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Images (c) 2001 Frank Wu
Illustration for the story by S.C. Bryce in Fantastic Stories magazine, Spring 2001. In this tale, Jesus is cloned from chips of dried blood from the Shroud of Turin; the story focuses on the controversy surrounding this event.
As I discussed in my interview with Artist Interviews magazine, this is the only piece I've received hate mail about. I described some of my thoughts as I did this piece, as I am a Christian. Read the interview here.
An enlarged montage below shows some of the protestors and picket signs:
I did a second illustration for this story, which emphasizes the biotechnical implements that might have been used in the cloning process:
From bottom to top, the illo shows: hydrophobicity plots of receptor proteins (these looks like EKG of heart beats, but aren't - rather they show regions of hydrophilic and hydrophobic amino acids within a protein); various ribbon structures of assorted proteins; baby Jesus' head is replaced by an enveloped virus encircled by a plasmid (ring of DNA); the halo around the Mother Mary's head is the Krebs cycle, which describes the biochemical steps in generating energy from sugar; Pipetman P200 pipetters, used for dispensing small quantities (e.g., 20 microliters to 200 microliters of liquid - the size of a raindrop); and behind the pipetters are two "footprinting" gels which show a protein binding to DNA. The protein used in making the gel is pi, the replication initiator protein for bacterial plasmid R6K. This gel, which was actually produced by post-doc Igor Levchenko in our laboratory - run by Dr. Marcin Filutowicz at Univ. Wisconsin-Madison - was used as a small piece of my Ph. D. thesis project on control of DNA replication in bacteria.\