Trade offs

As I have written in a couple of recent posts (here, here and here), life has been a bit hectic recently.  I have been feeling like I am having science withdrawal symptoms.  Last week, I have finally received an offer for a new position that I have accepted.  For the last 4 years, while I absolutely loved my job, it took me over 1.5 hours to commute in each direction.  I wasn’t the favorite part of my day and took a lot of valuable time away from my work, family and personal life.  Not to mention NeuroBeadContinue Reading

Left brain, right brain and dyslexia

In my recent posts I described how my work at NeuroBead has taken an unexpected turn towards raising patient awareness, rather than just portraying scientific progress.   Soon after finishing my work on “The Internal Storm” epilepsy project, I was contacted by a former collaborator I knew from an entrepreneurial initiative that I was involved in during my postdoctoral training.  After seeing my artwork being used for raising epilepsy awareness, she asked if I would be willing to make a dyslexia pin. Continue Reading

“The Internal Storm”

Last week I wrote about a slightly unexpected turn that my work has taken.  I have been posting pictures of my work in progress and finished pieces on Instagram, where I found quite a few of like-minded individuals.  Most of these people are trained as scientists and want to share the beauty of what they are doing with the rest of the world.  But as would probably be expected, most of this work gets noticed and appreciated by people who do something similar themselves – other scientists and artists. Continue Reading

The dichotomy of art and science 

I have to admit, I have not been here in a while.  Life has been a bit hectic.  Every time I thought about writing, the same topic came to mind – the dichotomy of art and science.  I have written before about how science and art are considered to be at the polar opposite ends of the spectrum of logic and creativity.   How can they live in harmony in one person?  The word “harmony” reminds me of how I have also written about the concept of “flow” described by the Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.  At that point I have not read the book “Flow” yet, and was only basing my writing on the descriptions of flow I was able to find online.  Based on these descriptions, I was reaching the ultimate state of flow while working on my beadwork. Continue Reading

Red Blood Cell – hair clip # 4

It has been a while since I have given an update on my beadwork.  While I was working on the hair clips I have described in my previous posts here, here and here, my older daughter suggested a new idea.  She has all of the symptoms of a child raised by scientists.  Her most recent writing project in school focused on explaining how vaccines work!  She has been fascinated with our “Bring your kid to work day” and has tried doing some simple experiments in museums and at home.  She has also admired my artwork and has tried to get involved.


So when she saw me making biological hair clips in the form of cells,she requested a Red Blood Cell!  Red blood cells are unique in that unlike all other cells they do not have a nucleus and have a slightly “pinched” morphology.  They are responsible for carrying oxygen through our blood stream.

Here is a little bit of behind the process and how the clip turned out.  I love the simple elegance that it projects!


To see more of my work, please follow me on Instagram and check out my Etsy shop!

Stress Fibers – hair clip # 3

Here is the next piece in the series.  It was inspired by the following image, which unfortunately did not have a description.  While I cannot say for sure, the filaments labeled in yellow reminded me of stress fibers.

Stress fibers consist of actin microfilaments and act like tiny muscles inside the cell, allowing the cell to change its shape, contract, and migrate to its ultimate destination. The name “stress fibers” comes from the fact that these structures are often observed in cells that have undergone mechanical stress.

 

If you have a favorite image, I am more than happy to take custom orders and make a striking conversation starter for you!

To see more work in this series, please follow me on Instagram and Facebook!

Also, don’t forget to check out my Etsy Shop!

 

Filamentous Fibroblast – # 2 in the series

Here is my 2nd creation for the girls’ hair clip series.  It is a simplified version of a beautiful image of mouse fibroblasts that made it on the list of “35 Years of the World’s Best Microscope Photography”

While I could not recreate the whole glory of these cells in a small hair clip, I think that I have captured the essence of their elaborate cytoskeletal arrangements.

filamentous-fibroblast

This image is also unique in that it does not use traditional colors of microscopy (blue, red and green).  The balance of its delicate structures and the pastel colors used to pseudocolor the image, make it even more breathtaking.

Fibroblasts are one the most common and easily accessible cell types in the body, yet they hold great promise in regenerative medicine.  These cells can be isolated from a patient’s skin biopsy and then reprogrammed into stem cells to replace lost or diseased tissue, making them a gold mine of possibilities.

If you have a favorite image, I am more than happy to take custom orders and make a striking conversation starter for you!