Some of my science-based artwork and artistic representations of scientific results.
Designed DNA Microcrystals
A false-colored image of microcrystals self-assembled from tensegrity triangle DNA motifs. The motifs span three-space and are tailed with sticky ends so they connect with each other to form a three-dimensional crystalline lattice. Scale bar: 10 µm.
Lines from the poem "Snow" by John Davidson are apt for this image:
'Who affirms that crystals are alive?' I affirm it, let who will deny: Crystals are engendered, wax and thrive, Wane and wither; I have seen them die.
Trust me, masters, crystals have their day, Eager to attain the perfect norm, Lit with purpose, potent to display Facet, angle, colour, beauty, form.
DNA "sticky ends" are short complementary single stranded segments that are used to connect two duplexes. Sticky ends feature in the construction of many DNA nanostructures and arrays. This is an artistic portrayal of a DNA connection, with the different DNA duplexes linked by a sticky end "handshake".
A stylistic portrayal of the reconfigurable DNA nanoswitch used to demonstrate a rewriteable 5-bit memory system. Looped conformations of DNA nanoswitches (center piece) collectively provide 1's and unlooped conformations are 0's. Shown on the left and right side of the loop are words "Hello World" encoded in binary using this system, with a gel electrophoresis readout.
This image was selected to be the cover of Vol 45, Issue 19 of the journal Nucleic Acids Research. Check out the research article here.
Triple helical DNA
A three-stranded DNA complex: Triplex-forming oligonucleotides add flavor to the structural aspects of nucleic acids, as well as to novel constructions using DNA and RNA.
A third strand for DNA nanotechnology
Triplex-forming oligonucleotides (TFOs) are starting to find room in DNA nanotechnology and offer the ability to create self-assembled lattices, reconfigurable objects and nanoscale machines and devices.
A triple helical DNA flows through the room. On the wall are images of self-assembly of tensegrity triangles forming a 3D crystal (left) and a 2D lattice formed from double crossover (DX) tiles (right), both of which have hosted TFOs. The chandelier is made from gold nanoparticles connected via triplex formation. On the stool is a canonical right-handed DNA double helix. On the coffee table on the left: A DNA origami frame used to study triplex interactions via atomic force microscopy (AFM). A tetrahedron controlled by triplex sticky ends lies on the floor at the rear end. Read more about triplexes in DNA nanotechnology in my article in Nucleic Acids Research.
This image was submitted as a potential cover figure to the journal Nucleic Acids Research (not selected).
Paranemic crossover DNA
Paranemic crossover (PX) DNA is a rigid DNA motif that has played many roles in DNA nanotechnology. PX cohesion is used to connect topologically closed molecules, to assemble a 3D object (the octahedron displayed on the floor), and to create 2D DNA crystals (on the portrait on the red wall). A sequence-dependent nanodevice based on conformational changes between PX and its topoisomer, JX2, is used in nanoscale assembly lines, as key components in a DNA transducer, and to dictate polymer assembly. In addition, the PX-motif is found to play a new role directly in basic biology by possibly serving as the molecular structure for double stranded DNA homology recognition.
This image is submitted as a potential cover figure to the journal Chemical Reviews.