12 April 2008, Oakdale, New York
Darina Boycheva, a graphics arts student at Dowling College, has created a mural to celebrate the seventh year of the ARCiB Bioinformatics Research Laboratory at Dowling College. The laboratory works on problems on software for molecular graphics and the representation of information in structural biology. Started at Dowling College in 2002 under a grant from the National Science Foundation to Dowling Professor Herbert J. Bernstein for "Accessible Retired Computers in Biology (ARCiB)", the laboratory has engaged students in a variety of projects at the intersection between structural biology and computer science. The projects have been funded by the NSF, the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the International Union of Crystallography and Dowling College with work presented at national and international scientific meetings.
In 2007-2008, there are 5 externally funded computer science research projects in the laboratory employing 8 undergraduate students. Students have been proud to see their work used by scientists around the world. In recent years, students have attended scientific meetings and presented their work in Salt Lake City, UT; Chicago, IL; Florence, Italy; Honolulu, HI; and Manchester England, and in summer 2008 will present in Osaka, Japan.
Late last year, one wall of the laboratory was cleared to provide a place to display some of the research. Ms. Boycheva was commissioned to create a mural to frame the display area.
Assisted by computer science student Georgi Todorov, Ms. Boycheva designed and implemented a mural combining representations of tRNA (transfer ribonucleic acid) and DNA (deoxynucleic acid). Both molecules are important in the processes that sustain life, and are also artistically appropriate to the task of creating a frame. The famous double helix of DNA works well as a straight border and tRNA makes an effective corner decoration.
To see more of Ms. Boycheva's art, see dary.geodar.com.
Georgi Todorov, Darina Boycheva and John Jemilawon, Dowling College students working in the ARCiB Laboratory
Prof. Herbert Bernstein and students John Jemilawon and Darina Boycheva