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A Genome is Not a Blueprint

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Genome vs. Blueprint

Image: 1936 Joy Oil gas station blueprints (top); sequence from human chromosome 1 (bottom).
Source: from A Monkey’s Blueprint by Martin Krzywinski on SA Visual

When artist Martin Krzywinski was challenged to come up with a graphic that quickly and concisely shows how the human genome is more similar to chimpanzee and bonobo genomes than to the gorilla genome, he faced many hurdles – from combating the idea that a genome is a type of blueprint to the technical constraints of depicting the 3 million bases that comprise our genome. In A Monkey’s Blueprint, Krzywinski walks us through the process that eventually led to images that appeared in the September 2014 issue of Scientific American.

Kalliopi Monoyios About the Author: Kalliopi Monoyios is an independent science illustrator. She has illustrated several popular science books including Neil Shubin's Your Inner Fish and The Universe Within, and Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True. Find her at www.kalliopimonoyios.com. Follow on Twitter @symbiartic.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.



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