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May K. = [meɪ keɪ]

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Protein Art: Postcards for the Upcoming Mother's Day [Apr. 29th, 2015|06:34 pm]
May K. = [meɪ keɪ]
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Some Protein Art motives are now available as (post)cards!

Mothers_Day.jpg Dogs_Can_Dance.jpg Bulldog.jpg Doggy_Style.jpg

The cards can be ordered via the Protein Art shop at Etsy. In case of shippment to Germany, some cards are also avialable with a discount at Rockys-Onlineshop.

A postcard for the upcoming Mother's Day on Mai 10th is shown beneath.



Now some words about the protein behind the Mother's Day card.

Protein Data Bank ID: 2KRH
Protein Name: C-Terminal Actin-Binding Domain of ABRA
Organism: Rattus norvegicus (rat)
Title of Drawing: “Pushing the Buggy



This drawing is based on the actin-binding domain of the ABRA protein. ABRA promotes the polymerization of actin, the main structural and functional component of muscles. Only polymerized actin can drive muscle contraction. Thus, ABRA enables the mother to be strong enough to push the buggy and generally bring up her child.

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Protein Art: DNA Clamp [Jan. 20th, 2015|02:27 am]
May K. = [meɪ keɪ]
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It's been a long time since I've posted a protein but finally I'm back to the proteins and back for you, starting to fulfill your protein requests! The following drawing is inspired by a comment by pensatorkjh back in 2012.

Protein Data Bank ID: 3BEP
Protein Name: DNA Clamp
Organism: Escherichia coli
Title of the Drawing: "Even-Toed Ungulates"




The DNA clamp is one of the most important cellular tools for DNA replication. It encircles the DNA helix which is situated in the center of the drawing and represents an emblem of even-toed ungulates. The clamp itself is drawn as a circle dance performed by deer, sheep, gazelles, and boars. The clamp slides along the DNA and ensures that the polymerase, the actual DNA copying machine, remains attached to the DNA strands. The clamp has distant analogy to a horse collar necessary for the carriage to remain on track.


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Protein Art: CDK5-P25 Complex [Jul. 31st, 2013|01:52 pm]
May K. = [meɪ keɪ]

Dear readers of my blog,


I have to apologize for not being active for a while! I have received many great protein orders and little by little I am working on their realization. But unfortunately, I have a quite tough time this year as the final countdown of my PhD began. I will make up for the missing posts as soon as I can. Thank you for your understanding and patience! Here is a small reward:


Protein Data Bank ID: 1H4L

Protein Name: CDK5-P25 Complex

Organism: Homo sapiens

Title of Drawing: “Baby Dragon Playing with a Toy House




Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (CDK5) is an enzyme which triggers the phosphorylation of a key protein of the reelin signaling pathway. Via this pathway CDK5 is involved in neuronal migration and positioning. For its activation CDK5 needs a cofactor, p35 (a fragment of p35 called p25 is shown in the bottom part of this drawing). Recent studies have shown that CDK5 is required already early on during brain development [1].

Similar to ‘playing games’, CDK5 is necessary for a proper development of children’s brain. This baby dragon playing with his toy house illustrates these connections.
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Call for Art & Science Exhibition Proposals for ISMB ECCB 2013 in Berlin [Mar. 20th, 2013|05:40 pm]
May K. = [meɪ keɪ]

Call for Art & Science Exhibition Proposals – ISMB/ECCB 2013
Scientists and artists are invited to submit images and videos that illustrate research projects, scientific principles and draw a link between art and science.

Images and videos will automatically enter an online contest for a $200 (USD) award.

Read more...Collapse )

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Exciting News [Feb. 28th, 2013|04:23 pm]
May K. = [meɪ keɪ]

The negative news for the start:


  • Unfortunately, my entry for the ''International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge' is not among the winners. Here are the 2012 winners. However, a huge "Thank You" to all who supported me!

Now the positive ones:

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Protein Art: Neurophysin I, carrier protein for Oxytocin [Jan. 29th, 2013|10:55 pm]
May K. = [meɪ keɪ]
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Protein Data Bank ID: 2HNU
Protein Name: Neurophysin I (Carrier for Oxytocin)
Organism: Bos taurus
Title of Drawing: Mother Bear with Baby


Neurophysin I together with oxytocin are both cleavage products of the precursor protein preprooxyphysin. Once preprooxyphysin has been cleaved, neurophysin acts as carrier protein for oxytocin. Oxytocin is a well-known hormone. It has many functions, especially in the field of human relationships. For example, it plays an important role in bonding between mother and child. Sometimes a view of a baby face is enough to induce a release of oxytocin.
So mother bear and its baby is a direct illustration of the function of oxytocin and hence its carrier protein neurophysin I.
Here you can see a TED talk about the role of oxytocin. And here is an easy accessible video for the Russian-speaking readers.
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Hurray!:))) [Nov. 2nd, 2012|11:16 am]
May K. = [meɪ keɪ]

UPD: Thank you very much for your help! The winners will be announced in February. Looking forward with excitement!)

