Over the years, SIB has written all sorts of material to communicate science – mainly the world of genes and proteins – to many kinds of audiences, from scientists themselves to students, adults and children. 

Electronic periodicals


psprotein spotlight

Protein Spotlight is an electronic magazine which introduces the tremendously varied world of proteins. Although the articles demand some background in the life sciences, they are addressed to each and every one and are perfectly suitable for high school students. Written in a conversational tone, Protein Spotlight regularly profiles specific proteins, or family of proteins.

shaping life

“Cells need to know when to multiply and when to stop multiplying, in addition to knowing how to remain close to one another while dealing with external forces such as the gravitational pull. It all comes down to a very delicate balance between biology and physics. Even a single cell needs to be able to counter surrounding tensions without which it would simply collapse and hence lose its three-dimensional status.” More on Shaping Life Circles in a Circle, by Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) - Source: Wikipedia





tales small world

Tales From A Small World by Vivienne Baillie Gerritsen
“Tales From A Small World” is a collection of articles originally published on the Protein Spotlight site, enriched with poems by the delightfully unconventional Dublin poet, Pat Ingoldsby. Each article tells the story of a given protein - of which there are hundreds of thousands - from what it does in our body, how it does it, who discovered it, to how such information can help save lives.



Books for children


journey tiny world

Journey into a tiny world by Vivienne Baillie Gerritsen, Sylvie Déthiollaz
Journey into a tiny world is a tale of two proteins - Globin and Poietin- who set out to save a little girl's life. Read about the adventures of Globin and Poietin who will take you into the depths of Lily's body where you will discover many other proteins who will help Globin and Poietin in their endeavour. There is much fun and laughter in this story and children will discover the very small and surprising world that thrives within each one of us.
Translation from the French.
Age: 8 to 11 years.



Globine Poietine

Globine et Poïétine sur la piste de la moelle rouge by Vivienne Baillie Gerritsen, Sylvie Déthiollaz
Globine et Poïetine sur la piste de la moelle rouge is the original French version of "Journey into a tiny world"
Note : The French and German version of the tale can be found on SimplyScience





Aqua What

Aqua What? by Sylvie Déthiollaz, Vivienne Baillie Gerritsen
“Aqua What?” is the story of three water molecules that meet in a suburban gutter and decide to take some time off to go to the seaside. On their adventures they meet Aquaporin, a protein that will help them get there. The play was originally written in French and subsequently translated into English.





opus 23 cd cover

Opus 23 - Music for a Gene
Can music help us understand science? SIB, at the initiative of Lydie Lane, asked the French composer Olivier Calmel to express basic genetics concepts and human genome complexity through a musical piece for string quartet. A CD of the work interpreted by the Ramsès Quartet was recorded in 2015. The album contains a 52-page illustrated booklet with detailed explanations about the scientific concepts and the composition process in French, English and German.
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Scientific articles and posters

  • Conference poster: ChromosomeWalk, a virtual exhibition introducing the human genome and bioinformatics (ISMB 2013)
    Marie-Claude Blatter, Vivienne Baillie Gerritsen, Patricia Palagi, Lydie Bougueleret, Frédérique Lisacek, Marc Robinson-Rechavi, Ioannis Xenarios.
  • Conference poster: Drug design for high school students, high school teachers and the public at large (Basel Computational Biology Conference 2015). Marie-Claude Blatter, Antoine Daina, Vincent Zoete, Vivienne Baillie Gerritsen, Diana Marek, Patricia Palagi, Loannis Xenarios, Torsten Schwede, Olivier Michielin.
  • Article: Drug Design Workshop: A Web-Based Educational Tool To Introduce Computer-Aided Drug Design to the General Public. Antoine Daina, Marie-Claude Blatter, Vivienne Baillie Gerritsen, Patricia M. Palagi, Diana Marek, Ioannis Xenarios, Torsten Schwede, Olivier Michielin, and Vincent Zoete. J. Chem. Educ. 02/2017; 94 (3). DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.6b00596.
  • Article: The Metagenomic Pizza: a simple recipe to introduce bioinformatics to the layman. Marie-Claude Blatter, Vivienne Baillie Gerritsen, Patricia M. Palagi, Lydie Bougueleret, Ioannis Xenarios. EMBnet.journal. 04/2016. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14806/ej.22.0.864.


Header's picture: Painting by Julia Baillie, 2006.
The artist was asked to produce her own interpretation of the 3D structure of cytochrome c to mark the 20th anniversary of the Swiss-Prot database in 2006. Cytochrome c was indeed the very first protein sequence to enter what is now known as the UniProtKB/SwissProt knowledgebase, SIB's major protein knowledgebase. Cytochrome c protein is found in most species. Discovered early on in the 20th century, it became a paradigm in evolutionary research. A choice model, it has also shed light on many biological processes and pioneered numerous studies.