HTML
      JSMol
      Benjamin Rawe and Paul May Bristol University
      October 2009 Strychnine
      The performance enhancing deadly poison
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul M. Burnham Greenhead College
      Huddersfield, UK
      September 2009 Anandamide
      The molecule of extreme pleasure.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Sujit Kumar Kar S.K. Foundation
      Orissa, India
      August 2009 Geosmin
      The smell of the countryside.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      July 2009 Cyanoacrylate
      Superglue!
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Sarwat Baig University of Bristol
      June 2009 Teflon (PTFE)
      The non-stick coating on frying pans.
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Layth Hendow Hull Collegiate School
      Yorkshire, UK
      May 2009 Bombykol
      The sex pheromone of the silk moth.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      April 2009 Retinal
      The molecule of vision
      HTML
      JSMol
      Joshua Howgego and Paul May University of Bristol
      March 2009 Hydrogen Sulphide
      The smell of rotten eggs.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      February 2009 Indigotin
      The dye used to colour blue jeans
      HTML
      JSMol
      Richard Marsh and Paul May University of Bristol
      January 2009 Oxytocin
      The molecule involved in pregnancy, breastfeeding and sexual fidelity!
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      December 2008 Taurine
      The stimulant in the 'energy drink' Red Bull - but does it give you wings?
      HTML
      JSMol
      Richard Marsh and Paul May University of Bristol
      November 2008 2-Methylundecanal
      The smell of Chanel No.5 perfume.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      Oct 2008 Dopamine
      The neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of pleasure and well-being
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Sian Gregory and Paul M. Burnham Hillsborough College
      Sheffield, UK
      Sept 2008 Uric acid
      The molecule that causes gout and kidney stones, and is found in bird droppings
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Mike Thompson Winchester College
      UK
      August 2008 Folic Acid
      A necessary ingredient for building DNA, cells and babies.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Dominic Taylor and Paul May University of Bristol
      July 2008 Isoprene
      The building block for terpenes and rubber, and the molecule that makes the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, blue.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      June 2008 Histamine
      The molecule associated with immune response, allergies and hayfever.
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Michael Charles Hatch and Paul May University of Bristol
      May 2008 Sulfuric acid
      The acid that's the 'King of Chemicals'
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Mike Thompson Winchester College
      UK
      April 2008 Sulphur Hexafluoride
      The unreactive gas that's found in electrical insulation, trainers and double-glazing.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      March 2008 Limonene
      The industrial degreasing agent found in orange peel.
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Paul M. Burnham Hillsborough College
      Sheffield, UK
      February 2008 Vanillin
      The flavour of vanilla icecream.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      January 2008 Herceptin
      The controversial drug used to treat breast cancer.
      HTML Amy Dyke University of Bristol
      December 2007 Methane
      The greenhouse gas that cooks our food.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      November 2007 Nitric Acid
      The starting point for explosives and fertilisers.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May University of Bristol
      October 2007 Nitroglycerine
      The explosive component in dynamite.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      September 2007 Propanethial S-oxide
      The molecule that makes you cry when peeling onions.
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Paul M. Burnham Hillsborough College
      Sheffield, UK
      August 2007 Menthol
      The cooling smell of mint.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      July 2007 Monosodium Glutamate
      The molecule that enhances taste in food.
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Pio Monti Kings College School
      Madrid, Spain
      June 2007 Lutein and Zeaxanthin
      The chemistry and biology of the colourful carotenoids we eat as food, or which make the pigments in songbirds' feathers
      HTML
      Chime
      JMol
      James D. Johnson Alumnus
      Dept of Chemistry
      Florida State University
      May 2007 Acetyl Coenzyme-A
      The molecule that makes fats, or burns them
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May University of Bristol
      April 2007 Glucose
      The sugary source of energy for plants and animals
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Mike Thompson Winchester College
      UK
      March 2007 Methamphetamine
      The pick-me-up also known as 'speed'.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      February 2007 Sodium Thiopental (Sodium Pentothal)
      The 'Truth Serum' used in many spy movies.
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Adriano Taylor King´s College
      Madrid, Spain
      January 2007 Prostanoic Acid and Prostagladins
      Important natural molecules that resemble hormones and have a range of biological effects.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May University of Bristol
      December 2006 Ethene
      The anaesthetic gas that's used to make polythene
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      November 2006 Pentacene
      The p-type organic semiconductor which can be used to make organic electronics.
