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Animals and Angels - Digital Print (24 x 24 in.)
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Animals and Angels - Digital Print (24 x 24 in.)


The largest painting (7 x 7 ft.) in an installation of 14 paintings and LED lights in the Quinlan Life Sciences Center at Loyola University Chicago.

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The largest square painting represents animals, their organ systems and some molecular biology techniques.  There is a central male and female figure connected by a heart.  The female figure is pregnant.  The arteries from the heart weave throughout the entire painting.  All the organs and cells pictured can relate to stem cell research and the careful consideration that needs to be taken when considering the source of stem cells.  Connected to the female is a kidney.  Lungs are pictured in the male’s chest.  One angel with orange hair and wings overlooks the male and female figures, and one angel is below the male and female figures.

An image of a choanoflagellate is next to the angel on the upper right.  A choanoflagellate is a single-celled eukaryotic organism that is evolutionary closely related to animals.  Eukaryotic cells contain membrane bound compartments called organelles, each with specific functions, as opposed to prokaryotic cells that do not contain membrane bound compartments.  Organisms with eukaryotic cells include animals, plants, fungi and protozoans.  Bacteria are organisms with prokaryotic cells.

A lower figure to the right of the man shows an exposed brain.  A nerve cell is connected to the central male figure and a lower female figure.

On the middle left a mother and daughter are shown sharing a mitochondrion to represent maternal mitochondrial inheritance.  The main DNA genome is located in the nucleus, an organelle in a eukaryotic cell.  A genome is an entire set of hereditary instructions encoded in DNA to create, run and maintain a living organism.  Half of the main DNA genome in the nucleus is inherited from the mother and half from the father.  A mitochondrion, another organelle in a eukaryotic cell, is commonly known as the “energy powerhouse of the cell.”  A mitochondrion also has its own DNA genome that a child inherits in its entirety from the mother without any contribution from the father.  A mitochondrion may have once been a free-living prokaryotic cell hence why it has its own genome.

The upper left and lower right boxes contain microarrays in this painting.  Microarrays can also be seen as separate smaller paintings in the installation, not part of the main six paintings.  There are a variety of types of microarrays with different functions.  DNA microarrays can detect levels of gene expression.  Protein microarrays can detect protein-protein interactions.  Antibody microarrays can be used to detect protein expression.

The background of the entire painting has carved into the paint short pieces of DNA to represent shotgun sequencing.  Shotgun sequencing is an efficient way to sequence the order of As, Ts, Gs and Cs in a genome.

There is a purple rabbit on the left and a blue rabbit on the right.

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