I’m going to be posting more ideas and experiments in the fabrication/sculpture realm here, as it may contribute to my work in this class, though they may not directly have anything electronic (but maybe later).  It’s my first term in the DCRL and I’m in constant discovery mode.

For now: my first project: (different then a week ago) cytoplasm lamp! (or cytoplasm interactive sculpture)

I am quite interested in how crazy crowded the cytoplasm of a cell is vs. how it is usually shown:


^saddest looking cell ever btw    VS


^This one doesn’t even show water.

How we depict things in science can really change how we learn about them (and dream about them).

 I took a scanning electron micrograph a while back in which I accidentally kicked off a piece of the top of a cell, revealing a dense cytoplasm.  The proteins are not tagged so you cannot tell them apart, but it gives a ‘window into the cell'(the title :P).  Much lower mag then the above pic, though:

The crowded complex nature of of the cytoplasm is important, obviously (though rarely depicted for simplicity). Also- there’s something called ‘fractal diffusion’ which was one of my fave concepts from biophysics course.   Anyway, below is a protein folding example of why we need more education in this area (!! 🙂 )


And some more image inspiration:



^David Goodsell is AMAZING




So for my lamp/sculpture I will make transparent stickers via the protein data bank (http://www.rcsb.org/pdb/) and adhere them to fresnel lens cuttouts.  And make a few hundred, and put them on a vibrating translucent table, with white and UV light capability below (for fluorescent proteins!).  The 2d proteins will hopefully overlap a few layers thick and still be able to move, hopefully, as this would create a neat optical effect.  If they don’t move well, I could make a much sparser version with multiple vibrating levels.  This is sounding more appealing since Pete showed me this:

Love the way they move!  There like lil molecules, albeit sparse/slow.

I’ll conclude with more David Goodsell bliss (these are watercolors…):