The Sleepy Molecule: Melatonin

This mock Scientific American spread focuses on melatonin synthesis, melatonin’s effects on circadian rhythms and how melatonin binds with receptors to trigger a series of cellular events.

Audience      

Educated lay audience

Client

Prof. Derek Ng

Format

2 page spread, Print

Date

June 2021

Media

UCSF Chimera

VMD

3D Protein Imaging

Maya

Blender

Adobe Illustrator

Procreate

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Process work 

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Research 

I first conducted a media audit of the existing visual graphics on the cellular mechanisms of melatonin. I then acquired the structural information for melatonin and melatonin receptors using Protein Data Bank (PDB).

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Rough sketches 

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From several thumbnails I produced, I chose the last layout so the information flows logically between each section, from melatonin synthesis to melatonin binding to downstream cellular mechanisms.

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Production  

2D assets were created using Procreate. The molecular structures (MT1, MT2, Phospholipase C, G-proteins, Adenylyl cyclase) were isolated and edited using VMD and USCF Chimera. They were then exported to Maya for compositing and rendering. A lipid bilayer was created using Blender. 

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Details

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