My entry has been chosen as one of the top 10 in its category in the International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge! Now I need your help: If you vote for me, my entry may be designated the People’s Choice.
The 2013 winning entries will be published in a February 2014 issue of the journal Science!!

There seem to be troubles with the login, therefore the voting procedure might be a little complicated:

1. Follow this lin https://nsf-scivis.skild.com/skild2/nsf2012/viewEntryDetail.action?pid=40743 and click “Register”

2. Follow the link you will get in the verification e-mail

3. Follow this link http://nsf-scivis.skild.com/skild2/nsf2012/loginPage.action to login (it is important to use this link as otherwise you the login procedure might not work out)

4. Find my entry “Nature playing chess” and click on “Vote for this entry” (it might be difficult to find as it is written in gray letters)

Thank you so much for your help and sorry for the inconvenience!

Image

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Protein Art: GSK-3 [Oct. 30th, 2012|10:29 pm]
May K. = [meɪ keɪ]
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Protein Data Bank ID: 1Q3W
Protein Name: GSK-3
Organism: Homo sapiens
Title of Drawing: “Kitti's hog-nosed bat“

This protein was drawn for a friend working on the same floor as I do.




The enzyme Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 (GSK-3) mediates the transfer of phosphate groups to specific amino acid residues (serine or threonine) of its target protein. Usually phosphorylation by GSK-3 leads to the inhibition of the target. This kinase is involved in many processes of living organisms, one of which is the storage of glucose. This protein is of high interest to researchers as it seems to be implicated in many different diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Type II diabetes, some forms of cancer, and Bipolar Disorder.
So in the run-up to Halloween we should follow the example of the glucose storing GSK-3 and stock up on candies!
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Protein Art: Nanobody [Sep. 5th, 2012|09:00 pm]
May K. = [meɪ keɪ]
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Protein Data Bank ID: 1MEL
Protein Name: Nanobody
Organism: Camelus dromedarius
Title of Drawing: “Bedouin Riding a Camel“

It is not only the drawing showing a dromedary, but also the inspiring protein originates from a dromedary camel.


This small protein is called nanobody. Sounds cool, but what is a nanobody? It is a fragment of an antibody, in this case an antibody from a camel. Antibodies serve our immune system, they can bind pathogenic substances and protect our body from dangerous invaders. Antibodies are widely used in medicine and biology, e.g for passive immunization or targeting of substances (mostly proteins) of interest. In both fields nanobodies have their advantages. They are stabler and much smaller than conventional antibodies and can pass narrow holes. So literally, for this nanobody camel it is easy to go through the eye of a needle.

In the following illustration you can see how small the nanobody (right) is compared to the conventional antibody (left) and to the camel antibody (middle). The antigen binding regions (variable domains) are shown in yellow and green. The nanobody corresponds to the variable domain of the camel antibody.


Image source: http://www.structuralbiology.be/chaperones.

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Protein Art: Collagen [Sep. 4th, 2012|11:12 pm]
May K. = [meɪ keɪ]
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Protein Data Bank ID: 3HON
Protein Name: Collagen XVIII Trimerization Domain
Organism: Homo sapiens
Title of Drawing: Allusion to Walter Moers' "Alter Sack" from "The Little Asshole"


This is a trimerization domain from human collagen XVIII. Collagens are well known for their function as structural proteins. We all know that collagen is an important component of skin, bones, and muscles. Not many of us know that there are over 20 different types of collagen, one of them (type XVIII) turned out to have a function rather untypical for collagen. Like other collagen family members collagen XVIII consists of three helical chains. The formation of this triple helical structure is dependent on the here shown trimerization domain. Once the trimerization domains of three collagen chains have found each other and assembled, the chains start aligning and acquiring a helical structure. This happens in a zipper-like manner. Cleavage of collagen XVIII results in a small protein called endostatin. Endostatin prevents the formation of blood vessels and is a possible agent for cancer treatment.


Image modified from: www.nature.com/nrc/journal/v3/n6/full/nrc1094.html

The old geezer in my drawing was supposed to be an allusion to the “Old Curmudgeon” (scenes with curmudgeon on YouTube; in german) from “The Little Asshole”, cartoon by a german comic creator Walter Moers... The same day that I was finishing this drawing, I occasionally stumbled upon a cartoonist unknown to me by then. His book was offered by the bookstore on our campus. The cartoonist's name is Jean-Marc Reiser. I liked his obscene cartoons and couldn’t resist the special offer, so I bought the book. When I came home I searched the Web for more cartoons. And that is what I found:

Image source: http://www.chapitre.com/CHAPITRE/fr/BOOK/reiser-jean-marc/l-annee-des-handicapes,1010993.aspx


Now compare Reiser’s “handicapé” to Moes’ ”old curmudgeon”.


Image source: http://www.booklooker.de/Filme/Walter-Moers/id/A000dvNd11ZZI

Indeed, I found out that Moers was a big fan of Reiser. Thus, my tribute to Walter Moers at the same time turned out to be a tribute to Jean-Marc Reiser.
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