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Recursion Pharmaceuticals

Iowa State University

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Art and Science Exhibition

ISMB 216 brings together scientists from a wide range of disciplines, including biology, medicine, computer science, mathematics and statistics. In these fields people are constantly dealing with information in visual form: from microscope images and photographs of gels to scatter plots, network graphs and phylogenetic trees, structural formulae and protein models to flow diagrams; visual aids for problem-solving are omnipresent. Some of the works of the first such exhibition at the ISMB 2008 in Toronto combine outstanding beauty and aesthetics with deep insight that perfectly proves the validity of our approach or goes beyond the problem's solution. Others were surprising and inspiring through the transition from science to art, opening our eyes and minds to reflect on the work that we are undertaking.

The Art & Science Exhibition 2016 presents the artworks that have been generated as part of research projects. They are also soliciting images resulting from creative efforts that involve scientific concepts or employ scientific tools and methods.


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A&S01 Cherrie Kong
University of Bristol, United Kingdom
Julian Gough, University of Bristol, United Kingdom
The landscape of human cell type.
In 1957, Conrad Waddington famously drew a sketch of an imagined epigenetic landscape. This is the first image of the actual landscape of human cell type. Based on real experimental data (Rackham et al. 2016, Nature Genetics), the mountain scene has been graphically rendered from Mogrify analysis (mogrify.net) of over 300 human cell types and tissues from the FANTOM5 dataset. This scene translates a set of complex biological relationships into a familiar landscape. It is a map of cellular differentiation, where molecularly-similar cell types are closer together in latitude and longitude, while cell types with greater potential, such as stem cells, are higher in altitude.
A&S02 Lee Nutbean
None, United Kingdom
Xenomemory is the controversial synthesis of xenotransplantation and the pseudoscience of heart memory theory. Which suggests that human memory is not isolated in the brain but is a distributed system between the brain, heart and other organs. Human heart transplant cases have been documented which report on transplant recipients obtaining new memories, tastes and behaviors from the donor heart. If we continue along the path of xenotransplantation, what are the implications and possible side effects of transplanting xenomemories into humans? To illustrate the notion of distributed memory, a personal computer is reading data from an external hard drive that has been re-routed through a pigs heart. The "pig" xeno data infects the host system with a networked virus that manipulates user preferences. Altering the identity and behavior of the recipient system.

Disconnect the heart, disconnect the manipulation.
A&S03 Amina Qutub
Rice University, United States
Nancy Qutub, NCQ , United States
Pattern Recognition I: Brain Battle
Pattern Recognition I

In the cell artwork series, images of human cells acquired during the course of research, are patterned into pieces of art to share the cells' beauty and structure with the public. This piece Pattern Recognition I: Brain Battle showcases tiles of human brain cancer (glioblastoma) at 10x and 20x resolution.

The focus of the scientific study is to identify the role insulin pathway molecules, like insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2 and insulin like growth factor receptor (IGFR2; green in the image) play in glioma cell proliferation, adhesion and migration as function of tumor type and local oxygen response. Image analysis and molecular biology assays are coupled to a computational model that predicts glioma progression as a function of the insulin pathway molecules. Membrane stains (red, yellow), and a nuclear marker (Hoescht; blue) identify single cells.
A&S04 Amina Qutub
Rice University, United States
Nancy Qutub, NCQ, United States
Pattern Recognition II: Butterfly and the Coneflower
Pattern Recognition II: Butterfly and the Coneflower

This cell artwork displays human cells obtained during the course of research, in a piece of art in order to showcase their beauty and structure to the public.

The scientific study is testing mechanisms guiding endothelial cells' ability to regenerate as a function of neurotrophic factors present in the brain following hypoxic injury or after exercise. Predictive rule-based models of angiogenic growth are coupled to in vitro assays, including those that generated these images of primary human endothelial cells. Immunocytochemistry outlines the cytoskeletal proteins of the cells (red = microtubules; green = action); Dapi (blue) identifies nuclei, and the rainbow colors are membrane dyes used in time-lapse imaging to monitor collect cell behavior.
A&S05 Sean O'Donoghue
CSIRO & Garvan Institute, Australia
Christopher Hammang, Garvan Institute, Australia
Julian Heinrich, CSIRO, Australia
The Dark Proteome
Here, we use light and darkness to represent the known and unknown proteome of structural biology. Currently, only 12% of the human proteome has been observed with experimental structure determination methods such as crystallography or NMR spectroscopy. For a further 36%, structural information can be inferred by homology modelling. The remaining 52% of the proteome is 'dark', i.e., has completely unknown molecular conformation.
A&S06 Dan Tulpan
National Research Council Canada, Canada
Uncertainty visualization for the secondary structure of an RNA riboswitch
Here I present the compact unified view of the predicted RNA secondary structure and corresponding base-pair probabilities of the E. coli riboswitch alpha operon.

This award winning (BioVis 2015) novel visualization technique combines the power of a classical graph diagram of the minimum free energy secondary structure represented here by dark red arcs and the dot-plot representation of base-pair probabilities represented as light-colored arcs. The RNA sequence is unfolded and forms a circle with clearly labelled 5' and 3' ends. Each base is labelled with corresponding A, C, G, U color-coded letters.

Arcs are colored based on the base-pair probability values such that stronger base-pair connections use colors in the red spectrum while weak connections are presented by green-blue shades. The width of the arcs is also increasing with the base-pair probability values, thus emphasizing the areas of high stability within the structure.

The image is realized with Circos (http://circos.ca/).
A&S07 Aviad sivan
Bar ilan university, Israel
the cell is getting ready for war when virus invasion is starting
A&S08 Eugen Dhimolea
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School, United States, United States
Forming a duct.
Bundle of collagen fibers guiding mammary epithelial cells in ductal structure elongation in collagen matrix. (Magnification x40, picrosirius red staining).
A&S09 Eugen Dhimolea
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School, United States
Walking in the matrix
Fibroblasts cells modifying collagen fibers and using them to travelin the extracellular matrix (x100 magnification, picrosirius red staining).