notes of a protein crystallographer
The protein crystallographer taking 'Notes' at the memorial for the execution of M. Servet (Spanish doctor burned at the
stake in 1553) in Geneva, Switzerland. Original photo courtesy of R. Recacha and collage by J. Frye and J. Sukowski.
The title of this section corresponds to my activities as a science writer (communicator). I am member of the National Association of Science Writers and I do think that this part of my 'personal' activity fills a very important niche in my professional life. See also the section 'Bernal's Picasso', where you can find examples of my science communication activities using plays to convey 'scientific drama' and ideas to the lay public.
Notes of a protein crystallographer is a generic title for the essays and brief articles that I have been writing for a few years under this general heading. They appeared first in the Newsletter of the Protein Data Bank, when it was headed by Dr. Joel Sussman and was located at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Long Island New York. Later on, some of these essays have appeared in other professional publications of the macromolecular crystallography community, mainly Acta Crystallographica and Structure. Some early ones were adapted and included in the book 'Crystals and Life', also discussed in this website. I still write them but due to the lack of time, or venue, they are not a regular feature but rather, I prepare them when an issue (or event) primes and provokes my writing muse. Typically also, a shorter or more condensed essay with the same title appeared in the Newsletter of the American Crystallographic Association (ACA) soon thereafter. If you wish to read a brief note, consult the ACA newsletter. If you would like to consult a more scholarly essay, you can find full references in the ACA article. Otherwise, search for the article in the publications above.
This section also contains links and copies of the articles that I have written related to communicating the sciences of macromolecular structure, evolution, X-ray crystallography, Synchrotron radiation to the public. They have typically appeared in El Pais, the widely circulated Spanish newspaper.
I have considered converting or continuing these essays with a regular blog but my writing style prefers (at least for this section) the reflective, well-documented, essay rather that the rapid, almost knee-jerk reflex that is more appropriate for a blog.
Some blog entries can be found in the blog www.crystaledges.org within this website.
If you have further interest in this area of my activities, or wish to have some article, material or piece written, do not hesitate to contact me at the addresses given in the contact tab.
Articles in English
This essay is another example of my writing in matters related to science and its relationship to the Arts, Philosophy and other aspects of human culture. I invite you browse this section and find other essays. They have been published in technical journals such as Acta Crystallographica, Structure, the Newsletter of the American Crystallographic Association (ACA) and others. Here is the link to the Fourier essay:
This essay is dedicated to the memory of my dear friend from our college days, Prof. Antonio Castellanos Mata who sadly passed away in 2016. You can find more about him in the crystaledges.org blog within this website (http://crystaledges.org/tribute-to-a-friend/).
Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Abad-Zapatero C, Champness EJ & Segall M. Alternative variables in drug discovery: promises and challenges. Future Med. Chem. 6(5), 577-593.
- Acta Crystallographica Section D: Biological Crystallography, 2014, Volume D70, pages 907-911
- Notes of a Protein Crystallographer: The Molecular Structure of Evolutionary Theory. C. Abad-Zapatero, (2009). Acta Cryst D65. 1341-1349)
- A Sorcerer’s apprentice and The Rule of Five: from rule-of-thumb to commandment and beyond
- Notes of a protein crystallographer: quo vadis structural biology? by Cele Abad-Zapatero. Acta Cryst. (2007) D63, 660-664.
- Homage to Prof. M.G. Replacement: A Celebration of Structural Biology at Purdue University. Structure (2006) 13: 845-848.
- Notes of a protein crystallographer: My Nights with ACTOR by Cele Abad-Zapatero. Acta Cryst. (2005) D61, 1432-1435.
- Notes of a Protein Crystallographer: Our Unsung Heroes. Structure (2004), Vol. 12, 523–527.
Articles in Spanish
Early Gothic window of the temple of the Antigua in Valladolid, Spain. This early window is more like an 'oculus' (literally an eye) than a full fledged rose window. Yet their design an execution are elegant in their simplicity. The circular planar symmetry group is 8 mm (Personal collection of the author, courtesy of his friend of college days Ignacio Hernando).
There are over 1,000 stained glass windows to contemplate and enjoy at www.therosewindow.com
|Cover illustration of the March issue of Acta Crystallographica D: 'Symmetrical merging' of the South rose window of the Gothic cathedral of Burgos in Northern Spain combined with the high symmetry axis view of the cylindrical enclosure (vault) formed by the major vault protein (MVP) from rat liver. Cathedral windows are magnificent examples of planar circular symmetry that are iconic representations of the cosmic view of the Middle Ages. Highly symmetrical atomic objects are frequent in biological structures, representing an atomic view of the biological microcosmos.
Further details and discussion are given in the essay by C. Abad-Zapatero on p. 907. The images are from the author's personal collection and from T. Tsukihara and H. Tanaka, respectively.
ACA Newsletter, examples.
If you have interest in further information on other issues of the ACA Newsletter see link.
Example of a Reflective Essay:
- “From altar boy to sorcerer’s apprentice: a personal journey of
Dr. Celerino Abad-Zapatero (UIC, USA) [ see flyer ]
Articles about me or my work
Other Essays in Various Publications
Crystallography Reviews, Vol. 13, No. 3, July–September 2007, 1–4
Book reviews: A parable of electronic hobbits and humans. Crystallography Reviews, Vol. 13, No. 3, July–September 2007, 1–4. Book review of 'Live-Net' by D. M. Blow. 2005. Edward Gaskell publishers. Printed by Lazarus Press. Bideford. Devon EX39 3DX. Pgs. 126. Isbn 1-898546-75-4
Author: DAVID M. BLOW.
2005. Edward Gaskell publishers
Printed by Lazarus Press
Devon EX39 3DX. pgs. 126