Brain Mapping Exploration

Brain Mapping Exploration

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

British Pharmological Conference, London 2010

Last week I presented an academic poster about part of the research I have been doing in the School of Biomedical Science, Nottingham.
What has been really interesting is the buzz in that hour long session of questions as all the scientists ask each other about the research they have been doing. There is a real mix of age groups and experiences all asking questions, from industry, academia and students.

I managed to go to some of the afternoon presentations which were from some of the people I know. it was fascinating listening to the research they were doing.

I also talked to one of the Staff at Nottingham, Steve Briddand who is currently measuring "the noise" of the receptors as they move across an area of the cell . His research is so precise and so abstract it really appeals to me. The abstract nature , logical yet using what seems like 'infinitive' reference points is mesmerising. What really appeals about this science is the way they look so thoroughly at one particular aspect of what happens inside our cells. Its so simple visually yet you know its such complex thinking –fabulous.

Before I started this research I had no idea how important cell signalling is in finding out how medicines work inside our cells. Now, I am interested in the process , the level of investigation , the methodology of how scientists come up with their data.

My first experience of the BPS conference:
Questioning environment
Working with other people .
Changing opinions
Scientific community –network –talking the same language

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Hijacking Natural Systems in School

I have been going into schools to show them the research and artwork I have been doing as part of this ongoing project, working in collaboration with an artist , friend of mine , Bernie Rutter.
WE have both worked very differently but have taken inspiration from the wealth of cell imagery I have been collecting. She has been working in a hands on way with the students using acetates, projections, photography and drawing/montage while, I have been working digitally with the students who have produced digital imagery using adobe illustrator and some of them have been making some Flash animations. Its been a really refreshing and fun thing to do. There has been an article in Derby Evening Telegraph of the workshops . We hope some of the artwork created will be used on several Bus Stops in the City and animations shown at Derby Museum & Art Gallery and on BBC Big Screen in July 2011. Here are some of the photographs taken at Woodlands School ( photographs taken by Bernie Rutter)

Friday, 29 October 2010

Derby Market Place Vinyl Artwork

Look out for Jo Berry’s exhibition of multi-layered sculptural lightboxes, digital drawings, vinyl artwork, animations and film at Derby Museum and Art Gallery from 23 July to 30 October 2011.

Jo Berry spent six months working with scientists at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, studying how a “hunger” hormone stimulates the body’s cells, potentially paving the way for new drug treatments for obesity and diabetes by “turning on and off hunger”.

She turned this research into a stunning series of digital drawings and lightboxes to promote the connection between art and science.

More details of Jo and her work can be found at:

The science behind Jo’s work can be found at

British Parmological Society Conference

Academic poster to be presented at the British Pharmological Society on 14th December 2010 "Art meets Science" of work done . Title: "Agonist and inverse agonist pharmacology revealed by quantitative assessment of ghrelin receptor internalisation" .
Jo Berry has spent six months working with scientists at the University of Notingham, who use microscopy to study how a “hunger” hormone stimulates our body’s cells. A better understanding of these processes may help pave the way for new drug treatments for obesity and diabetes.
She is currently turning the research into a stunning series of digital drawings, lightboxes and animations to promote the connection between art and science.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Design drawing -taking inspiration from Cell Signalling Stereo Imagery

Monday, 14 June 2010

Learning to play with LSM software to alter cell imagery -fascinating what you can and how you can turn scientific imagery into a moving abstract form that you can then add to and work with in flash - these are works in progress -but i can show you some of the films that are just being developed..
Getting more used to working in the research labs -making up the compounds, taking different compunds off the cells with an aspirator, working out serial concentrations and adding these to the plates with cells on them.., looking at results under the microscope , on the plate reader and flex station and all the data and information that the experiments generate..
Whats refreshing is being in an alien environment and learning something new. I am interested in the interaction and collaboration that is being shared through this unique opportunity, i dont think the impact on myself , my work and the wider outcomes will be apparent for a while -but its so exciting being able to work in a scientific lab and respond to the material and technology that is available within this department..

Friday, 21 May 2010

Hijacking natural systems
1. Scientists have to judge if they are doing things right
2. A lot of science is built on repeating experiments to get statistically sigificant results
3. I am interested in looking at this imageries extreme beauty

Monday, 17 May 2010

13th may 2010 calcium signalling

Measued calcium signalling on a flex station -this machine automatically puts the compounds onto the cells -you dont get a visual image you get data and graphs. In industry a lot of drugs are tested on a lkarger version of a flex station called a flipper -great names!

