Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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Toyoshima

Visualizing the Relationship between Structure and Cellular Activity: Conversation with Chikashi Toyoshima, Professor at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, University of Tokyo; by Harry Kreisler; May 1, 2008

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes biophysicist Chikashi Toyoshima for a discussion of his remarkable achievement in capturing the first images of cellular activity as the calcium ion pump makes possible the contraction and relaxation of muscle tissue on a signal from the brain. Topics covered include: how structure determines process in cellular activity, the technical innovations required for this breakthrough in the biosciences, and why visualization is so important in understanding cellular processes. He also reflects on creativity in science and how the images he captured affected his understanding of humankind's place in the universe.

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