Painting Macromolecules

Although originally trained as an architect, Irving Geis dedicated his life to creating images of molecules that taught viewers about their structure and function. Beginning in 1948, Geis illustrated scientific concepts for Scientific American—a job

By Sabrina Richards | August 1, 2012

Irving Geis in l961 with the painting of myoglobin incomplete. Note the heme portion of the protein (in red) still lacks the oxygen molecule in its center.Illustrations, Irving Geis. Images from the Irving Geis Collection, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Irving Geis in l961 with the painting of myoglobin incomplete. Note the heme portion of the protein (in red) still lacks the oxygen molecule in its center.Illustrations, Irving Geis. Images from the Irving Geis Collection, Howard Hughes
Medical Institute

Painting Macromolecules Image Gallery

Although originally trained as an architect, Irving Geis dedicated his life to creating images of molecules that taught viewers about their structure and function. Beginning in 1948, Geis illustrated scientific concepts for Scientific American—a job that eventually led him to create a now-iconic illustration of the first protein structure solved by X-ray crystallography, that of the sperm whale myoglobin, for the magazine in 1961. An illustration of lysozyme, the first enzyme structure solved, followed myoglobin in 1966. Geis collaborated with biochemist Richard Dickerson—who also helped decipher the structure of myoglobin—on three books, including 1969’s The Structure and Action of Proteins. In addition to his molecular work, Geis gained a new generation of fans when he showed off his mischievous humor by illustrating Darrell Huff’s How to Lie with Statistics.

Read "Painting the Protein Atomic, 1961."

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Avatar of: padhu

padhu

Posts: 1457

August 12, 2012

All these pictures reminds of me of my undergraduate Biochemistry class.. where we used to appreciate these pictures as they helped us understand the structure of Hemoglobin and Myoglobin in those simple illustrations which are otherwise so hard to imagine. Such a very creative personality.

Avatar of: Smile

Smile

Posts: 1

August 23, 2012

Good Phadu... Phad do.

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