Illustrations for Public Use

These illustrations are provided for general use in oral presentations and classes. Please acknowledge me when you use the illustrations.

These illustrations are also available for publication in print or on the internet. Please include an acknowledgement such as: "Illustration by David S. Goodsell, the Scripps Research Institute."

All of the illustrations presented through the Molecule of the Month are also available for public use. High quality versions are available by clicking here.

Click on the small images to go to the high resolution images in tif format.

Mycoplasma mycoides

This illustration shows an entire mycoplasma cell. For more information, click on the image.
© David S. Goodsell 2011.

Escherichia coli

This illustration shows a cross-section of a small portion of an Escherichia coli cell. The cell wall, with two concentric membranes studded with transmembrane proteins, is shown in green. A large flagellar motor crosses the entire wall, turning the flagellum that extends upwards from the surface. The cytoplasmic area is colored blue and purple. The large purple molecules are ribosomes and the small, L-shaped maroon molecules are tRNA, and the white strands are mRNA. Enzymes are shown in blue. The nucleoid region is shown in yellow and orange, with the long DNA circle shown in yellow, wrapped around HU protein (bacterial nucleosomes). In the center of the nucleoid region shown here, you might find a replication fork, with DNA polymerase (in red-orange) replicating new DNA.
© David S. Goodsell 1999.


This illustration shows a cross-section through the blood, with blood serum in the upper half and a red blood cell in the lower half. In the serum, look for Y-shaped antibodies, long thin fibrinogen molecules (in light red) and many small albumin proteins. The large UFO-shaped objects are low density lipoprotein and the six-armed protein is complement C1. The red blood cell is filled with hemoglobin, in red. The cell membrane, in purple, is braced on the inner surface by long spectrin chains connected at one end to a small segment of actin filament.
© David S. Goodsell 2000.

HIV in Blood Serum

This illustration shows HIV (the large spherical object in red) under attack by the immune system. Small Y-shaped antibodies are binding to its surface.
© David S. Goodsell 1999.

Basement Membrane

This illustration shows a portion of basement membrane, a structure that forms the support between tissues in your body. It is composed of a network of collagen (yellow green), laminin (blue-green cross-shaped molecules), and proteoglycans (deep green, with three arms).

Blood Serum

Blood serum is shown in the picture, with many Y-shaped antibodies, large circular low density lipoproteins, and lots of small albumin molecules. The large fibrous structure at lower left is von Willebrand factor and the long molecules in red are fibrinogen, both of which are involved in blood clotting. The blue object is poliovirus.


A small portion of cytoplasm is shown, including three types of filaments that make up the cytoskeleton: a microtubule (the largest), an intermediate filament (the knobby one) and two actin filaments (the smallest ones). The large blue molecules are ribosomes, busy in their task of synthesizing proteins. The large protein at bottom center is a proteosome.


Part of a muscle sarcomere is shown here, with actin filaments in blue and myosin filaments in red. The long yellow proteins are the huge protein titin.


This view shows DNA being replicated in the nucleus. DNA polymerase is shown at the center in purple, with a DNA strand entering from the bottom and exiting as two strands towards the top. The new strands are shown in white. Chromatin fibers are shown at either site of the replication fork.

Red Blood Cell

A portion of a red blood cell is shown in this illustration, with the cell membrane at the top, and lots of hemoglobin (red) at the bottom.