BPoD has moved!

BPoD has recently changed our domain name - we can now be found at bpod.org.uk

Please update your bookmarks!

Now in our 13th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Search the archive of over 4000 images

18 July 2017

Spinning Spider Proteins

Tarantula spider proteins have helped scientists to understand for the first time how genetic changes in heart muscle cause different forms of cardiomyopathy, one of the most common causes of heart failure and sudden death in otherwise healthy young people. At first glance, hairy eight-legged spiders appear to have little in common with people. But some of the proteins that make up a spider’s muscles are similar to those in our own bodies, including our hearts. Researchers chose to study spider proteins because it allowed them to explore their 3D structure and how they interact with their neighbours in much greater detail than is possible with human models. They focused on the muscle protein myosin. Here, different parts of myosin are shown in different colours. Coloured dots indicate mutations that block it from interacting with other proteins, which in turn stops the heart from relaxing, and can cause cardiomyopathy.

Read more on this story here.

Written by Deborah Oakley

Published in eLife, June 2017

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

Follow on Tumblr

Follow on Instagram

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.