Waltz of the Polypeptides (2003) is a fixed installation on the grounds of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Long Island New York. The sculpture depicts the discovery of what has become cornerstone of modern molecular biology, the polyribosome in the act of creating a specific protein. The nascent polypeptide emerges for the ribosomes as they travel along the messenger RNA. The genetic code of the protein is denoted on the thin tube representing the message.
At one end of the installation stands a larger scale freestanding sculpture of the completed protein, the B-Lymphocyte Stimulator, a hormone that plays a central role in the immune system. The sculpture is an accurate representation three dimensional polypeptide backbone of the protein.
Waltz of the Polypeptides is a work of art that entices the interest of scientists, visitors and students alike. Their questions that illuminate the fundamental aspects of biology and the central role of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory initiating a revolution in our understanding of the basic processes of life.