I had a great time over Halloween at PDB40 at Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory, celebrating 40 years of protein structure. I especially like the talks from older structural biologist about the history of structural biology. It’s amazing to see the difficulties the early structural biologists overcame to solve and analyze proteins, as well as how far we’ve come since Kendrew solved the first protein structure in 1958. Still, I feel a little sad that I missed the days when proteins were solved like this:

John Kendrew with model of myoglobin in progress. © MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
A Richards Box, which used mirrors to visually overlay a Kendrew model on top of hand-drawn electron density maps. This public domain image comes from Protopedia and depicts Fred Richards' original box.

and diagrams of proteins were works of art:

Ribbon schematic (hand drawn & colored, in 1981) of the 3D structure of the protein triose phosphate isomerase. The barrel of 8 beta-strands is shown by green arrows and the 8 alpha-helices as brown spirals. By Jane Richardson.

I presented an updated poster with my work on Fold-space [PDF, 3.3MB].


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