one final project of the semester was to illustrate an original article for the 2012 edition of Science Notes. authors contributing to this online magazine were graduate students of the Science Communication Program at UC Santa Cruz. i was paired up with a student reporting on the spread of dengue virus in Nicaragua, and community efforts to battle the disease. the article isn’t live yet, but when it is, i’ll be sure to link up! the statistics are pretty chilling.
here’s an excerpt:
“Of those infected with dengue, most get mild dengue fever—like seasonal flu—but others plunge into shock from internal hemorrhaging. In critical cases, death can come in less than 48 hours. Fifty years ago, a handful of dengue cases haunted only a few countries, mostly in Asia. Nicaragua wasn’t affected. Today, dengue is endemic there and in more than 100 other countries, causing up to 100 million cases per year. It’s the most common mosquito-delivered plague on the planet, beating West Nile virus and malaria.” (The Scourge of Dengue, Beth Mole)
above is my infographic for the primary cell infection process (a mix of watercolor, adobe illustrator, and photoshop— click for a better view). more interesting, i think, is the interaction different strains of the virus have with different antibodies. “good” antibodies, which are part of our immune system line of defense in recognizing invaders, can become “bad” when they don’t properly recognize a certain strain of the virus, and actually aid the infection process by escorting the virus into the cell. because there are 4 different strains of dengue, developments for a “one size fits all” vaccine against the virus have been difficult. currently there is no dengue-specific treatment.
for another final project, my flash animation assignment in my digital illustration class, i chose “good” vs. “bad” antibody response against dengue as my topic. it’s a video i’m actually pretty proud of (as a first official venture into animation), but unfortunately my computer crashes every time i try to export and play the video. fortunately, you can see the original video lecture that i used as reference— given by Dr. Eva Harris (who is featured in the article). see segment 5. basically my animation is a more stylized, split-screen view of that infection process. when i have more time i hope to fiddle around with it more and get it working!