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GTC cover art December 2018

December 2018
Mochi (rice cake) is indispensable to welcome the New Year in Japan. To use mochi for various purposes such as for food and for ornament, people firstly pound a large mochi and then divide it into small pieces according to the purposes. This process may be similar to that of producing various types of cells from fertilized eggs by asymmetric cell divisions. The woman in the front is dividing a large mochi asymmetrically such that beans that look like Sara (Smad anchor for receptor activation) endosomes and a crescent that looks like Numb (a cell fate-determining factor) are gathered only into the left half. The other woman on the back is preparing a decoration called mochi-bana (rice-cake flower). Note that she is trying to schematize a linage of stem cells and progeny. For drawing this image, we referred to Gonzalez (2015) Nature 528, 196-197, DOI: 10.1038/528196a.

GTC cover art November 2018

November 2018
When drawing a saturation binding curve of two proteins, there is a way of plotting the concentration of the free form of one of the pair on X axis, and the ratio of the other that is forming complex on Y axis. In this case, the slope of the curve is small if their affinity is low (i.e. large dissociation constant (Kd)); however, the slope is large if the affinity is high (i.e. small Kd). In this drawing, two flocks of wild geese are flying along two line-shaped clouds that are likened to saturation binding curves. The geese along the lower, gentle-slope cloud are flying apart as if their affinity is low. On the other hand, the ones flying along the steep-slope cloud in front of the moon are gathering together as if their affinity is high. For drawing this image, we referred to the research paper by Sadaie et al. (2014) Mol. Cell. Biol., 34:3272-3290, DOI: 10.1128/MCB.00087-14 that reports in vivo Kd values.

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