2019 AMI Online Salon

Living circuits: transcriptional logic gates using CRISPR systems

Project Details

  • Entrant Name: Xiao Fan Tracy Xiang

  • Membership Type: Student Submission

  • Other Contributors:

  • Address: Toronto, Canada

  • Client: Dr. Derek Ng

  • Medium/software used: Cinema4D, Adobe Illustrator

  • Final presentation format: 11×17” Print

  • Primary Audience: General Scientific Audience

Project Description

CRISPR is one of the biggest science stories of the decade. However, most existing visualizations on CRISPR focus on its structure and mechanism rather than its novel applications beyond gene editing. Engineering living digital circuits is an emerging application of CRISPR. The challenges of explaining a CRISPR circuit lie not just in creating an engaging yet accurate picture of each individual element of the circuit, but also in helping the viewer understand how a logical operation is computed (in the context of both electronics and dynamic genetic control). This two-page illustration spread introduces a new perspective to CRISPR by showing the logic of this system through a truth table while simultaneously constructing a cancer therapy scenario where CRISPR does more than just editing out a cancer gene. My goal for this illustration is to depict the use of CRISPR in a potential synthetic decision-making system, rather than just a pair of molecular scissors.