Entries tagged "XVIVO"ed;

XVIVO’s Medical Animations Showcased at ASCO 2014

Every year, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) puts together an annual meeting for clinicians, educators, and researchers to come together to discuss new developments and ideas with respect to cancer research and care. This year, the annual ASCO show took place from May 30th- June 3rd in Chicago, Illinois, and we were excited to see that a total of 5 of our animations were screened during the event.

Here are some pictures!

For Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, we helped depict the mechanism of action of Bavituximab, an investigative drug that encourages active immunity in cancerous environments.

Peregrine Pharmaceuticals

Click the image to watch Bavituximab MOA animation











For Celldex, we created two animations. One depicting the MOA of Rindopepimut, which targets the oncogene EGFRv3, and of Glembatumumab vedotin, which targets the transmembrane protein GPNMB.

Glembatumumab vedotin

Glembatumumab vedotin












We also illustrated the mechanism of disease for MCL/CLL, and depicted the mechanism behind selective BCL-2 inhibition.

BCL-2 inhibition

BCL-2 inhibition










Congratulations to the ASCO community, and thank you to all our clients who have entrusted us with illustrating their amazing developments in cancer research.

Watch Proteins Do the Jitterbug

Watch Proteins Do the Jitterbug

THE CROWDED CELL: A jumble of proteins inside the cell, visualized in a scientific animation.
Credit: Harvard University, XVIVO Scientific Animation

When we first released “The Inner Life of Cell” back in 2006, we were met with kudos and awe. What we had chosen to depict, for the sake of clarity, was open intracellular space, and the smooth, almost premeditated action taken by molecules within the cell. Of course, this was somewhat of a misrepresentation; we have long known that the inside of a cell is packed full of proteins, and ones that don’t remain still nor glide toward their destinations. At that scale, and in that environment, nearly everything that happens is guided by intermolecular chaos and the rules of probability.

Though we may often take some artistic liberties for the sake of clarity, what we realized about this visualization was that it seemed to discount how diseases develop internally. “Inner Life of the Cell” was about a healthy leukocyte responding to an inflammatory signal, but it provided no hints into how diseases might progress in the absence of external sources. So, together with our collaborators over at Harvard, we decided to create “Protein Packing.” We hope that in our newest piece, our viewers can appreciate and speculate how small disturbances in that sort of chaotic environment could drastically alter the function of the cell, leading to much broader consequences. We hope that this gives people a better, clearer lens through which to think about our body and what goes on inside it.

Our animation was featured in the NYTimes today by Carl Zimmer, who discusses many of the ideas we mentioned above. Head over to the website and read his piece, “Watch Proteins Do the Jitterbug.” We couldn’t be more thrilled to have our work recognized, and extend to him our sincerest thanks!

Link to Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/10/science/watch-proteins-do-the-jitterbug.html?ref=science

A New Inner Life

Protein Packing. The inside of a cell

Protein Packing – Inner Life Of The Cell Animation

It’s been a while since our last scientific animation for Harvard’s ‘Inner Life of the Cell’ series, but our team is thrilled to finally announce the release of our newest addition, titled ‘Protein Packing’. What our first two animations depicted, somewhat misleadingly, was a vast intracellular space and the smooth, assembly-line movement of proteins and molecules. But the reality is that the inside of a cell is actually extremely chaotic, packed to the brim with jittering proteins that bump into other, often times with no effect, occasionally with more serious effects.

Let our classical score carry you beyond the limits of the naked eye to witness this molecular “dance.” We’ve amped up our color palette to something a bit brighter, and re-envisioned our beloved kinesin molecule based on new research from our scientific collaborators over at Harvard, Dr. Robert Lue and Dr. Alain Veil. We thank all of our fans for their continuing support, and hope that you enjoy our newest piece.

As always, follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated!

A peek into our “Inner Life” story

As we get closer to our much-anticipated weekend at the Googleplex for some Sci Foo Camping fun, we’re reminded of the journey we’ve taken over the past few years that has brought us into notice both at home and abroad. Given our blossoming adolescence, we think its time to get a little nostalgic, give thanks to our influences, and remember everyone that was with us along the way.

