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January 5, 2012 / May K.

Alzheimer’s disease related APP

Protein Data Bank ID: 2FK3
Protein Name: Copper Binding Domain of APP
Organism: Homo sapiens
Title of Drawing: “Elephant’s Bath”

The image gained by means of X-ray diffraction contains eight chains of the APP copper binding domain. Four chains are used for the elephant picture.

Via its copper binding domain Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) can modulate copper transport. Cu-binding presumably leads to a reduction of Aβ levels  which is a key player in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore copper could have therapeutic effects on Alzheimer’s patients.


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  1. acollectionofatoms / Jan 6 2012 10:41 pm

    Hello May K, I like your idea of protein art.
    I was wondering if it was possible to manipulate the protein itself so that it could look like your drawings.

    • May K. / Jan 10 2012 7:21 pm

      Interesting idea. You mean instead of drawing around the protein structure? What kind of manipulation do you have in mind?

      • acollectionofatoms / Jan 15 2012 7:29 pm

        Genetic engineering. : )
        although perhaps it would be to expensive

  2. charlesxxavier / Jan 9 2012 3:14 pm

    This ideas are great. This Art form really amazes me, never thought of something like it.

    • May K. / Jan 10 2012 7:23 pm

      Thank you, I’m glad to hear this.

  3. Jess / Jan 10 2012 5:08 pm

    I really like this one. I suppose this form of art is like seeing shapes in the clouds. It appeals to our natural tendency to see faces and patterns in things.

    • May K. / Jan 10 2012 7:38 pm

      Thank you, Jess!) Exactly, this is very similar to looking for shapes in clouds or reading tea leafs. As I was a child I often found interesting shapes in the cracked varnish of the door, in the complicated pattern of the floor, etc. I never thought that this ability can be useful in a way.

  4. gwynridenhour / Jan 15 2012 3:37 am

    Hi May,

    I’m so glad you found my blog today so that I could in turn find yours. I love your stuff. My dad is a retired geneticist, and I’ve spent a little bit of time beading DNA strands into tree ornaments. I get geeky art! I’m looking forward to following what all you’re doing…

    • May K. / Jan 17 2012 6:56 pm

      Thank you, I’m also very excited to see your upcoming posts!

  5. frangipani / Feb 18 2012 11:28 am

    Amazing! Thank you for following my post, and thus introducing me your unique and incredible art. I like the way you specially create a picture with some connection with the function of the protein.

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