      HTML Fabio Pichierri Tohoku University
      Sendai, Japan
      October 2006 Chloroform
      The anaesthetic and solvent
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Stephen Belding University of Oxford
      September 2006 Hydrogen Peroxide
      Rocket fuel and bleached blondes.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      August 2006 Cinnamaldehyde
      The smell and taste of the spice cinnamon.
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Paul M. Burnham Hillsborough College
      Sheffield, UK
      July 2006 Tamiflu
      The anti-flu drug that might protect us froma bird-flu epidemic
      HTML
      JMol
      Emily Campbell University of Bristol
      June 2006 The Manganese-calcium oxide cluster of Photosystem II
      (The Oxygen Evolving Complex)
      The complex that cyanobacteria use to split water, release oxygen, and which helped start life on Earth.
      HTML
      Chime
      James D. Johnson Florida State University
      Tallahassee
      USA
      May 2006 Linoleic Acid
      The vegetable oil that's used to make margarine
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May University of Bristol
      April 2006 Skatole
      The smell of human excrement
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      March 2006 Cucurbituril
      A pumpkin-shaped molecule
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Fabio Pichierri Tohoku University
      Sendai, Japan
      Feb 2006 Hemoglobin
      The oxygen-carrying molecule found in blood
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May University of Bristol
      January 2006 Batrachotoxin
      The poison found on the skin of Amazonian frogs
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      December 2005 Formic Acid (Methanoic Acid)
      The poison from ants and stinging nettles
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Mathieu Laffitte Freelance writer
      France
      November 2005 Carbon Monoxide
      The poisonous gas from car exhausts
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Mike Thompson Winchester College
      UK
      October 2005 Dimethylsulphide
      The smell of truffles
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      September 2005 Dioxin
      The pollutant that caused the Seveso disaster
      HTML Fabio Pichierri Tohoku University
      Sendai, Japan
      August 2005 Linezolid
      A new type of oxazolidinone antibiotic
      HTML Rafal Klajn Northwestern University
      USA
      July 2005 Quinine
      The anti-malarial drug that's found in gin and tonic
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      June 2005 Dichlorodifluoromethane (Freon)
      Freon gas, the CFC refrigerant that damages the ozone layer.
      HTML Aaron Vorderstrasse Western Oregon University
      Monmouth
      Oregon, USA
      May 2005 British Anti-Lewisite
      The chelating molecule that's used to treat heavy metal poisoning.
      HTML Domingo Tabangcura, Jr. and
      G. Patrick Daubert, MD
      Regional Poison Control Center
      Wayne State University Children's Hospital of Michigan
      Detroit
      USA
      April 2005 Serotonin
      A molecule of happiness.
      HTML
      Claire Rosling University of Bristol
      March 2005 Hexenal
      The key aroma substance emitted when grass is cut.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      Feb 2005 Galactosylceramide
      The chemical found in the brain which is a constituent of nerve cells and intestinal membranes - and which may be implicated in promoting diseases such as HIV.
      HTML Jacques Fantini, Nicolas Garmy,
      Nadira Taieb and Nouara Yahi
      Université Paul Cézanne
      Marseille, France
      Jan 2005 Arsine
      The poisonous gas that was an important molecule in the history of forensic science.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      Dec 2004 Maleimide-Polyethylene Glycol (MPEG4)
      Modified human hemoglobin that can be used as a blood substitute.
      HTML Nancy Christy, Shane Haggard, Kimberly Lam,
      Rachele Melious and Paula Theobald
      San Diego Mesa College
      San Diego, CA, USA
      Nov 2004 Morphine
      The sedative and painkiller.
      HTML Enrico Uva LaurenHill Academy
      Montreal, Canada
      Oct 2004 Butane
      The fuel in portable cookers, and much more.
      HTML Feng Wang Swinburne University of Technology
      Melbourne, Australia
      Sept 2004 Ubiquitin
      A ubiquitous protein
      HTML Lukasz and Mariusz Jaremko Wroclaw University
      Poland
      Aug 2004 Trimethylamine
      The cause of 'fish breath' in some people.
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      July 2004 Atenolol
      A beta-blocker drug used for treating high blood pressure and angina.
      HTML Ravi Bhandari Imperial College London
      June 2004 Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol)
      The notorious 'date rape' drug.
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Gemma Gaitskell Phillips and Paula Fitzgerald Kings College
      Madrid, Spain
      May 2004 Osmium Tetroxide
      The useful chemical reagent that was recently called the "billionaire's chemical weapon"
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Mike Thompson Winchester College
      UK
      Apr 2004 Cantharidin
      The 'Spanish Fly' aphrodisiac that's also a beetle defense chemical.
