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More Paintings from Inside Time, page two:

This selection is part of the "Inside Time" series. A complete description of this series and its origins can be found in the "Inside Time" section of this web site. The explanations of the paintings describe the scientific basis for the initial inspiration of the painting. The characteristics of these proteins are discussed further in "Inside Time".

Pheromone Puppet Shiva as Telomerase Creating a Telomere, 25" x 33", 2000. Private Collection.Prints available.

    The telomere is like the shoelace cap on the ends of a shoelace, keeping the lace (chromosome) from unraveling. Each time a human cell divides, all the chromosomes must also divide. The telomere gets shorter when the cell divides, and the protein “telomerase” inside the telomere binding complex lengthens the telomere again.

    The telomere is a complex structure that at one time was believed to be a region where the double strand of DNA has folded over onto itself to form a quadruplex, or four stranded helix instead of the normal two stranded helix in the rest of the chromosome. Telomerase and the telomere binding complex help to stabilize this structure and lengthen it after cell divisions have shortened the telomere.

    The telomere is now believed by some to be be a large loop with a small triplex loop of DNA holding the end of the telomere onto the chromosome. This is reflected in the painting "Shiva as Telomerase inside of a Telomere Loop."

    Shiva is the dancing manifestation of the Hindu god Nataraja. The dance of Shiva represents a delicate balance of creation and destruction, preservation and evolution, a life force as well as death.

    Inspired in part by the paper "The Crystal Structure of a Parallel-stranded Guanine Tetraplex at 0.95 A Resolution" by Kathryn Phillips, Zbyszek Dauter, Alastair I. H. Murchie, David M. J. Lilley, and Ben Luisi, J. Mol. Biol. (1977) 273, 171-182, and the paper "Telomeres and Telomerase: more than the end of the line", by Mary-Lou Pardue and P.G. DeBaryshe, Chromosoma. 1999 May;108(2):73-82. Review. Information on Shiva from "Nataraja in Art, Thought and Literature" by C. Sivaramamurti, Thomas Press Ltd., New Delhi, ISBN 81-230-0092-8.

Pheromone PuppetFountain of Youth Number One, Telomere Binding Complex, 46" x 30", 2000 Private Collection.Prints available

    The fountain in this painting features a structure called “the telomere binding complex”. This is a complex of several proteins which help to stabilize the ends of human chromosomes, called telomeres. The water pouring out of the fountain is like the end of the chromosome, a single strand of DNA bound to a protein. The grape-like structure is the shape of an actual protein that has been found to bind to the telomeres of some species. One copy of the protein is facing up and the other facing down, like the women in the fountain. This is to reflect the reality of a fountain of youth - its effects may have positive effects or leave us more vulnerable as a society.

    As humans age, eventually their cells stop producing telomerase. This means that the telomere will then get shorter and shorter every time the cell divides. Eventually, the cell will no longer divide when the telomere gets too short. It is believed that if telomerase can be introduced back into the telomere binding complex, the cell can continue to divide normally. This makes telomerase, and understanding the telomere binding complex, two of the keys to an extended life span.

    Inspired by the paper "The Telomere and Telomerase: How Do They Interact?", by Elizabeth Blackburn, Deans Lecture, the Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine, October 1999. Also inspired by the structure and the paper "Crystal Structure of the Oxytricha nova Telomere end Binding Protein Complexed with Single Strand DNA", by Martin P. Horvath, Viloya L. Schweiker, Joanne M. Bevilacqua, James A. Ruggles, and Steve C. Schultz, Cell, Vol. 95, 963-974, December 23, 1998.

Pheromone Puppet Cells Both Dead and Alive as Calabash Fruit in the Tree Where Blood Moon is Impregnated by One Hunahpu, 33" x 44", 2000, Private Collection.Prints available

