Analogies in 3D molecular visualisations: development of a cell biology animation ‘How cells move – a new interpretation of old data’

Kadir, S. R., Insall, R. H. , Moffatt, G., McGhee, J. and Livingstone, D. (2020) Analogies in 3D molecular visualisations: development of a cell biology animation ‘How cells move – a new interpretation of old data’. Journal of Visual Communication in Medicine, 43(1), pp. 35-46. (doi: 10.1080/17453054.2019.1671814) (PMID:31642358)

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Abstract

Cell biology and imaging technology have vastly improved over the past decades, enabling scientists to dissect the inner workings of a cell. In addition to technical limits on spatial and temporal resolution, which obscure the picture at the molecular level, the sheer density and complexity of information impede clear understanding. 3D molecular visualisation has therefore blossomed as a way to translate molecular data in a more tangible form. Whilst the molecular machinery involved in cell locomotion has been extensively studied, existing narratives describing how cells generate the forces that drive movement remain unclear. Polymerisation of a protein called actin is clearly essential. The general belief in the cell migration field is that actin polymerisation’s main role is to push the leading edge of the cell forwards, while the rest of the cell follows passively. The cell migration & chemotaxis group at the CRUK Beatson Institute propose an alternative hypothesis, in which actin filaments constitute cables. Motor proteins pull on these cables, causing them to behave like the treads of a tank and drive cell movement. This article describes the development of a 3D animation that uses analogical reasoning to contrast the ‘tank’ hypothesis for cell locomotion with the current dogma.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Visual Arts and Performing Arts, Health Professions (miscellaneous)
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Insall, Professor Robert and Kadir, Dr Shereen
Authors: Kadir, S. R., Insall, R. H., Moffatt, G., McGhee, J., and Livingstone, D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cancer Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Visual Communication in Medicine
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN:1745-3054
ISSN (Online):1745-3062
Published Online:23 October 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Institute of Medical Illustrators
First Published:First published in Journal of Visual Communication in Medicine 43(1):35-46
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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