Molecule of the Month by David S. Goodsell

Is structural biology beautiful? If you contemplate the thousands of biological molecular structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) – the world’s largest archive of protein, DNA, and RNA structures – you immediately become aware of the intricacy and beauty of these structures. However, they are not displayed in the PDB as pieces of art in an online museum – these structures provide valuable clues about the functions or sites that might serve as drug targets and help researchers worldwide to solve many difficult scientific questions.

On the other hand, there are real pieces of art located in the PDB. Among them, there is the Molecule of the month series, created by David S. Goodsell. Each chapter includes an introduction to the function and structure of the molecule, an analysis of the relevance of the molecule to human health, and suggestions for how visitors can access further details and view these structures, which is perfect for educational purposes.

Some examples of the molecules illustrated by David S. Goodsell since 2010 for the Protein Data Bank (PDB) ‘s feature “Molecule of the Month”.

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Rachel Ignotofsky’s Illustrations

One artist I have been particularly following and kind of stalking on twitter is Rachel Ignotofsky. She creates beautiful illustrations mainly using two of her favorite school subjects as themes: biology and human anatomy. Although one can argue that the components of the cells she illustrates are not quite accurate, when it comes to getting children excited about science and learn about biology, there is nothing better than some happy Nucleolus or monstrous Golgi apparatus.

© 2013 Rachel Ignotofsky. Etsy shop.

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Sloan Science and Film + Museum of Moving Image

Sloan Science and Film is a website devoted to exploring the intersection of science and film, to enhance the public understanding of science and technology. It features original articles exploring the cinematic depictions of scientific ideas and the portrayal of scientists in film and television, exclusive interviews with filmmakers and scientists and award-winning science-themed short films that have been supported by grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

For instance, learn here about five films where Albert Einstein was portrayed or read about Brett Morgen’s new documentary, JANE. Have fun and explore the incredible world of films and science!

Photography by Hugo Van Lawick/National Geographic Creative

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Hello my name is Cancer

Kim Kovel, from USA, was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer in 2015. Cancer is not at all a funny thing, but she had an idea to fight back: with the help of Mark Smith, they created “HELLO my name is CANCER” – an adult coloring and activity book for people undergoing treatment for cancer that helps patients through humor. “Because laughter is the best medicine, and it’s contagious, unlike cancer”.

Image via Kickstarter

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Science Comm. Lab

“Excellent science needs excellent design”, is the motto of The Science Communication Lab, an award-winning company located in Kiel, Germany. Their design is mesmerizing. They specialize in developing innovative and interactive visualizations for the sciences, such as interactive posters, information graphics, animations, digital exhibits or data visualization for the transfer of knowledge inside teams, as well as for public communication.

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The Total Solar Eclipse Infographic

What is a solar eclipse? Where can you see it? How can you see it? And why should you watch it? – to answer these questions the World Science Festival team created this awesome infographic for all curious people looking forward to August 21, 2017. Unfortunately for many of us, including me, only America will fall under the path of a total solar eclipse on this date.

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World Science Festival – 10 years!

The mission of the World Science Festival is to inspire the general public to learn more about science and to convince them of its value and implications for the future. Every year at the end of May, beginning of June, the Festival gathers great minds in science and the arts to produce live and digital content, thereby taking science out of the laboratory and bringing it closer to the public. Through musical performances, theatrical works, interactive explorations, debates and outdoor activities, the Festival has drawn the attention of more than two million visitors over the past ten years, with millions more live streaming the programs online.

Launched in New York City, the World Science Festival has now expanded to Brisbane since last year with a mind blowing annual program (usually taking place in March).

If you missed the live streaming of the Festival check out the website nevertheless, it has great resources, such as infographics, articles, videos, and free online master classes available anywhere in the world to let you explore your scientific curiosity!

Blood: Life Uncut Exhibition – Science Gallery London

For those who collapse at the sight of blood, the new exhibition and event series of the Science Gallery London might not be the best choice. But then again why not? – after all, this exhibition wants to “expose, shock and bring people together”. Running from July to November 2017, BLOOD: Life Uncut “highlights the scientific and symbolic nature of blood, exploring personal and provocative stories of this vital, life-affirming fluid that connects us all”.


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Latest Thinking

Recently, I came across Latest Thinking GmbH, a really nice project made of open access videos with engaging summaries of current research findings, ranging from Biology to Arts & Humanities, from Astronomy to Physics! Here is a nice video about them:

I have contacted Latest Thinking founder, Mr Pajam Sobhani, and he gladly accepted to answer a few questions about the project. Read below.

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Special Report: Adaptation to Climate Change in Portugal

Comic art is a great way to educate young people about climate change. With that in mind, the award-winning project ClimAdaPT.Local launched the comic book “Special Report – Adaptation to Climate Change in Portugal”, which can now be used to teach about climate change in classrooms all over Portugal. The book tells the story of a journalist and a cameraman working on a story about climate change and its consequences in Portugal. It is based on real persons and stories and highlights the challenges people face and also possible solutions to address climate change locally. 

This comic book was created by Bruno Pinto (writer), Penim Loureiro (drawing) and Quico Nogueira (colour). Another great example of how Art & Science combined can change the view of the world around us. You can download the full comic (both in English and Portuguese) from ClimAdaPT.Local here.

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