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Shigella's Entry into M-cells by Strayfish Shigella's Entry into M-cells by Strayfish
Final project for my Intracellular Illustration class. For the less biologically-inclined: Shigella is a kind of bacteria which affects the digestive system and causes awful diarrhea among other things (that may not sound so bad, but I'm talking like, can dehydrate and kill you if you do nothing about it kind of diarrhea).

The bacteria has a really neat way of getting into your system... most of your intestinal lining cells are surrounded by a layer of stuff called the glycocalyx which many bacteria can't penetrate, but the M-cells, which are a particular kind of immune cell dispersed throughout the lining in little dome shapes, don't have a glycocalyx. So the Shigella devised a way to enter through "apical" side of this cell (which is what my image shows; apical just means the side facing the intestine), and then leave through the "basal" side (the side facing the bloodstream/lymph/inner bits of your body). Then they hop over to an intestinal cell, which is the real target, and enter through its *basal* side, which doesn't have a glycocalyx, since the body is not really expecting bacteria to enter from that side. Then it goes about ruining your intestinal lining, leading to the aforementioned symptoms.

Anyway, enjoy the picture :P
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:iconemmetearwax:
EmmetEarwax Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Seems to me that all the microbes in the slides of the bio dept where I work are of the malignant types, that the body can't fight off.
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:iconsimplyacat:
SimplyACat Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You did an awesome work! :nod:
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:icondeborah-valentine:
Deborah-Valentine Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
excellent!
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:iconminasaure:
minasaure Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013
I don't understand this :(
The illustration is beautiful but I don't see the "basal" side of the intestinal cell as you mentioned.
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:iconstrayfish:
Strayfish Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
The illustration only shows the entry, not the exit. If you look in the top right corner you'll see a diagram of the intestinal wall with one cell highlighted. Basically the part I'm showing is how the Shigella enters through the apical (top) side of that cell, and then after replicating it would exit through the bottom (basal) side, which is the area underneath the diagram. Then it can travel around the inside of the villi and enter other cells that way. I was mostly only interested in showing the entry on the apical side; other students in the class were showing different parts of the same process. Let me know if you have any other questions!
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:iconaileen:
aileen Featured By Owner May 26, 2010
You're taking a course specifically in Intracellular Illustration?! How cool is that? (very! :nod:) As a biologist myself, I can understand how difficult it can be both to understand and also to convey complex biological processes like reaction pathways and hormone cascades... I very much admire those talented illustrators like yourself, who help everyone understand biology!
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:iconstrayfish:
Strayfish Featured By Owner May 27, 2010  Professional Interface Designer
Thanks so much! Yes, I'm doing a medical illustration (actually called biomedical communication) Master's at the University of Toronto. :) So we get to draw all kinds of cool biological stuff!
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:iconaileen:
aileen Featured By Owner May 27, 2010
For me, the most challenging aspect is visualizing processes that are too small to see. I work in phylogeography, so as long as I'm talking about my lizards and where they live, I'm fine. But the minute I have to start wrapping my head around the direction the DNA primers are pointing for the PCR reactions I do every day, things get confusing for me, and quickly. It's why I would be hopelessly lost in say, an Immunology course.

What's the most difficult part for you? Because you seem to have the "small stuff" down pretty well! :nod:
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:iconstrayfish:
Strayfish Featured By Owner May 31, 2010  Professional Interface Designer
My undergrad was in biomedical science, so I was all over the board in terms of scale and scope. Immunology IS pretty difficult to understand, as is molecular genetics...although I find protein function in general pretty fascinating.

The key I think is just to do a lot of research and sketch out ideas as you go. The intracellular piece that I created was the result of reading/making notes for around 10 papers and probably 10 artwork drafts with various changes along the way. The most challenging part ends up not being understanding it yourself but being able to explain it to someone else, I think.
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:iconaileen:
aileen Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2010
So true! They say the best way to test your knowledge of a subject is to attempt explaining it to someone else.
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:iconstrayfish:
Strayfish Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2010  Professional Interface Designer
Thanks for all the comments, btw. It's really nice to meet similar people in places like this. :)
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:iconaileen:
aileen Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2010
I couldn't agree more!

:dance:
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:iconsnuff0ndigital:
snuff0ndigital Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2009
AMAZING. You're making me want to go into medical illustration!!!
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:iconstrayfish:
Strayfish Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2009  Professional Interface Designer
Aww, thanks!
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:iconpinkophilic:
PiNkOpHiLiC Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2009
this is stunning.. and it has a clear visual flow
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:iconstrayfish:
Strayfish Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2009  Professional Interface Designer
Thank you so much! Your comment means a lot to me, since visual flow/storytelling is the biggest challenge for this kind of work. I really appreciate it! :D
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:iconpinkophilic:
PiNkOpHiLiC Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2009
this is from one biologist to another.. hates it when profs attempt to do their own on powerpoint autoshapes
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:iconstrayfish:
Strayfish Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2009  Professional Interface Designer
OMG yes! My eyes! x_x
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:iconlady-tempest:
Lady-Tempest Featured By Owner May 29, 2009
Cool. It's shiny without being distracting or difficult to read. :)
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:iconstrayfish:
Strayfish Featured By Owner May 30, 2009  Professional Interface Designer
I'm glad! It's made for a 2nd-year immunology lecture, where the prof will be explaining it in class.
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:iconnikufei:
Nikufei Featured By Owner May 29, 2009
holy crappp! that is amazing. very professional piece!! xD
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:iconstrayfish:
Strayfish Featured By Owner May 29, 2009  Professional Interface Designer
Oh, thanks! *blush*
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