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GTC cover art March 2015

March 2015
The fragrance of Japanese plum blossoms is the essence of early spring in Japan. This well-kept plum garden has a unique feature that it is a copy of a landscape of the outer side of animal plasma membrane. The ground represents hydrophilic head domains of the lipid molecules, while the trimmed trunks and branches in the front and the garden stones in the back look like glycosylated membrane proteins. There are a lot of plum trees that look like glycans far off in the distance. A mound on the ground under a basket and a pond in the back express lipid raft (a microdomain that has a different lipid composition) and endocytosis in process, respectively.

GTC cover art February 2015

February 2015
An atmospheric ghost light that is called Kitsunebi ('fox light') is described in Japanese folklore. The most famous one is the one in the Oji Inari shrine (Kita-ku, Tokyo). Every New Year's Eve in the old lunar calendar, foxes from all of the Kanto area, all suited up, gather to this shrine, light Kitsunebi under a big tree, and then stand in line. In this drawing, while the line of Kitsunebi in a standard single color is ahead of the rest, the rest of the foxes gathering under the tree are holding up 'new generation Kitsunebi' in various colors and about to join the line. This scene is reminiscent of the green fluorescent protein (GFP; here are three spatial structure models) genetically engineered so as to be available in different emission peaks.

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