In 2008, I worked with Pearson publishers to create a cover for iGenetics (3rd ed) by Peter Russell. I just received a copy of the award won by the book's cover illustration.
Circos Used in a David Cronenberg project about
Chromosomes is a David Cronenberg project which presents 70 images from his films, each accompanied by a text piece written by people from the world of art and science. I had the opportunity to contribute text to accompany the red bathtub photo.
The artbook is available for sale.
Little Fly, Thy Summer's Play...
The cover image shows a comparison of human and fruit fly genomes. The links indicate orthologous genes — genes in both genomes whose proteins are similar.
This cover won the cover award at 39th Annual 2009 Bookbuilders West Book Show.
Circos Takes a Train Ride
A Circos visualization is included as part of the Science Express project.
A public education effort lead by Max Planck institute, Science Express is a 13 car train, lavishly repurposed into a rolling interactive science exhibition. The purpose of the project is to raise and foster science awareness and education to the public.
Oxford Biology Uses Circos for Book Cover
A Circos image designed by Martin Krzywinski appears on the cover of Building Bioformatics Solutions with Perl, R and MySQL by Conrad Bessant, Ian Shadforth, and Darren Oakley (Oxford Press).
I am delighted and honoured to have Circos visualizations included as part of the Science Express project. Briefly, this is a public education effort lead by Max Planck institute to raise and foster science awareness and education to the public. The project is a 13 car train, lavishly repurposed into a rolling interactive science exhibition.
For those of you who can't experience the project first-hand, there is a wonderful virtual tour.
The design firm behind the exhibition is Archimedes. Visually, the project is stunning. Each car has an entirely different feel, which matches closely to the subject matter. For example, the nanotechnology car is tiled with mirrors, to give you the sense that you're inside an infinite lattice. Brilliant!
I am a strong proponent in making the product and knowledge garnered by science visually appealing &mdash for the same reason that presentations to public audiences should be both informative and engaging. Nature offers intrinsic beauty, be it as seen through its complexity (e.g. genome as an information warehouse) or reducible simplicity (e.g. supersymmetry in fundamental physical laws). Frankly, we don't need more dry and hypnogogic presentations - the facts and knowledge are there and easily accessed (though often mind-numbingly difficult to understand). What we need are more project like Science Express to attract the public, and potential future scientists, to science, and thereby persuade them that trying to understand inherently difficult things is rewarding and ... fun!
I received my copy of the Chromosomes artbook by Volumina, for which I contributed genomic visualizations. Below are the scans of the front and the back of the book. David Cronenberg's son, Brandon Cronenberg, contributed his interpretation of chromosomes as machines of genetics - each page of the book has a unique chromosome interpretation in steam punk style.
Circos is on the cover of Building Bioformatics Solutions with Perl, R and MySQL by Conrad Bessant, Ian Shadforth, and Darren Oakley (Oxford Press).
I had the opportunity to contribute not only the art work, but text for this book as well.
We fear the unknown. Monsters and creatures are words we give to the most frightening unknown of all — the biological. Things living — primitive, unpredictable, ravenous and without recourse to emotion or reason. Clutching reason and humanity, we congratulate ourselves for having departed those base instincts.
But our departure is neither recent nor complete. Inside each of us is a history of our evolutionary ancestors, written in our chromosomes. The ant has 2. The house fly, 12. Humans have 46, a dog has 78 and in a fern, there are over 1,000. Chromosomes are the superblocks of genetic organization and heredity. They are an organism's contact list of its evolutionary ancestors.
Many of these ancestors were not different from monsters and creatures that inhabit our nightmares, our fears and our movies. And as the lights come on, and projections from the screen yield to reality, our body harbors elements from a darker past. Like the Alu genetic element, a jumping-gene which repeatedly copies itself within our genome and a constant companion to our evolution for the past 65 million years. In every part of every chromosome is our creature heritage.
Although we emerged in human from our mother's womb, as embryos we exhibited our evolutionary history: we all had gills, a tail, and body hair. Lost or absorbed before birth, these signposts remind us that our ancestors are inside us, not just in stories or movies. It is only later that the brain, our species' most prized possession, develops and transforms us. In the last minute, we pass into humanity and into the world. Today, we tell stories of monsters and creatures. Tomorrow, we may take their place. Distant from now, our progeny will see our forms during development and say "What creatures we were." Movies will frighten by showing our forms. "Look, mommy, a smooth-skinned biped with wide eyes."