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Contact: Faith Singer-Villalobos
University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center

Spontaneous Assembly

Caption: The visualization depicts the inner workings of a bacterial cell infected with the Phage Phi29. Collections of bacterial ribosomes (also called polysomes) are busily manufacturing the proteins that constitute the exterior shell and tail assembly of the bacteriophage. The pineapple shaped shell (nucleocapsid) made of proteins and which houses its genome, as well as the macro-protein tail unit spontaneously self-assembly inside the bacterium before bursting through to infect other bacterium hosts and continue its life cycle. The colors on the nucleocapsid additionally depict the locally symmetric packing and arrangement of a single individual protein and its clever use in tiling the larger oval shaped nucleocapsid shell.

Credit: Collective members of the Center for Computational Visualization, Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin. The Texas Advanced Computing Center with access computed the big data electron microscopy processing and the generation of macromolecular models.

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