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Scientific design for editorial

Helping a renown circadian biologist share his research

outline of a human body with a cancerous liver and signals coming from the brain

When great opportunities come along, take them. In this case, a renown circadian biologist needed a "cover art" image for his research article accepted in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The timeline was short leaving not much room for revisions.

The research paper showed that inhibiting certain clock proteins could stop liver cancer cells from replicating. For the design, I focus on using a standard body reference as the backdrop to show stylized signal from the brain's clock region flowing down to a tumor cell in the liver.

I added the tertiary protein structure of the clock proteins overlaid on a clock reference to bring the audience focus to proteins being the major actors. The color palette was moody and dark except for the liver and tumor. The color choices were to make the liver cancer the focal point.

While the image didn't make the journal cover, the subsequent media push for the story meant the image was viewed by more than 52 million unique monthly viewers and resulted in over 250 engagements in week after release.

Check out the full view in the video below!

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