Artwork made from real DNA sequences is on display on newly-illuminated signage near BC Cancer— Vancouver and Vancouver General Hospital. The code was created by BC Cancer Genome Science Centre scientist and artist, Martin Krzywinski. Backlit during the evening, each shape represents a unit of DNA and each row represents a gene sequence. Bright bases signal a gene mutation that is known to be associated with cancer.
“I want to share with people in a matter of seconds what we do,” says Krzywinski. “We help improve people’s quality of life when we decode genomes. They help us identify diseases like cancer.”
The cancer DNA used in the design was sequenced at the Genome Sciences Centre as part of the Personalized Onco-Genomics (POG) clinical research program. In the POG program, researchers compare patients’ tumour and normal DNA to find the best targeted therapies. Modern breakthroughs in cancer treatment have been made possible by genomics, the study of DNA and its role in heredity, health and disease.
“The purpose of science isn’t only to find a solution to a problem. It’s also intended to be inspiring and creative” says Krzywinski. More information about the POG program can be found on the BC Cancer website
and more information about Martin’s work can be found here