Also looked at a Lysotracker and snaptag on the new ZeissLSM 710 microscope, a state of the art machine which is much more sensitive

Nick, said that 'scientists are always trying to do experiments that test ideas' and I think artists are always trying to create to develop and test ideas ...

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

week starting with Lab visit 3- 28th april 2010

Sample from a plate reader -just starting to draw over in Adobe Illustrator -looking for interesting structures and thinking about layering many of the images together to show how the cells change with different concentration of drugs attatched to them ...

notes sketchbook of lab day - I have to remember so many things-I have never heard of a molar before as a form of measurent or Log time table -well I cant remember . I have never needed to use maths since school -its essential -although some of the scientists also share some of my fear of the subject -but not as much as me.
AIM1.To produce concentration response curve for GHRELIN (AGONIST-meaning it stimulates the receptor)
2. To look at the effect of an antagonist(this blocks the receptor)
All these results were done using a 'plate reader' a 96 well plate with around 25,000 cells in a tiny single well.

Also went back on the confocal microscope -looking again how calcium when loaded on the cell causes it to fire up -but not much happened .

I am trying to understand the importance of the scientific principles- its about the principle and of what you are trying to find out. The scientists are trying to look at how different receptors bind and affect the cell with as low a concentration as possible of drugs to get the maximum effect with the minimum concentration. (This is something that is constantly reiterated). They are trying to fimd out how medicines can work in a single cell to really try and slim down the side effects.

Confocal Microscopy has only been around for 30 years and scientists have only been labelling cells for 20 years . Whats remarkable to me is the evolution of science.

Through cell signalling, analysing a range of data - the scientists in this research group want to show how Ghrelin could affect our hunger -how this hormone receptor sends messages to the brain to tell us we are hungry or not. Drug companies take the data and develop the drug. The Scientists are trying to find out how this receptor works.

The implications are significant in our society-with obesity on the rise (its health implications) and on the opposite end of the scale anorexia. Myself I am overweight -three children later and needing to shed the excess!! And its difficult-the thought that a drug could stop people eating too much, to stop some people having to undergo intrusive surgery, to stop other diseases related to being overweight. In our plentiful society we have too much to eat -we dont need to but its so difficult -why can we not be disciplined .

Sunday, 25 April 2010

more detail from lab work on april 22nd 2010

back to scientists experiments being logical and precise. You cant help but be in awe of the beauty of the images created -through this process you can see the fine definition of the cells -the intrinsic beauty of a living cell -they images created are unwordly, alive. Technology has allowed us to view a scientific experiment as a still or movie in incredible detail-you can see how the cells react when a mediicine in inserted .
Looking at calcium second messaging -stimulating the hormone 'Ghrelin' -its receptor with another Ghrelin 'downstream' to release calcium using a flourescent dye. From what I understand - THe key thing is the cells get brighter the more calcium is released . THe best cells to look at under the microscope are long tubulat shapes as they have settled well

Friday, 23 April 2010

22nd april 2010

I spent the day at Nottingham University in the Department of Bio medical Science - Today with Tim Self (Cheif Imaging Officer) I am looking at Cells with calcium -second messaging. The key thing we are trying to do is to see how calcium can be attatched to a cell and if it does what the reaction is -the cell "fires" as the calcium is released and the cells get brighter . Its so complex the process of getting the cells ready, everything is so precise -its really exciting and somewhat daunting how scientists investigate how medicines work in living cells. Most of the scientists and research students are young and trendy and very nice -its a very refreshing environment to be in . They work hard -you have to concentrate and be methodical -its very different to how I work as an artist - i break rules they follow-but they are inventive and creative-science is a very creative process-it allows you to ask questions.The maths thats something else too-i have never heard of a 'molar' until now! I am really interested in the methodologies and protocol they follow, the rigour of the experiments and visually for me its bliss. I am also interested in the cutting edge technology and the systems in place, that the scientists use and have developed to use at their optimun to look how cells react to medicines. After making films of how calcium reacts -we made Zed stack films of these we looked at 'internalisation'..

Monday, 19 April 2010

wellocome trust award 2010-2011

n artist
just started work in the labs at nottingham university where i am lloking at the hormone ghrelin and how it affects our appetite.working as a research scientist but no experience whatsoever of scientific practise i am an artist-really exciting working so directly with specialists who use technolgy in a diferent way