Animator Drew Berry Is Here to Talk to You About Making Science Art

Drew Berry is a biomedical animator who specializes in revealing the drama behind the incredibly miniscule, yet operatic, lives of cells, molecules, and viruses. Check out a gallery of his work, and then start asking your questions about animation, microscopic drama, and anything else in the comments!

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Top image: DNA in the process of copying itself, GIF made Body Code video below / Drew Berry

Berry makes his animations for the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Biomedical Medicine in Melbourne. He has received a Macarthur grant for his work, which has also been displayed at the MOMA, the Guggenheim, and the Centre Pompidou, and has focused on everything from the lifecycle of Malaria to an up-close look at a mouses's brain.

He'll be dropping in from Australia to answer questions about his work in the comments later in the day. So take a look at a gallery of some of his work — and then start asking your questions in the comments.

Body Code

A Mouse's Brain, Catalogued

Sickle Cell Anaemia and Haemoglobin

The Lifecyle of Malaria

DNA Translation

Videos: Drew Berry / WEHMI

DISCUSSION


My (very small) experience of animations and illustrations molecular biology is that very often I'm left with the impression a lot of the random-walk nature of the aqueous solution is left out.

Everything is neat and streamlined and it often appears as if individual molecules have agency. These animations seem to be better than most in that regard (though the Hoover action at 4:46 in first video seems too neat.) But I'm often not sure when two molecules are attracted to one another electrostatically and when they just rely on random bumps. On the other hand, I know humans think in terms of narrative and including information can obscure more than it reveals.

So I'm curious to know what simplifications and compromises were made for the sake of clarity.