Longevity Briefs: Simulating one of biologies most fundamental processes: protein production

Posted on 8 February 2021

Longevity briefs provides a short summary of novel research in biology, medicine, or biotechnology that caught the attention of our researchers in Oxford, due to its potential to improve our health, wellbeing, and longevity.

By combining molecular dynamics simulations with art, the producers at Spronk Studios have created an illuminating peek into some of the mechanics of cellular processes.

This simulation depicts a detailed artistic impression of protein production and folding, a process which is absolutely crucial to all of biology.

Ribosomes, the structure featured in the right hand side of the clip are cellular organelles which serve as the site of protein synthesis. As the amino acid chain spews from the ribosomes, it forms its 3D structure. There are over 20,000 different proteins found in the human body, much about their differing functions are determined by their structure.

Misfolded or incorrectly produced proteins have been known to play an important role in many age-related diseases. In particular, Alzheimer’s disease, which is charaterised by misfolding and accumulation of amyloid-beta proteins around neurons in the brain.

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