Life Explorer Initiative

3D navigation and modeling tools for cellular biology

The LifeExplorer initiative aims at providing a multiscale modelisation of a complete bacteria. One software is currently available:

  • The GraphiteLifeExplorer modeling tool to build 3D molecular assemblies of proteins and DNA from Protein Database (PDB) files. Atomic DNA can be modeled from scratch or reconstructed from simulation.

Future versions will bring:

  • Links to biological components and process databases.
  • Capabilities for modeling aminoacid linkers and nucleic acid single strands like RNA and ssDNA.
  • 3D reconstruction tools from heterogeneous source (e.g. cryomicroscopic image).


GraphiteLifeExplorer (MacOS X, Linux, Windows)


A collection of training materials for GraphiteLifeExplorer is available here.

Project organisation

The LifeExplorer project is coordinated by the Fourmentin-Guilbert Scientific Foundation. GraphiteLifeExplorer is the result of a collaboration between the Fourmentin-Guilbert Scientific Foundation and INRIA (Samuel Hornus, Bruno Levy). If you are interested in participating in this project, contact us at info [at]


Molecular Biology is a booming science with enormous scope and potential. In many ways its current status can be compared with the early days of the computer industry: it has the capacity to change the way we approach certain key technologies, such as medicine and manufacturing. It is now the time to develop new tools to deal with the vast amount of data which is available and with the inherent complexity of living organisms. Therefore, repositories, models and simulation tools are necessary. A first step towards discovery tools specific to life sciences is to represent all the components of a living system in 3D.