Proteins Park Free in this Helix

An artist's rendition and an EM photograph showing the helical nature of the structure.

Caption: Protein-making factories in cells resemble a helical parking garage.
Credit: Cell, Terasaki et al.

I simply couldn’t resist sharing this image with you, even though the NIH didn’t fund the research. What you see in this picture is a structure called the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)—a protein-producing factory that is present in every single cell in your body. The little nubs on the surface of this membranous structure are ribosomes—they produce the proteins that are then modified in the ER. Continue reading