Non-profit graphics

I’m doing a graphics internship at the Silicon Valley Independent Living Center. Unlike many internships, I’m not just filing or doing data entry; after a few smaller projects, Jody had me design the graphics for this year’s Disability Pride Parade and Festival.

Edited to add: Unfortunately, we have trademark issues for one of the elements we used in the collage, so I need to take the image down. We changed it to use an open access element that I like better anyhow.

Logo is composite of logos: blue wheeling-yourself disability icon centered on a rainbow peace symbol, with logos for other civil rights movements around the outer ring: Chicano (UFW), Native American Movement, Women's Rights, Gay Pride flag, Black Pride, Recycling. Text reads "Building a CommUNITY of Social Justice."

Logo for 2nd Annual West Coast Disability Pride Parade & Festival

90 pages about copper neurotoxicity

In case anyone’s interested in my thesis, you can download a PDF.

Final BioCurious logo!

The new logo is already in use at!

BioCurious logo with tagline "experiment with friends" and the cat mascot

Final version of BioCurious logo

Two versions of my resume

Here’s my life sciences resume:
KHedges Resume 2010-10-07

and my graphics/art resume:
KHedges Resume graphics 2010-10-07

Experiment with friends!

I believe I mentioned BioCurious before, shameless name-dropper that I am. (Hmm. Maybe this should be the gossip/society column for the scientific community?) They’re doing pretty well for themselves, having exceeded their Kickstarter funding target and gotten a sweet writeup in the biggest newspaper in Silicon Valley, the San Jose Mercury News. And since they promised T-shirts for donors, Eri needs someone to do the artwork, with a snappy new logo. I just happened to be at the previous meeting where she asked for referrals to graphic designers, and jumped on the opportunity.

biocurious: experiment with friends[/caption]

We’re going through a lot of revisions back and forth. The next major change is to design a cute cat mascot… Bastet is elegant but we need something more cuddly. The goal is to associate biology with something friendly instead of with mad scientists. (Krosp is probably not the right spokescat.)

If you’re wondering what that interesting fill texture is on the letters–it’s adapted from one of my research images.

[Edited to substitute more current draft logo.]

Upcoming show at the Misha Patel Showcase, October 9, 2010 in San Jose

This afternoon, Misha Patel just confirmed that she will be showing a selection of my botanical photographs in her October showcase. The group show is Saturday, October 9, 2010 from 4-6 p.m. at 750 Miller Street #905, San Jose, CA 95110. She’ll select a few of the ten submitted that work well in context. (But there are only nine photos below! Well, come to the show to see if the other one was selected.)

This will be my first Bay Area show and I hope it’s the beginning of something good.

Techwriting at Worm Breeder’s Gazette

It’s been a while since I worked as a technical writer, but last year I wrote up some improved C. elegans protocols for the Worm Breeder’s Gazette. That’s an open-source online newsletter where researchers can share useful information that doesn’t fit in the peer-reviewed literature. Here are my two protocols:

Improved thick 3% agarose pads for microscopy of C. elegans

Using improved thick 3% agarose pads and the paralytic levamisole for microscopy of C. elegans

They’re obviously Part I and Part II, but the newsletter editors have a 1-page limit.

Somewhere in my archives from my old computers, I probably have digital versions of writing samples from long documents from my days at Manual Labour in San Diego or Asymtek in Carlsbad.

Bio+Tech, DIY lab equipment, and PowerPoint

I had a great time at Bio+Tech at UCSF last night! The guest speaker had plenty of insights on science publishing, the Q&A discussion was what I wish all my seminar classes had been like, and I got to meet more interesting people who are fascinated with biology. It was great to chat with the DIY Biology BioCurious crew in a quieter environment than the Maker Faire, and hold the LavaAmp prototype. (A pocket-sized, portable, cheap and rapid thermal cycler for PCR… is that cool or what?)

Today I’m posting a few things people asked me about… such as a link to Ian Chin-Sang’s DIY LED-based GFP illuminator (translation: light that makes C. elegans glow), the appendix from my thesis showing my improvements to that system, and my latest PowerPoint production: selections from my thesis defense presentation.

Ian’s basic GFP illuminator

I’m sure that with more hacking, this basic idea could be incorporated into other fluorescence illumination applications. There are now commercial LED fluorescence systems–even for epifluorescence–so this approach is technically sound.

GFP Illuminator

Here’s the appendix from my thesis where I wrote up the improved version. My setup basically threw money at the problem of low signal-to-noise ratios that obscured the fluorescence from GFP-tagged cells (compared to a full-body GFP strain) by using an $800 set of GFP bandpass filters from Chroma. I’ll document this more concisely for the Worm Breeder’s Gazette one of these days.

Thesis PPT samples

This is the “good parts” version, since I’m sure anyone who waits to download a 15MB file and finds a lot of text-only slides, series of highly similar figures and graphs, and cut-n-pasted figures from other people’s papers (background info) will be disappointed. (Yes, I drew the cute food figures in the dietary copper slide.)

Someday, after I finish moving and writing up my research, I’ll go through my old class assignment PPTs and look for good ones. However, my presentation for Genetics Lab on how worms can teach us about aging contains some outdated scientific information (four years later, the Oxidative Stress Hypothesis of Aging seems to be losing ground, according to the buzz at the C. elegans Aging Topic Meeting).

Speaking of my beloved worms, if anyone’s curious about the Worm Breeder’s Gazette, here’s a nice blog entry about this community resource:

Before and after

Back when I was working on my MA in Biology, my advisor found a paper with an intriguing hypothesis that might help explain some of his students’ observations. The hypothesis was illustrated in the original paper with a figure that was hard to follow because it didn’t follow the visual conventions for depicting neurons. It was also the wrong proportions to fit on a PowerPoint slide. When my thesis advisor was invited to speak at a symposium, I volunteered to redraw the figure more suitably. I also included a few details I knew he would cover to put the hypothesis in context.

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Pictures with words

Here are some samples of graphic design from the last two years.

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