Our attention has been drawn over the past four months to the microscopic world of a previously unknown form of coronavirus. While experts know how the virus works, they initially knew little about the trajectory of the respiratory disease . The image of the virus, which is a representation rather than a photo, is probably universally recognised. The pandemic took me back to an earlier reflection on life, the universe and everything.

I was reminded of an amazing report I saw last year showing an animation and a description on how a bacterium gets around with a bionic motor. Viewing it again, I was reminded of another video I had seen on the web years ago of an animation, which was purported to show the function of a myosin molecule [ a protein whose main function lies in muscle contraction] in transporting endorphins around the brain, producing happiness. It was no such thing, which simple serves to underline the unreliability of much that is found on the web. The animation was of another class of transport proteins, kinesin, originally made to illustrate how proteins are transported around within a cell, in a Harvard University video called “The Inner Life of the Cell”.

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