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Normal Mode Analysis Techniques in Structural Biology

  1. Osamu Miyashita,
  2. Florence Tama

Published Online: 28 SEP 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020204



How to Cite

Miyashita, O. and Tama, F. 2007. Normal Mode Analysis Techniques in Structural Biology. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. The University of Arizona, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, Tucson, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 28 SEP 2007

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (15 OCT 2014)


Normal mode theory originates from classical mechanics and has been used in several fields such as mechanical engineering and spectroscopy. It was first applied 20 years ago to investigate dynamical properties of small biological systems. Today, due to advancement in computational techniques as well as processing power, normal mode analysis has emerged again as a very powerful method to study motions of large macromolecular machines that are critically important for sustaining most biological functions in our bodies.


  • dynamics;
  • conformational changes;
  • X-ray/NMR structure;
  • low-resolution structure;
  • computation