      HTML
      Chime
      Gérard Dupuis & Nicole Berland Lycée Faidherbe
      Lille, France.
      Mar 2004 EDTA
      A molecule with a 'complex story', that's found in mayonnaise, beans and Big Macs.
      HTML
      Chime
      Scott A. Sinex Prince George's Community College
      Largo, MD, USA
      Feb 2004 Combretastatin A-4
      A Zulu poison that can be used to treat cancer
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Mike Thompson Winchester College
      UK
      Jan 2004 Rotenone
      An important piscicide and insecticide
      HTML
      Chime
      Emma Castrique Bristol University
      Dec 2003 Sulphur Dioxide
      A major component of acid rain
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Mike Thompson Winchester College
      UK
      Nov 2003 S-Adenosyl Methionine
      A biological methylating agent
      HTML Rich Blatchly Keene State College
      Keene
      NH, USA
      Oct 2003 Dimethyl Mercury
      The toxic compound that caused the Minamata disaster
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      Sept 2003 Carnitine
      An acyl-carrying nursing biomolecule.
      HTML Hans R. Scholte Erasmus MC-University Medical Center
      Rotterdam
      Holland
      Aug 2003 Fluoxetine (Prozac)
      The active ingredient behind the World's most widely used antidepressant drug.
      Chime Gemma Veitch Imperial College London
      July 2003 Caeruloplasmin
      An enigmatic copper metalloprotein.
      HTML John Maher University of Bristol
      June 2003 Pnictogen
      A group of materials that might be used to convert electricity into heat and vice versa.
      HTML David Bradley Freelance Science Writer
      May 2003 N3 Amide Dyes
      A new way to make 'metallo-organic' solar cells
      HTML Jean-Jacques Lagref Novartis Pharma AG
      Basel
      Switzerland.
      Apr 2003 Ketamine
      The notorious recreational drug
      HTML
      Chime
      Tim Aldridge University of Bristol
      Mar 2003 Ethyl Acetate
      The source of many natural odours
      HTML Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      Feb 2003 Spidroin
      Spider silk and spider poisons
      HTML
      Chime
      Vivienne Li Bristol University
      Jan 2003 Arsenic Pentachloride, AsCl5
      A molecule with unusual bonding
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      Dec 2002 Hemlock (Coniine)
      The poison that killed Socrates
      HTML
      Chime
      John Huggins Thrybergh Comprehensive School
      Rotherham, UK
      Nov 2002 Dettol
      The antiseptic cleaning fluid
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Mike Thompson Winchester College
      UK
      Oct 2002 Epothilone
      A new anti-cancer drug
      HTML Audrey Barthelemy and Carole Christophe Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon
      France
      Sept 2002 Ibogaine
      The anti-addiction drug
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      David Bradley Freelance Science Writer
      Aug 2002 Uranium Hexafluoride, UF6
      The source of uranium for nuclear power
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      July 2002 Alliin
      The chemistry of garlic
      HTML Eric Coleman University of Bristol
      June 2002 Tryptophan
      The controversial food supplement
      HTML Kimberly Dick and Michel Hachey Advanced Chemistry Develpment
      Toronto, Canada
      May 2002 Etorphine
      An elephant tranquiliser
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      Apr 2002 Beta-Carotene
      The colour of carrots
      HTML
      Chime
      Martha Evens University of Bristol
      Mar 2002 Mifepristone (RU-486)
      The 'morning after' pill
      HTML Fyaz M.D. Ismail Dept of Pharmacy and Chemistry
      Liverpool John Moores University
      Feb 2002 Atropine
      The muscle relaxant used in surgery
      HTML
      Chime
      Sara Kennedy Armthorpe School
      Doncaster, UK
      Jan 2002 Relenza
      The anti-flu drug
      HTML Nikola Sanderson Imperial College London
      Dec 2001 Nitrogen Triiodide
      The well-known explosive crystals
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      Nov 2001 Ibuprofen
      A painkiller
      HTML
      Chime
      John Bower University of Bristol
      Oct 2001 Tetracycline
      The anti-biotic
      HTML
      Chime
      Rafal Klajn Institute of Organic Chemistry
      PAN, Warsaw
      Poland
      Sept 2001 Methyl Jasmonate
      The smell of jasmine flowers
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland, UK
      Aug 2001 Nicotine
      The addictive drug in tobacco
      HTML Muriel Fabre, Guillaume Bouchon, Sébastien Abry
      and Daniel Simon
      École Normale Supérieure de Lyon
      France
      July 2001 VX gas
      The notorious nerve agent
      HTML
      Cavus Batki University of Bristol
      June 2001 ClF3
      Rocket fuel
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland
      May 2001 Brassinolide
      The plant growth hormone
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Martin A. Iglesias-Arteaga University of Havana
      Cuba
      Apr 2001 Capsaicin
      The heat of chillis
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      Matthew Bellringer University of Bristol
      Mar 2001 Frontalin
      A beetle signal pheremone
      HTML
      Chime
      Gérard Dupuis and
      Nicole Berland
      Lycée Faidherbe
      Lille, France.
