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


Professor David Stuart studies the structure of viruses at the molecular level. His work is particularly focused on virus-receptor interaction and the basic puzzles of virus assembly, and he uses a range of structural biology methods to answer these questions.

Part 3: Advanced technology

Cutting edge structural biology research is paving the way for a new vaccine for foot and mouth disease, which could revolutionise farming on a global scale.

The Diamond Light Source in Oxfordshire is essentially an ultra-bright, high-powered microscope that allows biologists to study the exact three-dimensional structure of a protein one billionth of the size of a pinhead!

In just a few hours at Diamond, scientists can get enough information to determine the atomic structure of a complex structure, such as an empty model of a virus shell for the development of vaccines. This is just one example of how advanced X-ray technology can lead to improved drug design for the future.

But where to from here? Find out more in our Part 4: A new age of drug discovery


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.