[Molvis-list] Movies of macromolecules in action

Eric Martz emartz at microbio.umass.edu
Mon Dec 12 17:23:28 EST 2005

Phillip McClean and Christina Johnson at North Dakota State University have 
produced some highly educational short movies that help to appreciate the 
connections between molecular structure, functional macromolecular 
assemblies, and the cell, as well as to understand the key principles of 
some biochemical processes. They are available free at

These movies introduce proton gradients and ATP synthesis, cellular 
respiration (electron transport chain), protein transport (mitochondrial), 
transcription, mRNA processing, mRNA splicing, translation, and lac operon 

The movies are narrated with clear and nicely paced explanations, and 
component "players" are labeled. Molecules, complexes, and organelles are 
presented in schematic simplification, enabling the key points to be 
appreciated without being lost in unnecessary visual complexity. Each movie 
tells a story that integrates biochemical, genetic, and cellular processes. 
There are presently eight movies, each about three minutes in length. The 
movies are appropriate for grades 7-12, college, or post-graduate levels, 
having sufficient simplicity yet sufficient detail to intrigue viewers at 
all these levels.

The movies play in Windows Media Player in both Windows and Mac OSX

Right click on the movie, then select Zoom, Full Screen.

A link to these movies will be found in the K12 category under Virtual Cell 
Animation Collection at http://molvisindex.org

Eric Martz, Professor Emeritus, Dept Microbiology
University of Massachusetts, Amherst MA US

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