Biology

Genetics animation clips

Animation, Biology, Chemistry

A series of genetics animations we produced for Science Photo Library, showing:

(1) The transcription of DNA to mRNA,
(2) Translation of mRNA to protein chains,
(3) The mechanism of how smoking can alter DNA and prevent normal DNA function,
(4) UV radiation damaging DNA structure,
(5) Nuclear radiation causing a DNA mutation,
(6) Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), where an individual strand of DNA is multiplied many times by cycling the temperature.

Music by Jelsonic

Gaviscon Mode of Action animation

Animation, Biology

We created this animation for Gavison to show how Gaviscon can work in a complementary way to medication such as PPIs (proton pump inhibitors). Reflux events are caused by the Lower Oesophageal Sphincter (LES) failing to close fully, which allows stomach acid to enter the oesophagus. This causes burning in the oesophagus, and the vapours can condense at the back of the throat giving an acidic taste. PPIs reduce stomach acidity, but some symptoms can persist because the LES is still weak, and patients can experience irritation in the oesophagus (particularly if it’s already damaged from previous reflux events). Gaviscon works to soothe the damaged oesophagus, and the Gaviscon raft physically blocks the acid reflux, removing the associated symptoms.
The animation was used at a medical conference, NeuroGASTRO 2015, to raise awareness of how Gaviscon can benefit PPI patients.

Illustration for Nottingham University; Darwinian selection of proteins

Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Illustration

An illustration created for the O’Reilly Research Group at the Unviersity of Nottingham, to illustrate the concept of using Darwinian selection to find better proteins, by making many small tweaks to their structure and selecting ones that are most effective at each stage.  The image mimics the famous monkey-to-man depiction of evolution, but using secondary protein structures that evolve and form functional structures.


More about their research

Microsoft’s DNA Strand Displacement tool (DSD)

Animation, Biology, Engineering

We created this animation to explain some of the background and concept behind Microsoft Research‘s DNA Strand Displacement tool (DSD),
It was created for Microsoft Research to use at Techfest, to explain the mechanics of DNA strand displacement, and show how their tool enables the design and simulation of programmable DNA circuits for biological computation.
More information, including the current beta version of the software here:
http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/dna/

Illustration of Neuron for Pint of Science, Cambridge

Biology, Illustration

We created a piece of art for Pint of Science which is an international organisation which brings together detailed science talks on a wide range of cutting-edge research, in an informal pub setting, with plenty of beer.
We used 3D public domain data from Eyewire (a citizen science game that maps real neurons as players progress).  This was created for Pint of Science, to accompany a talk in Cambridge.

Illustrations for Microsoft Research

Biology, Chemistry, Engineering

We created two high resolution illustrations to explain some of the concepts behind two of Microsoft Research‘s analytical tools.
This illustration on DNA Strand Displacement (DSD) accompanies four short animations showing how DSD can be used to perform logic operations, which in turn can form part of a biological equivalent to an electronic circuit, and eventually be used for biological computing.  Microsoft Research‘s tool enables the design and simulation of such biological computations.

More about the DSD method
This illustration on the Genetic Engineering of Living Cells (GEC) shows an electrical engineering analogy of the network of interactions inside an engineered bacterium.  Organisms can be engineered to perform functions, such as sysnthesising useful chemicals (fuel, pharaceuticals, etc) or changing behaviour triggered by input stimuli.  Microsoft Research‘s tool creates a programming language for characterising such systems, to enable their design at an abstracted level.


More about the GEC tool

Microsoft’s Bio Model Analyzer (BMA)

Animation, Biology, Engineering

We created this animation to explain some of the background and concept behind Microsoft Research‘s Bio Model Analyzer project, which is a piece of software for simulating the behaviour of protein networks within cellular systems.  It is to be used to compare hypothesised models of protein networks with reality, and even to predict the effects of knocking out key proteins (by targeted drugs, for example) and to spot inconsistencies in the models, helping to point towards better models of protein interactions.
The software is available to use online (you can load sample models from the Help page):