Author Brian Fuglestad explains the featured cover of the July 3 issue of Biophysical Journal. The cover image is from the article, The Dynamic Structure of Thrombin in Solution, by authors Brian Fuglestad, Paul M. Gasper, Marco Tonelli, J. Andrew McCammon, Phineus R. L. Markwick, and Elizabeth A. Komives.
Featured on the cover is an image of the Accelerated Molecular Dynamics calculated ensemble of thrombin that best recapitulated experimental Residual Dipolar Coupling data, with a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectrum in the background. The protein image was created in PyMOL and the spectrum in Sparky. The field of protein structure and dynamics lends itself well to artistic images in science, and this image in particular was inspired by the large degree of motion exhibited by thrombin in the study. In keeping with the theme of action and motion, I chose a style reminiscent of comic book illustrations. The addition of the background spectrum serves to highlight the combination of computational and experimental approaches used to explore the behavior of thrombin in solution. It is a great honor to have this image chosen as the Biophysical Journal cover, and I hope it serves to emphasize the stunning visual aspect of protein structure and dynamics.