Art and Science Inspire BJ Author Javier Rodríguez Salarichs

Javier Rodríguez Salarichs, a student in the lab of José Fernando Díaz Pereira of the Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CSIC) in Madrid, discusses how he was inspired to create the cover image shown on the latest issue of Biophysical Journal.

I always thought that art and science are branches of the same tree. The scientific discoveries are created like paintings; in both cases we need to follow some laws and/or rules in the process of creation. Inspiration is as much necessary in art as in science.

This cover art is a result of synergistic combination between both inspiration and scientific knowledge. The image represents the acquired capacity to modify the diameter of cellular microtubule by altering the interprotofilament contacts using a set of taxane analogs. This ability directly depends on the molecular volume of each substituent in the taxane core, which we can change and gives us the possibility to modify the assembly mechanism of in vitro induced microtubules with “our hands.” The zipper used by “the scientific hands” represents the chemical structure of taxane core as symbolic tool of the process. The colours and positions of three taxanes shown on the cover represent the relationship between them, referred to in their structures and how the differences affect microtubule structure. Flutax-2, shown in green colour, is the largest and with largest effect of all the taxanes employed and can be used for fluorescently labeled cellular microtubules.

In the creation of the cover image, we used images obtained by different scientific and photographic techniques. As young scientist, I feel very excited to be granted the privilege of being author of this article and that my art is on the cover of this issue of Biophysical Journal.

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