The AGiR! ART CALL    

* especially involving RNA and DNA, but also involving all sorts of proteins and other cellular compounds and ‘molecular machines’ involved in gene expression and maintenance of genomic integrity.

Just to remind you, this is how the initial call was worded:  oh, no!  such a no-no!   This wording is so 2015 /old bioprof   LOL

We want you to get excited about thinking what is going on in our cells and our bodies, and how we can affect it all with our personal choices.  Your art works in any and all media will be happily considered, and we hope for more submissions soon...  

( yes, you...  =P )


Anyone with artistic inclinations is asked to attempt to depict, however they might see it, the molecular 'dance' that acts to maintain genomic integrity and cell resiliency, and thus our health, within our cells.

Perhaps chemists/biologists/artists can come together to help raise awareness?

Everything from children's drawings to high resolution molecular images are possible!

Get out your sketch pad for public health, and get your lab results out in the public eye! 

Whichever you like best! 


While about a dozen artists have discussed various ideas and projects (even videos), for the AGiR! ART CALL, there have now been six official submissions of artwork! 

The latest is from Taiwan, from Shih Wei-Chieh  (see the small zoom in of his work DNA7 on left)

We plan to have a whole new section with these amazing works soon - art for scicomm!

The very talented David Goodsell from San Diego's Scripp's Research Institute had offered us the choice of our favorites of his open works as Art Call submissions...

It was not an easy one!

His work has helped many understand better the molecular basis of life! (and he seems to like poetry, too! <3 )

Here are a couple of amazing examples - especially transcription and at the nuclear pore complex from the 2011 Eucaryotic Cell Panorama!

But, even better, here is his explanation about Mre11, key for homologous recombination, repairing double-stranded breaks. (Make sure to play with the JMOL rendering of the structure, if you visit the previous link!) Looks nice, with or without DNA!

not so surprisingly, the Mre11 active site coordinates metal ions for function - including magnesium...


Just in time for the 5th General Assembly meeting (28feb18)

Russell Kightley sent in a lovely DNA Mandala image to us, which shows DNA down its long axis, so symmetrical and magnificent.

Now imagine it in our cells, all packed up with proteins and water molecules and getting some lesion (maybe a double -stranded break?) repaired by complexes of active factors (including RNAs...)!

You may well have seen some of Russell's amazing images of cells before, and you can get to his main site and explore further, if you click on the mandala.

Please note: this mandala image is subject to copyright and can’t be re-used.

(RA is still hoping to inspire him to do something special about DNA repair of ds breaks... let's hope...)

For even more fun, this is a link to his free colouring-page images. What could be better, for instance, while awaiting the results of some citizen science experiment?

Thank you very much, Russell!


The very first Art Call image was provided by another very talented artist....

(drum roll and flourish!)

DREW BERRY, from Australia!  

Drew is already very well-known as a biomedical animator, who made classic contributions to Cold Spring Harbor Lab’s DNA Learning Center from his work at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne.  He was honored additionally as a MacArthur Fellow (2010) and his works have appeared not only in scientific contexts, but at exhibitions (e.g. Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim Museum). His TED talk, his DNA TV series, his collaboration with Björk, and his most recent (and obviously gorgeous!) Molecular Kaleidoscope work (which one would really have loved to experience!) are very impressive.

We are extremely honoured to have received three of his images to kick off the


Thank you very much, Drew!

This page will show smaller versions of the images Drew provided, which are mainly stills from his work on the Björk video, Hollow, from her Biophilia collection (2011).  There is a link to the video already in an AGiR! Hot News Item.

(Click on the images below to see the linked full size images!)

Drew Berry’s ART CALL submissions:

The first shows the DNA replication apparatus (simplified):

The second is a representation of three nucleosomes:  

and the third is an image of the nuclear interior:

(imagine yourself as a recently made and spliced messenger RNA, as part of a ribonucleoprotein complex and on your way to the nuclear pore? :)


A second round of images was sent in for the AGiR! ART Call by…


(drum roll and flourish!)

GLYNN GORICK, from England!

Glynn is a busy environmental science illustrator and, more recently, animator, too busy to update his site! Nonetheless, he has been talking about his ideas for images for the art call since last fall!  and now (april2016) he has made an original one, one zooming in to show DNA damage (by UV light) !  

Check it out!

Below are three of his old images originally sent as a token of the hope he has to make something special to help spread the word about genomic integrity!  

Thanks so much, Glynn!

The first shows 'sizes of genomes, circa 2004'  

(Please click on the images to see them at full size.)  

This image is an illustration from a biology textbook!

To note: these numbers are lower now, but might change again (?) !

The second shows  a series of 'images from a talk' Glynn gave in Bigelow in 2010.

and the third image shows a fabulous 'tree of life' (circa 2005), made for a NERC video about marine microbes:

(Since we now know genome sizes, in terms of numbers of genes, are less different that once imagined for the higher branches of this tree, btw, the hypothesis that much of life's diversity is due to RNAs and epigenetics, affecting gene expression and development, is looking fairly probable.)

Hoping these give you much food for thought!

& that you might act on it!  


A third round of images has also been sent in for the AGiR! ART Call by…


(drum roll and flourish!)

JO BERRY, also from England!  

Jo is a professional British artist, who has been exploring the boundaries between art and science for more than 5 years, providing amazing works from her studio in Derbyshire for an exhibition called 'hijacking natural systems,' for example.  She has furthermore worked as an 'artist in residence' at Nottingham University, doing 'brain mapping art' in collaboration with the Institute of Mental Health.  Her multimedia efforts, some based on confocal imaging, can have serious impact, also in relation to the use of art for health

She said in one interview:  '...celebrating the human body, the use of new technology, the collaboration between science and art…(can show) how exciting putting science and art together can be.” 

Hoping you enjoy the works she has submitted for the AGiR! art call, all based on her project begun at the Nottingham University School of Life Sciences' Cell Signalling group of Dr Nicholas Holliday and confocal images by Tim Self, investigating the 'hunger' hormone, ghrelin


The ghrelin peptide (in green) is cleaved from its precursor (predicted structure shown above) and can even cross the blood-brain barrier!  (creative commons image from AYACOP, adapted from using PyMOL)

Thank you, Jo!  

(& still wondering about the coincidence of your last name and Drew's!)

These first four smaller versions below are linked to full-size images provided by Jo!

(This first one, in my opinion, most evokes the idea of dynamic damage and repair maintaining genomic integrity…)

Our cells are faced with so many insults each day!

What do you think about the following images?


Looking forward to more inspired art, and hoping the ART CALL helps inspire you to consider your genomic integrity more often and make appropriate choices, when possible!