70S Ribosome

By | Molecular | No Comments

I created this piece with Maya, molecular Maya, After Effects and Illustrator. This was an exercise in learning more about molecular Maya and nParticles, and to create an informative molecular visualization using real data. The 70S ribosome exists in prokaryotes (i.e. bacteria and archaebacteria) and also in mitochondria. The two subunits clamp around a piece of mRNA and proceed to translate the genetic information into a growing polypeptide chain, reading from 5′ to 3′. Interestingly, the ribosomal RNA, or rRNA provides the catalytic function of the ribosome, rather than the protein components. The exploded view in the image includes a slightly longer polypeptide chain, since this “second” ribosome has translated more of the mRNA. This polypetide is beginning to fold, although this is artist’s representation, and I believe that folding (such as formation of alpha helices) actually begins in the exit tunnel within the 50S subunit.

Image depicts two views of a ribosome translating mRNA into protein. An exploded view shows the components of the ribosome and associated molecules.

Click the image for a larger view.

More information and images on ribosomes can be found here: http://rcsb.org/pdb/101/motm.do?momID=121

Two new publications

By | Research | No Comments

The ScienceVis group has two new publications. The first is a report by Andrea Gauthier and Michael Corrin on their study exploring video game design elements and usage patterns in undergraduate anatomy. The second is a pilot study by Jodie Jenkinson and Gaël McGill examining the effects of visual complexity in 3D molecular animation.

Both can be downloaded here:
Gauthier, A., & Corrin, M. (2013). Exploring How the Incorporation of Video Game Design Elements Into An Online Thoracic Vasculature Study Aid Affects Use Patterns of Undergraduate Anatomy Students. Journal of Biocommunication, 39(2), 50–56. (PDF)
Jenkinson, J., & McGill, G. (2013). Using 3D Animation in Biology Education : Examining the Effects of Visual Complexity in the Representation of Dynamic Molecular Events. Journal of Biocommunication, 39(2), 42–49. (PDF)

Molecular simulation – Work in progress

By | Molecular | No Comments


Crowded molecular environment with red and green proteins, white water molecules, and a lipid membrane

I’ve been experimenting with nParticles in Maya to try to simulate a crowded cellular environment with Brownian motion and collisions. The molecules can be seen to appear and disappear sometimes. This is because the part of the simulation closest to the camera is invisible, so that we can see the interior of the simulation, which will include collisions from every direction, rather than creating a force field that molecules will bounce off. So when molecules pass the threshold, they become hidden or visible. I’m (and we as a group are) still considering different ways of creating and simulating these kinds of environments.


Interview with SimplyMaya

By | Misc | No Comments

I had the privilege of being interviewed by SimplyMaya, an online forum, about what it is like to study at a medical illustration/animation school. I shared some of my experiences going through the BMC program and what was involved in creating my Master’s Research Project. Click the image below for the full interview.

Studying for Scientific Visualization