Analysis of the structure and dynamics ofbig macromolecular complexes is one of the great challenges of the postgenomic era. It is expected that in the next few years a great number of protein domain structures will be made available through X-ray crystallography and NMR studies, as all branches of biology strive to process the avalanche of data coming from genome sequencing, tte understanding of cellular functions requires studying these domains in their context, taking part in the big macromolecular complexes and within the framework of living cells, tte contributions from cryo-EM and cryo-ET can bring us to a new scenario, where the researcher could "see" individual molecular motors working within an astonishing complicated factory, the cell. We are convinced that all the possibilities that 3D-EM offers will illustrate these and many other breakthroughs in a not very distant future.
Acknowledgements. We thank José Maria Carazo for helpful comments on the manuscript. Grants from Comunidad de Madrid (GR/SAL/0645/2004) to M.V. and from Fundación BBVA (2004X578) to C.S.M. are acknowledged too.
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