    This painting was originally a special commission for Dr. Zbigniew Darzynkiewicz. The premise for this painting resides in the paradox of being both dead and alive at the same time. In the tree, one can find “Schrodinger’s cat”, in reference to the analogy used in quantum physics where a cat can be both dead and alive in the quantum world. The large red fruits in the tree are calabash fruits, modeled after cells which have been studied both while dead and alive. The large, full fruits are like healthy living cells and the multi-lobed fruits are more like apoptotic cells, or cells that died via a preprogrammed internal mechanism for cell suicide*. The woman sitting in the moon is Blood Moon, from an ancient Mayan legend found in the Popul Vuh**. She holds out her hand to accept a fruit from the tree. The central fruit with a skull imbedded in it is the head of One Hunahpu. He has been beheaded and his head stuck in a tree by the lords of the underworld after going there to accept their challenge to a ball game. Instead of giving her one of the fruits, he spits in her hand, saying,

    “It is just a sign I have given you, my saliva, my spittle. This, my head, has nothing on it--just bone, nothing of meat. It’s just the same with the head of a great lord: it’s just the flesh that makes his face look good. And when he dies, people get frightened by his bones. After that, his son is like his saliva, his spittle, in his being, whether it be the son of a lord or the son of a craftsman, an orator. The father does not disappear, but goes on being fulfilled. Neither dimmed nor destroyed is the face of a lord, a warrior, craftsman, orator. Rather, he will leave his daughters and sons. So it is that I have done likewise through you. Now go up there on the face of the earth; you will not die.”

    Inspired by the paper "The Schrodinger's Cat Quandary in Cell Biology: Integration of Live Cell Functional Assays with Measurements of Fixed Cells in analysis of Apoptosis", by Xun Li and Zbigniew Darzynkiewicz, Experimental Cell Research 249, 404-412, 1999.

    Translation of the "Popul Vuh: The Mayan Book of the Dawn of Life", by Dennis Tedlock, Simon & Schuster Trade, 1995, ISBN: 0684818450

Pheromone Puppet CLOCK Weaver Girl and BMAL-1 Ox Boy Bound to DNA and to each other as part of their Circadian Cycle of Time, 33" x 44", 2000. Available for purchase.Prints available

    Clock and Bmal-1 are proteins which are part of the circadian cycle in mammals. Their production is cyclic throughout a 24 hour period. When there are enough of them, they begin to bind to each other. In this state, they can then bind to DNA, causing a third protein to be produced, mPER, or period. It is suspected that this gene product ceases the production of CLOCK, BMAL-1, or both. This kind of negative feedback loop can be found in the internal clock of insects, bacteria, and mammals.

    Weaver Girl and Ox Boy are from an ancient Chinese myth, one version of which follows. They are the characters which are used to celebrate Chinese Valentines Day, and were originally called Weaver Maid and Draught Ox:

    East of Sky River is Weaver Maid, the daughter of God in Heaven.
    Year by year she toils and slaves with loom and shuttle till she
    finishes weaving a celestial robe of cloudy silk.
    God in Heaven pitied her living alone, and allowed her to marry Draught
    Ox west of the river. After they married she neglected her weaving work.
    God in Heaven grew angry and punished her by ordering her to return to
    the east of the river, letting her make one crossing each year to be with
    Draught Ox.
    (Erh ya yi, Ts'ung-shu chi-sh'eng), Chinese Mythology, and Introduction, by Ann Birrell, 1993, The Johns Hopkins University Press, ISBN 0-8018-4595-5

    Scientific reference: "A molecular mechanism regulating rhythmic output from the suprachiasmatic circadian clock",Jin X, Shearman LP, Weaver DR, Zylka MJ, de Vries GJ, Reppert SM, Cell. 1999 Jan 8;96(1):57-68.8.

Pheromone Puppet FAS Sisters Receiving a Death Signal, 25" x 33", 2000. Private Collection.Prints available

    Three Fas identical sister proteins protrude above the cell surface. They are being organized by a death signal in the form of three Ravens, which represent the homotrimeric molecule, CD95L. Once the external trimeric FAS molecule has bound to its ligand, CD95L, the pathways of apoptosis are triggered inside the cell.

    Inspired in part by the paper "Death Receptors: Signaling and modulation", by Avi Ashkenazi and Vishva M. Dixit, Science, Vol. 281, 1305-1308, 1998, and the paper "BCL-2 family members and the mitochondria in apoptosis", Aton Gross, James McDonnell, Stanley Korsmeyer, Genes and Development, 13:1899-911, 1999.

Copyright © 2000, Julie Newdoll. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2003, Julie Newdoll. All rights reserved.