Complexity of the Living Cell

Felice Frankel in American Scientist:

Cell I vividly recall first seeing David Goodsell’s work about 12 years ago during my first visit to the Scripps Research Institute, where he is a research scientist. There it was, screaming at me through the art and illustrations surrounding me in his office—an “aha!” moment, a revelation that, in fact, we’d been doing it all wrong! Could our depictions of the cell have been (albeit unintentionally) deceptive and dishonest? Textbooks, magazines and journal articles had been failing to tell the whole truth in their depictions of cellular structure; more important, they were sending out wrong visual messages in the form of edited-down diagrams that failed to communicate the cell’s complexity. Perhaps if we were shown David’s drawings as children, we would now have an easier time thinking about complex systems.

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