Contact Tutorials Figures Animations

Welcome! We specialize in custom designed molecular animations (for stand-alone use or integrated into a molecular tour or tutorial) and interactive versions of print media molecular figures.

Animations & Tutorials

Looking for fully interactive, online animations? You've found them. Molecules in Motion has been providing animations of molecules in 3D that are scientifically accurate, beautiful, and clear for over 10 years. Our animations are being featured at the web sites of leading textbooks and journals, in films, and on television. Custom design is our specialty.

Interacting with our animations is as easy as clicking the mouse. Just click and drag to rotate in 3D, click and SHIFT-drag to zoom.

What are Proteins? View Animation
Composed of twenty different building blocks called amino acids, proteins are the most versatile molecules in biology. Three different proteins illustrate common structural elements of proteins despite their very different functions.

OpsinsView Animation
Take a tour of the proteins that enable the photoreceptor cells of the eye to detect light. Developed with Bruce Patterson of the University of Arizona.

Custom Animation Design

Our custom animations are suitable for web delivery, film or video. They have appeared on the National Geographic Channel and in the documentary film, "Flock of Dodos", as supplements to textbooks including Lehninger's Principles of Biochemistry, Stryer's Biochemistry and others. They can be used for supplementing research publications, teaching, presentations, 3D illustration, or any eye-catching purpose you have in mind. For more information, contact us.

Interactive 3D Figures

Journal Figures Come to Life in 3D

Molecules in Motion figures appear in select Biochemical Journal Reviews. Each interactive, animated figure opens with an exact replica of a print figure in the review, and is supplemented with a control panel to explore the structure at will.

Animation of IRP1 conformational change
Regulation of cellular iron metabolism
Jian Wang and Kostas Pantopoulos
Biochem. J. (2011) 434 (365-381)

Compare 7 exocyst subunit structures
Cell polarity during motile processes: keeping on track with the exocyst complex
Maud Hertzog and Philippe Chavrier
Biochem. J. (2011) 433 (403-409)

CUB domain architecture; zoom in to calcium-binding domain
Structure and properties of the Ca2+-binding CUB domain, a widespread ligand-recognition unit involved in major biological functions
Christine Gaboriaud at al.
Biochem. J. (2011) 439 (185-193)

Trimeric and monomeric structure of a glutamate transporter The role of amino acid transporters in inherited and acquired diseases
Stefan Bröer and Manuel Palacín
Biochem. J. (2011) 436 (193-211)

Protein-protein interfaces of Mediator complexes
Gene-specific transcription activation via long-range allosteric shape-shifting
Chung-Jung Tsai and Ruth Nussinov

Compare TB, Hybrid and cbEGF domains
TB domain proteins: evolutionary insights into the multifaceted roles of fibrillins and LTBPs
Ian Robertson, Sacha Jensen and Penny Handford
Biochem. J. (2011) 433 (263-276)

High resolution acyl-ACP structure
Current understanding of fatty acid biosynthesis and the acyl carrier protein
David I. Chan and Hans J. Vogel
Biochem. J. (2010) 430 (1-19)

Bone morphogenetic protein and growth differentiation factor cytokine families and their protein antagonists
Christopher C. Rider and Barbara Mulloy
Biochem. J. (2010) 429 (1-12)
Figure 3 Structures of BMP antagonists

Complexes between photoactivated rhodopsin and transducin: progress and questions
B. Jastrzebska, Y. Tsybovsky and K. Palczewski
Biochem. J. (2010) 428 (1-10)
Figure 2 Possible organization of the Rho*-Gt complex in ROS membranes

PRH/Hex: an oligomeric transcription factor and multifunctional regulator of cell fate.
A. Soufi and P.-S. Jayaraman
3D Figure

Structural biology of plasmid partition: uncovering the molecular mechanisms of DNA segregation. M.A. Schumacher
3D Figure

The Hsp90 molecular chaperone: an open and shut case for treatment. L.H. Pearl, C. Prodromou and P. Workman
3D Figure

The histidine phosphatase superfamily: structure and function. D.J. Rigden
3D Figure

Two independent routes of de novo vitamin B6 biosynthesis: not that different after all. T.B. Fitzpatrick, N. Amrhein, B. Kappes, P. Macheroux, I. Tews and T. Raschle
3D Figure

Na+/Ca2+ exchangers: three mammalian gene families control Ca2+ transport. J. Lytton
3D Figure

