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chromatophore 'Birth of Planet Earth'

image size: 621.3KB
made with VMD

Sunlight powers life on Earth. This basic fact has been known since ancient times and retold many times in many cultures. Today, scientists understand the means through which light powers life at atomistic detail, as a chain of processes climbing scales from electronic interactions to cooperation between proteins to cell-scale integration of energy conversion. These processes have been illustrated in a recent video that was awarded the BEST SCIENTIFIC VISUALIZATION OF 2019 at the SC19 conference, Scientific Visualization & Data Analytics Showcase. The video is a joint production with the team of Donna Cox at NCSA and is based on a decade long collaborative effort with the experimental group of Neil Hunter and a lifetime research interest for Klaus Schulten. The underlying scientific investigation illustrated in the video was presented in 18 manuscripts over the past decade, from atomic scale structural modeling to organelle-scale and cell-scale integration of function. These modeling efforts also led to a molecular dynamics simulation of the chromatophore using NAMD, recently published in Cell. The video segment, produced with VMD, that won as the Best Scientific Visualization is an excerpt from the fulldome movie 'Birth of Planet Earth' released to planetariums worldwide by Spitz Creative Media. The oldest story of humanity — light powering life — coming soon to a theater near you.