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CHEMICAL ART

C. Rius-Alonso, Y. González-Quezada

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (MEXICO)
Art is a human activity to create visual works expressing the beauty of images or objects. In this concept, using chemical formulas can bring really outstanding works of art in which the expressions of the different concepts are developed.

An extra course has been implemented at the Faculty of Chemistry, Universiad Nacional Autónoma de México, To teach students how they can use Molecular Modeling Programs in order to create works of art.

One very rich source of structures is the Research Collaboratory for structural Bioinformatic Protein Data Bank ( http://www.rcsb.org/pdb/home/home.do) as for July 2017, there is more than 132 000 protein structures reported. Other databases freely available are:
Worldwide Protein Data bank (http://www.wwpdb.org/), The Protein Databank of Japan (https://pdbj.org/). The Protein Databank of Europe (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/pdbe/). The Biological Magnetic Resonance Databank (http://www.bmrb.wisc.edu/).

The Molecular Modeling programs used during the course are: Spartan and Odyssey (From Wavefunction). VegaZZ (Dipartimento di Scienze Farmaceutiche, Università degli Studi di Milano). Yasara (IMBM,Universsity of Graz, Austria). VMD (University of Illinois, USA)

With this programs students can retrieve the molecules from the Databases, or they can create its owns structures, exporting then into a graphic format and using painting programs can create outstanding work of art.

The idea for this program is to bring closer to the sensitivity of the art, students at the Faculty of Chemistry that they receive a very technical and scientific curricula.

Because the course has to be given in a computer room, the number of students is limited for the number of computers, to overcome this problem, the course is broadcast in the Internet, and any student can take it from any place.

We have found a great interest for the students to take an art course using the chemistry as a tool.