Industry Talk: Scientific hypothesis-building through visualisation using the example of a newly observed phenomenon in COVID-19 patients

Event Date/s: Friday 26 November 2021, 14:00 - 15:30

 

This installment in the Industry Talks Series is by a freelance scientific illustrator.

Registration Deadline: 24 November 2021 - link here (cost £0).

 

Title: Scientific hypothesis-building through visualisation using the example of a newly observed phenomenon in COVID-19 patients

Speaker: Anncharlott V. BERGLAR, SciVisLab, Scientific Visualisation Lab, freelance scientific illustration and animation service, Cologne, Germany

Abstract:

Traditionally, scientific visualisation is a method of recording scientific data and contents. One step further, visualisation and design techniques can complement the scientific method by providing new perspectives and by supporting the generation of new ideas. Holding a PhD in biomolecular sciences and a MA in scientific illustration, Anncharlott is a freelance scientific illustrator and with her knowledge in both fields she aims at contributing to the gain of scientific insight in the molecular world.

The Bloch lab recently observed moderate to heavy deformations of red blood cells (RBCs) in COVID-19 patients, which we think contribute to the clotting events that commonly occur over the course of the disease. The cause or mechanism of this observation at a molecular level, however, is unknown. We combine classical and state-of-the-art visualisation techniques for hypothesis-building, experimental design, and to gain insight into the molecular scenery around the RBC membrane when in contact with a SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Methods such as 3D visualisation, 3D printing and sketching, in combination with protein docking and other in-silico experiments allowed building a working hypothesis of the mechanism of action underlying the observed RBC deformations. Additionally, our approach resulted in communicable and appealing visuals that can be used for various purposes and that are able to feature and promote our research to the desired target audience.