Structures and metal-ion-binding properties of the Ca2+-binding helix–loop–helix EF-hand motifs. J.L. Gifford, M.P. Walsh and H.J. Vogel
3D Figure

ACS Chemical Biology papers with Molecules in Motion 3D figures:

HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase Structure with RNase H Inhibitor Dihydroxy Benzoyl Naphthyl Hydrazone Bound at a Novel Site
Paper (requires subscription)

Mechanistic and Structural Basis of Stereospecific Cβ-Hydroxylation in Calcium-Dependent Antibiotic, a Daptomycin-Type Lipopeptide
Paper (requires subscription)

Structural Basis for High-Affinity Peptide Inhibition of Human Pin1
Paper (requires subscription)

3D Interactive Figures Comparison

Compare still figures and the interactive replicas, side-by-side.

Any molecular structure figure can be adapted for viewing in 3D on a web page. There is no need to install any software for viewing them. They appear in ordinary web pages.
View Example

For more information, view our flyer, or send an emai with your enquiry to


Chime Tutorials

Chime tutorials use an outdated technology and are available here for the die-hard Chime users out there.

To view Chime tutorials, you must use Netscape 4.5 - 4.7 (yikes!!) and have the Chime plug-in installed. Hundreds of Chime tutorials are still on the web, many accessible through the World Index of Molecular Visualization. For more information on Chime, visit MolviZ.Org.

Exploring DNA
An interactive tour for everyone - take a look around a DNA helix! Investigate its nooks and crannies by zooming in and out with the mouse, and turning it this way and that. Click on buttons to watch animations that show off important features of DNA. Includes a version translated to Italian.

DNA & the Double Helix
Designed for classroom presentations, illustrates the fundamentals of nucleotide and double helix structure.

DNA Binding Motifs
In order for the genetic code to be "read" correctly, proteins that attach themselves to DNA are essential. Here are three examples of themes (or "motifs") common to proteins that bind and regulate DNA: the zinc finger, helix-loop-helix, and leucine zipper. Use the buttons to change the colors and representations of the DNA and proteins-- see for yourself how the proteins cling to DNA. Lecture-ready: buttons are labelled with keywords.

Protein Secondary Structure 3.0
The alpha helix and beta sheet are explored in terms of stabilizing forces and interactions within proteins. Includes many hyperlinked definitions of biochemical terms, and questions for discussion. Also available as adapted by Worth Publishing at the Lehninger Biochemistry in 3D web site, where it includes an additional section on beta-turns. (Follow links to "Protein Architechture".) Lecture-ready versions of the alpha-helix and beta sheet are also available.

Protein Secondary Structure 2.0
An overview of the of stabilizing forces, hydrogen bonds, and hydrophobic interactions that characterize protein secondary structures.

Protein Secondary Structure 1.0
For presentation use in a classroom lecture. Movie buttons are labelled with key words instead of textual explanations. The movies allow time for an instructor to narrate.


Contact Molecules in Motion

Molecules in Motion is owned and operated by Frieda Reichsman, PhD. Feel free to email her for more information about any Molecules in Motion product, or with questions about any of our materials or technology:


What is Molecules in Motion?

At Molecules in Motion, research scientists, teachers, and students alike can explore and gain a rapid and deep understanding of molecular structure and function from interactive, rotatable 3D molecular structures. We design custom animations, too!


High praise for Molecules in Motion animations: “Protein Cinema…get a hands-on feel for how proteins work…packed with state-of-the-art interactive teaching models and movies.” (Science, Vol 288,  p.2091).

Five-star rating: MERLOT, the Multimedia Educational Resource for Online Learning and Teaching.


Technology is at its best when it works seamlessly. On a web page, that means nothing extra to download, nothing to install. That's why Molecules in Motion Animations and Interactive Figures use Jmol.

Animations & Interactive 3D Figures in Jmol. Most likely, you won't need to install any additional software to view our Animations and Interactive Figures. The 3D functionality is provided by the Jmol applet. Most computers are shipped with everything needed to utilize Jmol. If an additional download is needed, your browser will be redirected to Sun Microsystems to download the current Java software.

Chime Tutorials Chime is an old technology that was used extensively for 3D figures in the past. Our Chime tutorials remain available here for those who can still run the ancient browser, Netscape 4.5 - 4.7.

Copyright 2010 Frieda Reichsman

"Molecules in Motion" is the trademark of Frieda Reichsman