      Feb 2001 Aspartame
      A synthetic sweetener
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      D. Eric Walters Finch University of Health Sciences
      The Chicago Medical School
      Chicago, USA
      Jan 2001 Tetraethyl Lead
      The anti-knock agent in petroleum
      HTML
      JSMol
      Simon Cotton Uppingham School
      Rutland
      Dec 2000 2,4,5-T (Agent Orange)
      The notorious Vietnam War defoliant
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      John Hardy University of Bristol
      Nov 2000 Bis(2,4-dinitrophenyl) oxalate (DNPO)
      Light-emitting chemicals
      HTML Daniel Ormsby University of Leeds
      Oct 2000 Nandrolone
      The controversial anabolic steroid
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May University of Bristol
      Sept 2000 ABT-594 and Epibatidine
      A painkiller
      HTML John Cameron and
      Kathleen Brawley
      University of Aberdeen
      Aug 2000 Cisplatin
      The anti-cancer drug
      HTML
      Chime
      Mitch Miller Symyx Technologies
      USA
      July 2000 Thalidomide
      The notorious morning sickness drug
      HTML Alex Lingham Bristol University
      June 2000 Histrionicotoxin
      The frog poison used in blowpipe darts
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Neil Edwards and Mark Reed Sussex University
      May 2000 Chlorophyll
      The green colour of plants
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May Bristol University
      Apr 2000 Melatonin
      The sleep-wake-cycle regulating chemical
      Chime Salinthip Thipayang Imperial College London
      Mar 2000 cis- g -Irone
      The violet-like scent of Iris oils used in perfumes
      HTML Jean-Marie Galano Université D'Aix-Marseille III
      France
      Feb 2000 Frankincense
      (Boswellic Acid)
      The Biblical fragrant gum resin
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      Gordon Docherty Bristol University
      Jan 2000 DNA
      The genetic blueprint molecule
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul MayBristol University
      Dec 1999 Tamoxifen
      The anti-cancer drug
      HTML
      Chime
      Huw Tanner Imperial College London
      Nov 1999 Tetrodotoxin
      The poison in puffer fish
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Jim Johnson 3D Biochem
      USA
      Oct 1999 Psilocybin and Mescaline
      The hallucinogen in 'magic mushrooms'
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May Bristol University
      Sept 1999 Anatoxin
      A toxin extracted from algae
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      Neil Edwards Sussex University
      Aug 1999 Salbutamol
      The anti-asthma treatment
      Chime Jerome Hettich Imperial College London
      July 1999 Zyban (Bupropion)
      The treatment for nicotine addiction
      HTML Bernard Blessington
      and Jamie Harris
      University of Bradford
      June 1999 Nitrous oxide
      Laughing gas
      HTML
      JSMol
      Ewan Cameron
      and Paul May
      University of Bristol
      May 1999 Adrenaline
      The 'fight or flight' hormone
      HTML Frank Oellien Computer-Chemie-Centrum
      University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
      Germany
      Apr 1999 Staurosporine
      An anti-cancer drug
      HTML
      Chime
      Clive WalkerNovartis Horsham Research Centre
      Feb 1999 Ptaquiloside
      The poison in bracken
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      JMol
      David Bradley Freelance Science Writer/Editor
      Jan 1999 Cubane
      A cubic molecule
      HTML
      Chime
      Beinn Muir Imperial College
      Dec 1998 LSD
      The notorious hallucigenic drug
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May University of Bristol
      Nov 1998 Polythiophene
      A conducting organic polymer
      JSMol Peter Tebbutt Cherwell
      Oct 1998 Ferritin
      An iron-storage protein
      HTML James Bashkin, Regina Frey
      and Maureen Donlin
      Washington University
      St Louis, Mo, USA
      Sept 1998 Saxitoxin
      A powerful shellfish poison
      HTML
      JMol
      Neil Edwards University of Sussex
      Aug 1998 Finasteride
      A treatment for baldness?
