Arthur J. Olson
The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA
17. Nanoscape I: Encounter in the Blood Stream
Arthur J. Olson has pioneered the use of new computer
graphics and animation techniques in the biochemical sciences.
"Nanoscape I" was created within a state-of-the-art
interactive visualization environment.
Blood plasma contains a crowded collection of molecules
involved in the immune system, in transport, and in blood
clotting. Art Olson writes: "The intent of this piece is to
give the viewer a feeling for the variety and density of
protein molecules within a small volume of blood plasma.
Because the image was designed to be shown
stereoscopically, a true three-dimensional model of the
blood plasma had to be constructed. Thus, the piece has
sculptural as well as pictorial elements." Approximately
500 protein subunits are depicted, representing over 1.5
million atoms. A virus is shown in green, being attacked by
antibodies, which are two-toned, in pink and light blue.
Other proteins are in shades of blue and purple. The tiny
protein in bright magenta is the hormone insulin. The
surfaces of the individual molecules convey accurate
molecular shapes, but do not show atomic detail. The
image is a barrier-strip autostereogram produced by Ellen
Sandor, Janine Fron, and Stephan Meyer of Artn.
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