Revolutionary Biology

Revolutionary Biology

NDM celebrates the International Year of Crystallography. Our documentary series Revolutionary Biology explains how the field of structural biology has developed over the past 100 years, Oxford’s involvement in that development, and where we go from here!

Part 1: The building blocks of life

Part 2: The history of structural biology

Part 3: Advanced technology

Part 4: A new age of drug discovery


Michael Glazer is Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Oxford and Vice President of the International Union of Crystallography. His field of research is in crystallography, with a particular focus on the relationship between crystal structures and physical properties.

Georgina Ferry is a science writer and wrote the first biography of Dorothy Hodgkin.

Part 2: The history of structural biology

Understanding the function of a protein is an important step toward finding out why the body succumbs to disease – but how do scientists find proteins and figure out how they work?

By determining the 3D structure of a protein, structural biologists can learn more about how proteins work and how our cells interact.

2014 marks the centenary of the discovery of X-ray crystallography, which is one of the most successful and widely used techniques for finding the 3D structure of a protein.

But what was Oxford’s role in the development of this technique? Find out more in our Part 3: Advanced technology


There is a chicken hidden in each of the Revolutionary Biology videos. It is either a photo of a chicken, a real animal, or the word chicken mentioned during the film.
Watch all four Revolutionary Biology films and tell us where the chickens appear in each film to win a prize.