      HTML Cynthia Schieck Virginia Commonwealth University
      USA
      July 1998 Formaldehyde
      The biology specimen preservative
      HTML Walter Volland Bellevue Community College
      Washington, USA
      June 1998 Mustard Gas
      The notorious WW1 chemical warfare agent
      HTML
      JSMol
      Rebecca Holland Bristol University
      May 1998 Proline
      A useful synthetic reagent
      HTML Andrew Potter Liverpool University
      April 1998 MCM-41
      A zeolite catalyst
      HTML
      Chime
      Vladimir GusevFreelance
      Mar 1998 Ozone
      The Earth's protective layer
      HTML Eloise Stattersfield Bristol University
      Feb 1998 Sulfanilamide
      A useful antibiotic
      HTML
      Chime
      JMol
      Peter Tebbutt Cherwell
      Jan 1998 Adenosine Triphosphate
      (ATP)
      The body's energy storage molecule
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May University of Bristol
      Dec 1997 4-Bromo-4'-Methoxy-
      acetophenone Azine
      An organic magnet
      HTML Rainer Glaser University of Missouri-Columbia
      Nov 1997 Scorpionine
      A scorpion-shaped molecule
      HTML
      Chime
      Henry Rzepa Imperial College London
      Oct 1997 N2S2
      A molecule with unusual bonding
      HTML
      Chime
      Joe Gerratt University of Bristol
      Sept 1997 Hexol
      The molecule that helped the understanding of coordination chemistry
      JSmol Robert Lancashire University of the West Indies,
      Mona, Jamaica
      Aug 1997 [Ag<(NC)Mn(CO)2-
      P(OPh3)(dppm)>2] +
      A molecule with a near-linear chain of 7 atoms
      HTML
      JSmol
      John Crossley University of Bristol
      July 1997 Vancomycin
      The ultimate antibiotic
      HTML
      Chime
      Alan Bunch
      and Anthony Baines
      University of Kent
      June 1997 Triphenylmethyl
      A propellor-shaped molecule
      HTML Andrew Hudson
      & Richard Jackson
      Sussex University
      May 1997 Vitamin B12
      The vitamin that prevents anaemia
      Chime John Maher Bristol University
      April 1997 Cyclooctene
      A chiral molecule
      HTML
      Chime
      David Bradley Freelance Science Writer/Editor
      Mar 1997 t-AlF3
      The interesting crystal structure
      HTML
      Chime
      VRML
      Armel Le Bail Laboratoire des Fluorures
      University of Lemans, France
      Feb 1997 Taxol
      The anti-cancer drug
      HTML
      JSMol
      Neil Edwards University of Bristol
      Jan 1997 C60 Buckyballs
      The famous football-shaped molecule
      HTML
      Chime
      Wyn Locke Imperial College London
      Dec 1996 Decahelicene
      A spiral-shaped molecule
      HTML
      Hens Borkent CMBI
      Radboud University
      Nijmegen, NL
      Nov 1996 Sialyl Lewis X
      A carbohydrate that recognises blood groups
      HTML Steven Isles & Alan Wilson University of Birmingham
      Oct 1996 Water
      Not just for drinking.
      HTML Shawn Huston Kenner MDL Information Systems, Inc.
      Sept 1996 Digitalis
      A treatment for heart disease
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May University of Bristol
      Aug 1996 Helvetane and Israelane
      Hypothetical molecules with intriguing shapes
      HTML Mitchell Miller Lion Biosciences
      USA
      July 1996 Diamond
      The world's favourite gem
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May University of Bristol
      June 1996 Urea
      The first synthetic organic product
      HTMLStuart Fairall De Montfort University
      May 1996 Ferrocene
      The well known organo-metallic sandwich
      HTML Karl Harrison University of Oxford
      Apr 1996 Delta-THC
      The active ingredient in cannabis
      HTML Lee Banting Portsmouth University
      Mar 1996 Phthalocyanine
      A dye, catalyst and anti-cancer agent
      HTML Alan Wilson University of Birmingham
      Feb 1996 Aspirin
      The first painkiller
      HTML
      JSMol
      Paul May University of Bristol
      Jan 1996 Mauveine dye
      The first synthetic dye
      HTML
      Chime
      Henry Rzepa Imperial College London