Artwork by Karmella Haynes, 2006. Mixed media: Pencil on paper (scanned) and digital photography edited using Adobe Photoshop.
A tessellation is a mosaic of interlocking shapes (see the artwork of M.C. Escher). I created this piece as a cover art submission for a scientific journal (it wasn't accepted). I photographed fly heads under a dissecting scope (part of my thesis research), pencil-skecthed and scanned a fly head, and created the tessellating edges and tiled the fly heads using Photoshop.
The image shows two types of expression of the gene encoding red eye color in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster). The solid red eyes are a consequence of normal fully active expression, and the speckled variegated eyes are a caused by stochastic silencing of the red eye color gene. Variegation occurs when the gene is artificially placed in/near compacted genomic regions, or "heterochromatin." This work was inspired by my investigation of how repetitive DNA elements contribute to heterochromatin formation and variegated gene expression.
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