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Yana Zo­rina

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Yana Zo­rina, Ph.D. is a neu­ro­sci­en­tist with a life­long pas­sion for the arts. In her sci­en­tific ca­reer, Yana has al­ways been at­tracted to mi­croscopy as a means of tak­ing a closer look at the beau­ti­ful struc­tures that com­pose the mam­malian brain. In her sci­en­tif­i­cally-in­spired art­work, she uses her sci­en­tific knowl­edge to ac­cu­rately recre­ate sci­en­tific im­ages into 3D-beaded ren­der­ings of cel­lu­lar struc­tures that can bring the beauty of sci­en­tific re­search to a wider au­di­ence. In see­ing beads as analogs of pix­els that we ob­serve on a screen, Yana turns mi­croscopy on its head by trans­form­ing ul­tra-thin op­ti­cal sec­tions into 3D struc­tures. Be­yond be­ing pas­sion­ate about the breath­tak­ing beauty of mi­croscopy im­ages, Yana uses them to serve a greater pur­pose of com­mu­ni­cat­ing sci­ence to a wider au­di­ence and ini­ti­at­ing con­ver­sa­tions on dif­fi­cult top­ics, such as neu­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions.

Art­work

Frag­ile Mem­ory (right)

© Yana Zo­rina. All rights re­served.

“Frag­ile Mem­ory” is based on an image of a Brain­bow mouse hip­pocam­pus, which plays an im­por­tant role in mem­ory for­ma­tion, processing and stor­age. The Brain­bow mouse is ge­net­i­cally en­gi­neered to ex­press a dif­fer­ent com­bi­na­tion of four flu­o­res­cent mark­ers in each neu­ron, which makes it burst with over a dozen dif­fer­ent col­ors and per­mits for bet­ter trac­ing of con­nec­tions and cir­cuit de­lin­eation.

While it has long been be­lieved that for­ma­tion of mem­ory pro­gresses from learn­ing to long-term stor­age to re­trieval, more re­cent re­search sug­gests that ev­ery time a mem­ory is re­called it be­comes la­bile.

On the one hand, it al­lows us to con­tinue learn­ing and up­dat­ing our un­der­stand­ing of the world as we ac­quire new in­for­ma­tion. On the other hand, each time a given mem­ory is re­called, it be­comes un­sta­ble, at the risk of be­ing in­ac­cu­rately mod­i­fied or pos­si­bly even lost. The white jewel in this work rep­re­sents a mem­ory of a good time in our life that we would like to keep re­vis­it­ing yet be­ing able to pre­serve.

Bril­liant Mind (right)

© Yana Zo­rina. All rights re­served.

The hu­man mind is a truly beau­ti­ful and elusive con­cept.

De­spite con­sid­er­able progress in neu­ro­science re­search, we still can­not quite ex­plain where our mind is and what it looks like.

The “Bril­liant Mind” was cre­ated by tak­ing schematic im­ages of the hu­man brain from the Allen Brain At­las and por­tray­ing them as beaded his­to­log­i­cal sec­tions on 6 sheets of plex­i­glass.

Such sec­tions of hu­man tis­sue are typ­i­cally used to study anatomy in healthy and dis­eased states. The sec­tions can be as­sem­bled into a sculp­ture or be dis­played in­di­vid­u­ally.

Links

Web­site: www.neu­robead.com

In­sta­gram: @neu­robead­_bou­tique

Twit­ter: @YZo­rina

Face­book: Neu­roBead

Etsy: Neu­roBead

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