04 March, 2010

Post Ignite Talk

As I mentioned somewhere down below, I was selected to give an Ignite talk about informational processing in biological systems. The talk happened tonight with an audience of about 500 people, and I completely deviated from my prepared notes and winged it very successfully (the drawing together of informational threads when I improvised was better than my notes). I even convinced my brother and sister to do an interpretive dance while I talked to illustrate the transmission of information from DNA to RNA to protein, even though one of them got dropped by the other in the middle of their big 2-person cartwheel (they made up their routine).

After the presentation, a bunch of people whose names I no longer remember shook my hand and told me that I'd given a great talk that was very interesting and many people shared their stories with me of how molecular biology has randomly affected their own lives. There were also a lot of people who knew about the Central Dogma, but had always viewed it as something to be memorized and had never considered biochemical pathways to be a form of useful, active information. Nonetheless, what people very specifically pointed out about my talk were my slides. I painted about half my slides by hand with soluble ink and watercolor. Here are many of them:


Protein Folding.

Sonic hedgehog. It helps you tell your head from your ass.

Sonic Hedgehog talking to his buddies Smoothened and Patched.

Concentration gradient of Sonic Hedgehog helps Embryonic Pony determine anterior-posterior patterning.

Transcription. I chose to leave out semi-conservative replication to keep my talk focused.

Proteins have distinct functional motifs, like this one's tongue.

Other presentations ranged from mastodon hunting technology to home funerals to spaghetti bolognese and were overall quite excellent. A program of the evening can be found here, and I will post video of the event once my brother returns my camera. I would certainly do one of these again, and have even submitted a proposal to give a TEDxUM talk in April. I'm thinking Immunology in 15min.


Science Bear said...

Awesome art and congrats on the lecture going well!

Hermitage said...

That artwork is quite lovely, I kind of want to steal it. Which is properly nefarious I suppose.

Arikia said...

I love your drawings! :)