Molecule of the Month
January 2021


In bacteria, ribosomes start building proteins as messenger RNA is being transcribed


3D View:  6x9q




Health Focus: Drugs and the Brain

The brain orchestrates everything we do, sending signals through the nervous system to control different parts of our body. The brain is also the home of our thoughts and consciousness, as neurons process the input from our senses and store what they find as memories. Many drugs are available to help tune the function of the brain and nervous system when there are problems. Unfortunately, the effects of some drugs are hard to control and can lead to abuse and addiction. Explore PDB-101 Resources to learn about proteins related to our nervous system and mental health.

2021 Video Challenge for High School Students

Molecular Mechanisms of Drugs for Mental Disorders

Entries for the Video Challenge can be submitted now until April 27, 11:59 pm PST. Award winners will be announced on May 18.

Quick Links

The Challenge | Submit | Learn | Participate

2020 Video Challenge key visual: opioid receptor with ligand in the active site
Celebrating 50 Years of Protein Data Bank
Celebrating 50 Years of Protein Data Bank

In 1971, the structural biology community established the single worldwide archive for macromolecular structure data–-the Protein Data Bank (PDB). In 2021, RCSB PDB and wwPDB are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the PDB with symposia, materials, and more.

Learn: Materials for Exploration
PDB-101 resources and 3D structures of COVID-19 proteins.
Teach: Curricula
The RCSB PDB Curricula provide authentic, hands-on teaching materials, individual and group activities and assessment suggestions.
Education Corner: Using PDB Resources
2020 ACA Transactions Symposium on Structural Science: New Ways to Teach the Next Generation by Cassandra Eagle (East Tennessee State University), Joe Tanski (Vassar College), Andrey Yakovenko, (Argonne National Laboratory), and Christine Zardecki (RCSB PDB).
SciArt Galleries
Irving Geis (1908-1997) was a gifted artist who helped illuminate the field of structural biology with his iconic images. The Geis Digital Archive features many of his illustrations in the context of their molecular structures.

Images used with permission from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute ( All rights reserved.

Lysozyme (512)

DPG-Hemoglobin Complex


Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)




Intermolecular Contacts in Hemoglobin S

Cytochrome c

Aspartate Transcarbamoylase (ATCase)


Ribonuclease S



Carboxypeptidase A

Cytochrome c (unbound)

Immunoglobulin G (IgG)

Tomato Bushy Stunt Virus (TBSV)

Lac Repressor

Induced Lac Repressor

Hemoglobin (1000)


TATA-Binding Protein (TBP)



Lysozyme (488)

Myoglobin Fold



Hemoglobin S

Transfer Ribonucleic Acid (tRNA)

The Molecular Landscapes by David S. Goodsell integrate information from structural biology, microscopy and biophysics to simulate detailed views of the molecular structure of living cells.

Illustrations are free for use under a CC-BY-4.0 license

Respiratory Droplet

SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccine

Coronavirus Life Cycle

Biosites: Nucleus

Biosites: Muscle

Ebola Virus

Escherichia coli

SARS-CoV-2 Fusion


Biosites: Cytoplasm


Zika Virus

Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses

HIV in Blood Plasma


Measles Virus Proteins

Insulin Action

SARS-CoV-2 and Neutralizing Antibodies

Poliovirus Neutralization

Lipid Droplets

Immunological Synapse

Mycoplasma mycoides

Influenza Vaccine

Biosites: Basement Membrane

Biosites: Red Blood Cell


Biosites: Blood Plasma