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Art of Science image titled Fire

Scientist Collaborators Yanyu Xiong and Neha Chauhan

Nanosensors Group with Prof. Brian T. Cunningham and Nucleic Acids Programming Lab with Prof. Xing Wang

Asylum Research Cypher ES Atomic Force Microscope

Funded by National Science Foundation Grants for Rapid Response Research and National Institutes of Health

DNA is the template that dictates all the cellular processes within us. By understanding how DNA is organized, we can get an insight into health and disease. The research image shows a two-dimensional DNA origami structure, which has been constructed by weaving specific pieces of DNA together. These structures can be measured using atomic force microscopy, which works like a record player: there is a cantilevered sharp needle that is in contact with the samples, which are placed on a moving stage. The needle has a laser at its tip which measures the topography of the sample as it moves.

The art is inspired by Emma Kunz, a Swiss healer, researcher, and artist. Even though Kunz never received an arts education, she produced hundreds of geometric drawings that were usually visions of energy fields. These were used to formulate diagnoses for her patients who suffered from physical and mental ailments. This exhibit exemplifies how aesthetic geometries are a part of both artistic processes and scientific techniques.

Sound by Anders Pollack