Like a major city, our cells use a complex transportation network to deliver molecular goods to different destinations. This snapshot shows the cargo-carrying motor protein kinesin (blue) stopped along a special cellular track called a microtubule (gray). Kinesin is powered by a fuel molecule called ATP (bright yellow). When ATP attaches, the motor protein rocks up and down like a seesaw, scooting across the microtubule. Researchers only recently sequenced these steps by creating a blend of atomic models (ribbons) and 3-D maps (transparent surface). Since kinesin's movement helps support cell division, blocking its action could potentially derail cancer. Courtesy of biochemist Charles Sindelar, Brandeis University.
Look closely for an inscription honoring the late Warren DeLano, a pioneer in molecular visualization software.
Featured in the March 17, 2010, issue of Biomedical Beat.
Learn more in the extended caption published on LiveScience .