Article ID: CBB716141674

De la Cristalografía a la biología estructural, un siglo de descubrimientos (2015)

unapi

ABSTRACT From crystallography, the technique mostly used to study the structure of matter, the field mutated into structural biology, has mutated in life sciences into structural biology, which has been developed as an essential and rather successful area of research to fully understand the workings of cellular pathways. The application of physical approaches to biological systems has been crucial to comprehend the structure and function of the biological components of living organisms. In this assay the author walks the reader through the last century, which has witnessed how this life sciences research area was born and moved towards larger assemblies in the core of crucial biological problems. The influence of research in physics, biochemistry and molecular biology has been key in the successes and large body of seminal results obtained by structural biologists. The author proposes that the future of this area implies the integration of its results at the cellular level apart of using more quantitative approaches to describe biological processes. RESUMEN La cristalografía, la técnica más ampliamente usada para estudiar la estructura de la materia, ha evolucionado en las ciencias de la vida hacia la biología estructural, una exitosa área de investigación encaminada a comprender el funcionamiento de los procesos celulares. La aplicación de aproximaciones físicas a sistemas biológicos es clave para entender la estructura y funcionamiento de los componentes de los organismos. En este artículo el autor ofrece al lector un paseo por la evolución de esta área de conocimiento durante el siglo XX, desde su nacimiento hasta el análisis de grandes complejos macromoleculares, protagonistas importantes en diversos procesos biológicos. La influencia de investigaciones en física, bioquímica y biología molecular ha sido clave para los numerosos éxitos alcanzados por biólogos estructurales. El autor sostiene que el futuro de esta disciplina pasa por la integración de sus resultados a un nivel celular además de emplear metodologías más cuantitativas para la descripción de procesos biológicos.

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Authors & Contributors
Stura, Enrico A.
Sanz-Aparicio, Julia
Adams, Paul D.
Urzhumtsev, Alexandre
Abad-Zapatero, Celerino
Afonine, Pavel V.
Journals
Arbor: Ciencia, Pensamiento y Cultura
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
Philosophy of Science
Journal of the History of Biology
History of Science
Publishers
Prometheus
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT
Concepts
Microscopes, electron
X-ray crystallography
Microscopy
Biology
Crystallography
Molecular biology
People
Hodgkin, Dorothy Crowfoot
Ruska, Ernst
Robinson, Robert
Franklin, Rosalind
Croissant, Odile
Bragg, William Lawrence
Time Periods
20th century
20th century, early
20th century, late
Places
Germany
Delft (Netherlands)
Netherlands
Spain
Berlin (Germany)
Great Britain
Institutions
Siemens AG
Institut Pasteur, Paris
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