I am imbued with some special spirit. It’s not a religious feeling at all. It is a shocking eruption of great electrical energy: I feel vivid and flashing as if suddenly I had been plugged into some great cosmic electromagnetic field. I feel connected to all living things, to flowers, birds, to all the animals of the world and even to some great unseen living force, what I think the Hindus call prana. It is not a breakdown. I have never felt so orderly in my life! It is a shattering and beautiful sensation! It is the exalted flow of the space-time continuum, save that it is spaceless and timeless and of such loveliness! I feel on the verge of some great ultimate truth.
—Paddy Chayefsky, Network (1976)
Solutions for ennui
Packed Like Protein Sardines
A couple weeks ago I gave you a quick and dirty lesson in how cells are not the neatly ordered bags of water that textbooks make them out to be. Now Harvard’s BioVisions and XVIVO animation bring us this amazing look at the crowded protein pandemonium inside every bit of you.
It’s kind of overwhelming, with all that Brownian twitching and enzymatic oscillation, eh? So overwhelming, in fact, that the only structures I could recognize by sight were the
myosin V walking down an actin filamentkinesin on a microtubule walking like a drunk with a shaky step, and some clathrin cages vibrating themselves in and out of vesicle formation. Recognize anything else?
Even if you have zero idea what’s going on, this is a beautiful look at a world beyond sight, informed by decades of study in protein structures and biophysics, and translated into a beautiful combination of sights and sounds. Enjoy this scientific journey!