Présentement aucune image
Les Architectes du vivant
Jean-François Ternay
1998 - 14 min - Vidéo - Couleur - France

Proteins are macromolecules that are the basis of the cell function of living organisms. In order to know their functions, it is indispensable to know their structure since their form conditions their functions.
X-ray diffraction crystallography is a technique that allows us to visualise molecular structures. The crystals, lit by a beam of X-rays, provide a diagram of diffraction that allows us to reconstitute the image of the molecule.
The source of X-rays used is the synchrotron radiation emitted by particle accelerators. One of the main applications of the study of proteins is the development of medicines. Knowing the form of the active zone of a molecule makes it possible to synthesise the inhibitors which, entering this zone, block its function : in this way it is possible to inhibit the functions that are indispensable for the survival of viruses.


Distributor : CNRS Images