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Architects of life

Series : Côté science

  • Description
  • Storyboard
  00:14:00  1998  SD 4/3  Color  Sound

Proteins are macromolecules at the basis of the cell functions of living organisms. To know their functions, one must know their structure for the shape is closely related to the function.
Using X-rays cristallography it is possible to visualize molecular structures. When an organic molecule in solution evaporate, a crystal deposit is formed. The crystals, lighted by an X-rays beam, produce a diffraction pattern which is used to reconstruct the structure of the molecule.
The source for X-rays is the synchrotron radiation produced by a particle accelerator.
A possible application of the study of protein 3D structure is the design of medications. The knowledge of the active zone of a molecule is used to synthetize an inhibitor. This inhibitor, penetrating the active zone, suppress the function and can for example kill a virus who need this particular function to survive.

Producer : CSICNRS AV
Executive producer : CNRS AV
Director : TERNAY Jean-François (CNRS AV, UPS CNRS, Meudon)
Audiovisual processReal shots. Use of stock films.
Voice over and interviews (live sound). Music.
PersonnalitiesFOURME Roger(LURE, CNRS); CHAMBON Pierre(Collège de France); CAMBILLAU Christian(CNRS); PETROFF Yves(ESRF); MONTAGNIER Luc(CNRS); STEHELIN Dominique(CNRS)
Date of broadcasting23/08/2004 (France 5)
Technical Sheet
Item No.315
PublicLarge audience
Original Supportvideo Beta SP
VersionFrench ; English
DistributionSale (private use), Sale (institutionnal use)
Delivery supportBeta SP
Ark Identifier