Video Challenge 2019
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Mechanisms of
Bacterial Resistance
to Aminoglycoside Antibiotics

2019 RCSB PDB Video Challenge for High School Students


Antibiotics are prescribed for treatment of bacterial infections, and work by inhibiting proteins involved in the bacterial life cycle. Aminoglycosides are a class of antibiotics that bind to bacterial ribosomes and interfere with the protein synthesis process. The first aminoglycoside antibiotic, streptomycin, was discovered in 1940s and proved crucial in treatment of tuberculosis. Since then many other aminoglycoside antibiotics were developed and are used for treating diseases such as bacterial meningitis, gonorrhea, serious skin and bone infections, and many more.

Due to misuse and overuse of antibiotics, bacteria have developed resistance mechanisms that can inactivate all antibiotics, allowing resistant bacteria to thrive and spread from organism to organism, causing one of the greatest public health threats in recent decades.1

In many cases, the misuse and overuse of antibiotics is caused by the lack of knowledge how antibiotics work and how bacteria become resistant. Your role is to make a video that helps the viewers understand the action of antibiotics on the molecular level and how bacteria become resistant so that they can make informed decisions regarding their own antibiotics usage.

2019 Challenge

In this challenge, we ask you to tell a story that communicates:

  1. The molecular changes that occur in bacteria that help them to become resistant to aminoglycoside antibiotics using relevant 3D protein structures.

    Videos should include a general introduction the biological function of ribosomes, a short description of how antibiotics affect the ribosomes, and a segment devoted to one of the aspects of the bacterial resistance:

    • Inactivation of the antibiotics via aminoglycoside modifying enzymes
    • Modifications of ribosomes by methyltransferases
    • Extraction of antibiotics from the bacterial cells via multidrug resistant efflux pumps
  2. The dangerously high level of antibiotic resistance caused by misuse and overuse of antibiotics. Explain how viewers might be affected, and what they can do prevent it.

Use the Learn section for background information and access relevant 3D structures and additional resources. Use the Participate section for instructions on video creation.

A PDF flyer describing this challenge is available for download and distribution.

Video Requirements

A qualifying entry should:

  • Tell a 2 minute long, coherent story that incorporates molecular and public health components
  • Have a title that represents the video's story
  • Include a picture or animation of a protein from the Protein Data Bank (PDB) archive related to the topic. Example structures with visualization resources are included in the Learn section in Table 1, Table 2, Table 3, and Table 4
  • The story part of the video should not exceed 2 minutes
  • Included narration must be at natural speed, not artificially sped up
  • The end credits can run in addition to the 2 minutes allotted for storytelling. Credits should include the references to all research materials, citations of the PDB structures shown, and image and sound credits
  • The video should end with the PDB-101 branding slide

The target audience

  • Imagine you are teaching the content to another high school student, who has overall knowledge of biology similar to you, but they have not studied the antibiotic resistance in great depth.


All students enrolled in any high school in the United States and equivalent level home-schooled students are eligible to participate in groups comprising from 1 to 4 students. Each participant has to submit the Permission Form in order to be eligible to win the challenge.

Important Dates

Submission Opens January 15, 2019
Submission Closes April 23, 2019 at 11:59 pm PST
Judging April 30 - May 7, 2019
Results Award winners will be announced at and on May 14, 2019.


All qualifying entries will be eligible to win one or more of the following:

Judge's Award

A panel of expert judges will review the videos. All qualified entries will be judged on the following criteria (see the detailed description of each criterion):

  • Story Telling 20%
  • Quality of Science Communication 30%
  • Quality of Public Health Message 10%
  • Originality and Creativity 20%
  • Quality of Production 10%
  • Proper Accreditation 10%

The top three entries will be recognized on,, and in an upcoming RCSB PDB Newsletter.

Viewer's Choice Award

As voted by the viewers.


  1. O'Neill J. Antimicrobial resistance: tackling a crisis for the health and wealth of nations. 2014. Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, London, United Kingdom