Scientific image: network of life

Hi,

Since I had no suggestions from the “work in progress” post and in the end I find the “painting like” aspect of the image quite nice so I decided I would keep it as is :slight_smile:

Your comments would be very much appreciated!

http://aebie.free.fr/network12s2.png

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If you are interested, here’s a bit of background to understand the meaning
of the picture:

The body is made of cells (skin, heart, bones, eye lens … all cells), and each cell is like an autonomous factory. Also like in any factory, there are machines: the proteins. The building plan for the machines is encoded in the DNA, where 1 gene codes 1 protein.

Okay so the goal of scientists is to understand how all these proteins assemble together into molecular machines to make a living cell. So many people now try to map interactions between the proteins using fancy methods.

In sum, this results in several networks of proteins, which scientists try to understand organization and meaning.

The image represents such a network, of human proteins (each ball = 1 protein and each edge = 1 interaction) and the surrounding mirrors reflect the fact that we’ve looked at these networks with several different angles but we still don’t understand what they really mean.

Nice. Looking at it is probably a nice way to understand what you’re working on.

It’s interesting no doubt. But from an artist’s perspective I am going to have to say that you shouldn’t have to explain so much, the image should do that.“A picture is worth a thousand words” Even then some people like to look at an image for aesthetic purposes and others like to absolutely pick apart the piece and give it distinct meaning, which is pretty annoying sometimes haha.

It could pry use some work to make some things stand out (like making the mirrors have more of an emphasis or whatever) try making the outskirts of the jumbled mess more connected/ordered/mapped =P (my personal take on things is that simplicity can say so much and the slightest mark on a painting/drawing can make something incredibly interesting)

Thanks for your feedback!

“it is probably a nice way to understand what you’re working on”

Well, actually it is true and it is not at the same time: it is true because it made me think about the thing (the yellow object) - as STC ninja said,

try making the outskirts of the jumbled mess more connected/ordered/mapped =P

This is a hugely interesting point because people have tried to find methods
to put some order in these network for years … without much success. Still, making the image gave me new ideas, about but testing one could easily take days/weeks …

The other side of the coin, i.e. why I said that somehow it is not really a way to understand it that well, I just want to express the following idea “We’re in trouble. We are probably looking at it with a wrong perspective because we’ve not been making much progress in understanding these networks since they have been first revealed”

from an artist’s perspective I am going to have to say that you shouldn’t have to explain so much

This is true, and this is partly why I use blender. If I show and “adobe illustrator” figure from my work to a friend they won’t even listen to my explanations about it. However a blender images are easily made esthetically much more attractive, which makes people more receptive to explanations.

But to say everything in the legend without words would be very difficult in a single
nice image - it would probably be possible, but the image would need to be more schematic, explicative and would loose the sort of abstract artitic touch it has. The idea I have in mind is that the image should trigger enough curiosity for people to read the text. In your case guys, this goal was met so I’m happy :smiley:

There is actually a movie showing “live cells” which is pretty cool:

I also tried indeed to make the mirrors more obvious but this resulted in the the image loosing something. I also had a lot of trouble with the lighting so maybe this is just an idea I put in my mind because it was easier that way :confused:

http://aebie.free.fr/network9s.png