From visuals

INTEGRINS AND THE SOCIAL NETWORK OF CELLS

(Art by Armin Mortazavi) When imagining a cell, it’s often easy to think of it as a lone entity, a single squishy bubble of fluid. However, cells are actually incredibly complex, and they can organize in ways to form many types of structures and ultimately whole living organisms like a tree, a bird, or even our own bodies! Understanding how these cells interact and get together is key to understanding how different cells make different structures – like how bones are different from skin for instance. Knowing this also reveals how cells talk to one another. And just as we…

KINESIN: THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD

(Art by Armin Mortazavi) When we are learning about cells and how they function, we are often confronted with large, circular blob-like things that contain several different internal structures for us to memorize. It may be tempting to dismissively think of cells as being nothing more than these simple, two dimensional objects (after all, they are commonly referred to as “the most basic units of life”). However, closer inspection reveals that cells are extremely dynamic, and their daily activities are far more exciting and complicated than first appearances may suggest. Cells operate like tiny machines and their inner workings are…

PLANTS: AMAZING PHYTO-PHARMACIES

(Art by Armin Mortazavi) Some of the best chemical engineers in the world don’t have a university degree. The most prolific institutions (if they can be called that) don’t have professors or laboratories. The chemicals themselves boast more complicated architectures than humans could imagine. The working conditions are dirty and crowded, but somehow the immobile chemists still succeed. These thriving chemical production plants, in every sense of the word, are forests. Some phytochemicals (compounds synthesized by plants) that nature has so elegantly engineered are also life-saving medicines. Take Taxol, a compound originally isolated from the bark of Pacific yew trees.…

LIFE IN FORMALDEHYDE AND ALAS! POOR YORICK

Science is beautiful. Art is beautiful. There is a schism in our cultural consciousness: the humanities and sciences have been separated, and you have to choose a side and then be intimidated by the other. I want to present science in a way that its visual beauty is apparent, I want to present art to science so the connection can be understood. Neither is above the other- art and science exist on the same plane, they are closer and more intertwined than many realize. They cannot exist independently of each other, no matter how hard they try to make it…

STILL LIFE WITH A MODEL ORGANISM

– – – Last Thanksgiving, I needed to bring my flies home for the holidays in anticipation of the eclosion of important potential recombinant male progeny. My goal was to use my freezer, a tray of ice, a dissection pad, a paintbrush, and some hoisted fly food vials from my lab to separate the males and the females. At some point during Thanksgiving, my mother asked if they “needed to be on the countertop” and when I said “no” they were moved to this photogenic area. Remarks were made about the apt proximity of fruit to fruit flies, the galosh…

INTRODUCING THE PHYLOMON PROJECT! KEYWORDS POKEMON AND BIODIVERSITY

(From http://phylomon.org) (Facebook group: link) – – – “When you have seen one ant, one bird, one tree, you have not seen them all.” ~ E. O. Wilson. Well 2010 is here, a.k.a. the International Year of Biodiversity, and to us at the SCQ, it means that we’re finally ready to go ahead with our long awaited phylomon project. Please repost, reblog, retweet, phone a friend – whatever you can do to spread the word. WHAT IS THIS? Good question. Well, it’s an online initiative aimed at creating a Pokemon card type resource but with real creatures on display in…