Molecule World

A few years ago, when the iPhone first came out, I fell in love with an app called "Molecules."  It was easy to use, the images were lovely, and I thought manipulating molecules by touch could help solve some of the problems my students had with using Cn3D. 

I was all set to switch.  

But I couldn't.  When it came to teaching, I needed features that Molecules just didn't have.  

To make a long story short, we had an SBIR grant from National Science Foundation and the good fortune to work with Molecules' developer and another brilliant engineer to make a new app called ... Read more

Sandra Porter, Austin Community College and Digital World Biology LLC, Seattle, WA

Our bioinformatics course at Austin Community College focuses on basic concepts and techniques.  Students learn how to search databases, use molecular models, apply sequence analysis tools, and characterize genetic variation.  Although bioinformatics provides us with interesting real-life examples to study, our abilities are limited when it comes to finding student projects that include opportunities to make new discoveries.  We don’t have a lab and we’re not able to generate our own data, so we rely ... Read more

April 25th (4/25) is national DNA day. Digital World Biology™ celebrates by sharing some of our favorite DNA structures. We created these photos with Molecule World™ Molecule World is a tools for exploring molecular and chemical structures on an iPhone or iPad. Read more

TM. Smith, SG. Porter. Digital World Biology® LLC, Seattle, WA. @finchtalk, @moleculeworld  

It is impossible to grasp fundamental concepts of genetic variation without understanding the relationship between sequence, structure, and function. In response to nearly two hundred interviews with KI12 and college teachers and students, we created the Molecule WorldTM iPad and iPhone apps to display 3D-data from multiple structure databases (MMDB, PDB, and PubChem). Molecule World employs a novel rendering engine that allows us to convey depth, and uniquely highlight chemical properties ... Read more

by Sandra Porter

We feel interesting and sometimes painful sensations when capsaicin, from chilis, and the allyl isothiocyantes from wasabi,bind to receptors in our mouths. In this article, we look at the structures that communicate information to the cell. How do they tell the cell that capsaicin or wasabi compounds are bound? Read more

We've been fans of the Molecule of the Month series by David Goodsell, for many years. Not only is Dr. Goodsell a talented artist but he writes very clear descriptions of the ways molecules like proteins, RNA, and DNA work together and function inside a cell.

To learn about proteins and their activities, I like to go directly to the Molecule of the Month page, where I can find a list of articles organized by molecule type and name.  Many of these articles can also be downloaded in a PDF format.

A really nice of his articles is that he ... Read more

by Sandra Porter

National DNA Day has a fun challenge for teachers and classrooms using Pinterest. Your class can join a larger, national, effort to create a National DNA Day Pinterest board by making your own class Pinterest board on DNA, genetics, and genomics.

Some possible topics are:

  • Things to do with DNA
  • DNA and health
  • DNA and the Arts
  • DNA in the News

We're really excited about the topic on DNA and the Arts!

Here's how you can make some lovely DNA Art images for your Pinterest board in  ... Read more

Todd M. Smith, Sandra, G. Porter, Ditigal World Biology LLC. Seattle WA. 

It is impossible to grasp fundamental concepts in biology without understanding the relationship between sequence, structure, and function. Modern data collection technologies are creating enormous data resources that can be used to help students’ understand these relationships, but currently are underutilized. This is due to the fact that easy-to-use tools that meet teachers’ needs for clear instruction and data visualization are not yet commonplace. Filling the gap between the embarrassment of data riches ... Read more

A real family, struggling with a history of breast cancer provides the back story for this compelling lesson on genetic testing in the Bio-ITEST Genetic Testing curriculum strand.  We recently updated lesson 5 for students using Molecule World. This video shows how we used the Molecule World iPad app to locate a mutation site and see how the cancer-causing mutation affects the BRCA1 protein.

... Read more

This video shows how we used the Molecule World iPad app to make an image of a folded insulin peptide. Protein folding brings the amino acid at the beginning of the protein chain near the amino acid at the other end.

Read more