2019 AMI Online Salon

Let There Be Light: Using Fireflies in Cancer Research

Project Details

  • Entrant Name: Amy Cao

  • Membership Type: Student Submission

  • Other Contributors:                         

  • Address: Mississauga, Canada

  • Client: Faculty advisor: Derek Ng

  • Medium/software used: Photoshop, Illustrator, Cinema 4D, Arnold, ZBrush, Chimera

  • Final presentation format: Print, magazine spread, 11’x17′

  • Primary Audience: Educated lay audience

Project Description

This two-page magazine spread, intended for a popular science magazine such as Scientific American, illustrates how scientists can take advantage of firefly bioluminescence for cancer research in a technique called in vivo bioluminescent imaging (BLI). The illustration takes audiences through the BLI process from the cellular to molecular levels and explores the relationship between structure and function of the enzyme luciferase. By visualizing the molecular players, their three-dimensional structures, and associated conformational changes, this piece aims to elucidate at multiple levels of scale how luciferase interacts with its substrate luciferin to produce light.