Newsletter | Winter 2015 ⋅ Number 64

Outreach and Education

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The primary reference for the RCSB PDB has been included in Nature's list of the 100 most-cited papers as tracked by the Web of Science.

The Protein Data Bank
Helen M. Berman, John Westbrook, Zukang Feng, Gary Gilliland, T. N. Bhat, Helge Weissig, Ilya N. Shindyalov, Philip E. Bourne
Nucleic Acids Research (2000) 28 (1): 235-242.
doi: 10.1093/nar/28.1.235

This article, the first of many publications from the RCSB PDB, announced the new systems put in place for deposition, validation, and exploration of PDB data.  The partnerships for data deposition described in the article continue to this day, now formalized with the Worldwide Protein Data Bank collaboration. Since the time of the article, RCSB PDB systems for data distribution and exploration have grown and expanded to provide access to the more than 100,000 structures that are distributed in the archive and to support our growing and diverse user community (Rose et al. 2013; Rose et al. 2011).

Recently, a reflection and review of the original paper appeared online in The Winnower.

Making marshmallow viruses for the National Chemistry Week.

Helen Berman at SACNAS.

  • National Chemistry Week ChemExpo (October 18; Jersey City, NJ): RCSB PDB made marshmallow viruses with the North Jersey ACS in celebration of National Chemistry Week.
  • SACNAS (October 16-18; Los Angeles, CA): RCSB PDB hosted a very well-attended session at the National Conference of the Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science.  This session on Structural View of Biology: Explorations of Molecular Structure and Function described three aspects of research in structural and computational biology: how atomic structures of proteins are solved, how the Protein Data Bank has revolutionized the way researchers and students explore these structures, and how these structures are used to engineer new functions in proteins. 
  • New Jersey Science Convention (October 13-14; Princeton, NJ): RCSB PDB met with teachers in the exhibit hall and gave a presentation on the new HIV curriculum.
  • World AIDS Day Symposium (December 5): RCSB PDB and the Rutgers François-Xavier Bagnoud Center led presentations on understanding HIV/AIDS at a molecular level and a discussion on Clinical Practice: Then (1980s) and Now (2014) at this free event hosted at Rutgers’ Center for Integrative Proteomics Research.

The Art of Science exhibit is on display at McPherson College in McPherson, Kansas (top) and at the at the Delbarton School in Morristown, NJ (bottom).

The RCSB PDB's Art of Science uses the context of an art exhibit to introduce audiences new and old to the beauty of the biomacromolecular structures and biology available in the PDB.  Thanks to a grant from the American Crystallographic Association for the International Year of Crystallography (IYCr), a permanent edition exhibit has been sent to two schools.

At McPherson College in McPherson, Kansas, the Art of Science was on display during the month of November and will be permanently displayed in McPerson's Melhorn Science Hall. The exhibition was held in a space adjacent to the college's Brown Auditorium, which meant the show was seen by more than a thousand visitors to various school and community events.

The Art of Science was installed in the lobby of the Fine Arts Center at the Delbarton School in Morristown, NJ, which saw similar amounts of traffic (December 2014 – January 2015). The exhibit was accompanied by four sculptures, constructed with iron wire and pool noodles, created by exhibit coordinator Brian Theroux’s Environmental Studies seniors. Three small sculptures for ubiquitin, insulin, and lysozyme are hanging at the base of the center staircase in the FAC lobby. A larger sculpture of deoxyhaemoglobin is hanging on the opposite end of the lobby.

Pictures from both events are posted on Facebook.

Since its beginnings in an art gallery at Rutgers University, the show has been hosted around the world including Texas A&M University, EMBL-Hamburg, Germany; University of Wisconsin-Madison; California State University, Fullerton; Purdue University; and Hyderabad, India. The exhibit toured mostly between 2002-2007, with recent iterations in Egypt (2013) and Paris (2014).  The current exhibit includes images from the original Art of Science show along with new works inspired by important Molecule of the Month topics, structures studied by students at ARL, and IYCr.

McPherson College is a four-year liberal arts college in McPherson, Kansas, United States. It was chartered in 1887 by the leaders of the Church of the Brethren. The college provides a career-oriented liberal arts education. Art of Science was coordinated by Jonathan Frye, Chair of the Department of Natural Science.

Delbarton is an independent college preparatory school administered by the Benedictine monks of St. Mary's Abbey in the monastic tradition of a strong liberal arts education.

For additional details about this show, please contact