Webb lab – Reactions in the test tube
078: Webb lab – Reactions in the test tube
Created by Liisa Tellervo Chisty
The canvas depicts an image of a biochemical reaction taking place in a test-tube, an Eppendorf, which has been embroidered in its original size. In a biochemistry lab, as in so many other wet labs, Eppendorf tubes are one of the many everyday items used. From the test-tube emerges a single blue thread of single-stranded DNA that wraps around the single-stranded DNA binding protein (SSB), which is embroidered using green multi-colour thread (left hand side, bottom corner). SSB protects the highly reactive single-stranded DNA while the DNA is processed as a part of many biological processes taking place in the cell. In this reaction, the single–stranded DNA is a result of double-stranded DNA unwinding by a molecular motor, a helicase (globular protein in orange thread) that uses ATP hydrolysis to move along the DNA. The right hand side top corner zooms into the structure of DNA double helix (pastel colour thread) showing its intricate and ingenious structure. To observe the reaction, the SSB protein has been modified with a fluorophore that signals SSB binding to single-stranded DNA.