Shirty Science brings artists and researchers together to create unique t-shirt designs that represent their science. The Protein T-shirt is a collaboration between scientist Joe Kaczmarski and artist Michelle Day, and depicts Joe’s work on structure and function of protein molecules.
Joe studies the structure and function of protein molecules. Proteins can be thought of as the cell’s machines; they carry out almost all the cellular processes that are required for life. Some proteins pump chemicals across cell membranes or transport chemicals around the cell, while others speed up vital biochemical reactions such as the breakdown of food, DNA replication, or photosynthesis. By studying the shape of these molecular machines, we can understand how these proteins work, and come up with ways to engineer them for useful applications. One protein that Joe studies is involved in the transport of inorganic carbon in photosynthetic cyanobacteria. Transferring these proteins into crop plants, such as wheat and rice, could help to improve food crop yields.
Through an alternative take on botanical illustration Michelle has attempted to capture Joe’s fascination with proteins. By incorporating elements of machinery into the organic forms she illustrates Joe’s perception of proteins as moving and behaving like machinery – like a living factory. The botanical illustration style reminds us that today’s exploration into the micro world continues to be as wild and wondrous as when explorers sailed around the world to discover new life. There is so much still to explore and discover.
The Shirty Science shirts are made with 100% cotton. For sizing, see the table below.
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