Our biggest break probably came in 2007, when we were honored with the chance to speak at the esteemed TED conference about the philosophy behind our work. Held yearly on the West Coast, TED has become one of the most regarded events for its multidisciplinary and innovative approach at sharing new or underrepresented ideas. It was here, on a big stage in front of the largest crowd we’ve yet to encounter, that we debuted a 3-minute clip from our now-popular The Inner Life of the Cell, and made a statement about the artistic and educational potential realizable through scientific animation. In our brief 9-minute session, we discussed ideas regarding truth and beauty, and ruminated over the saddening, yet ubiquitous irreflective attitude we tend toward subjects outside our own fields of interest. We conjectured that this habit of presenting things as dry and void of profundity distances us from one another, and results in a miasma of cultural insensitivity.

Inner Life was the first installment for a series of shorts for Harvard College’s department of Molecular and Cellular Biology – a project on which we are still actively working on. While we had already managed to gain the attention of people within the science and medicine industry, it was really at TED where our whispers were given the chance to reach more varied ears.

Since TED, we have had the luxury of working with a host of brilliant people in developing compelling visuals to enhance their message and vision for a better future. For Seth Berkley, medical epidemiologist and CEO of the GAVI Alliance, we create a short visualization of the HIV and flu viruses to illustrate the complexities of their biology. Dr. Berkley discussed the advances we’ve made toward a more thorough understanding of these terrible diseases, and gave us a glimpse into a future where millions of unnecessary deaths could be avoided each year.

We have also had the chance to involve ourselves with more specialized TED groups, namely TEDMED, a conference devoted specifically toward thoughts on medical technology and healthcare. For Sheila Nirenberg, investigator at Cornell University, we helped elucidate the potential for reversing blindness through the use of sophisticated microchip prosthetics. And for Danny Hillis, we designed some short medical illustrations to depict new directions being undertaken in cancer treatment.

One of our most exciting projects actually came in the form of an art installation, which is currently being housed at Chicago’s own Museum of Science and Industry. In collaboration with a handful of amazing companies, we helped develop a gigantic interactive heart. This 13-feet high, 8-feet wide, 2-and-a-half-D beast of an organ is able to sync to your own pulse, and reveal to you the inner and outer workings of your heart. We firmly believe in the role of great art in education, and it was a blast to get to play a part in this installation.

Naturally, as a medical animation studio, our primary job is to enhance visions. Through our visuals, aimed at tearing down walls of jargon, we hope to inspire fellow thinkers and doers alike, and let others know beauty can be found even in the most unlikely places. This was just a brief run-down of some of our work and history, and we hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know us! Feel free to leave comments, tell us a bit about yourself, and let us know what you think.

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Why we’re wired about WIRED UK.

Maybe it’s the fact that we’re always working in the virtual world, but we’re always pleased and flattered when our work is recognized (it turns out that the submicroscopic forms of life that we tend to focus on aren’t so good at passing out compliments – go figure).

So yep, having Wired UK (basically, the techno-nerd’s bible) do an amazing 8-page centerspread that called XVIVO innovators in the field of scientific visualization was a real big deal for us. The article centered on some of the biologic processes that inspire our work, including cell development, how drugs move around the body and cause things to happen, and the delicate chemical harmony that operates in the background in all living things.

If you’ll allow us to brag just a bit – we like to think that our high resolution renders, insistence on accurate molecular depiction, and signature color schemes are some of the things that make our work immediately recognizable. We work hard to produce quality animations, (in the past, we’ve gotten noticed by the New York Times and StudioDaily), and you may find our work in classrooms inspiring students, in offices educating clinicians, or decorating the screen on your computer, tablet or smartphone with our beautiful wallpaper images.

XVIVO is based in the U.S., but we work with clients in Turkey, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and New Zealand. The article in Wired UK is proof to us that what we are doing is attracting attention on the global stage, and we could not be more excited about that. Expanding into all these new markets helps us stretch our own horizons and (we hope) become even more creative.

Here at XVIVO, it is our belief that true innovation and progress exist where fields of study collide. We are constantly working to bring artistic sensibilities into science, or to infuse hard data into wild and colorful imagery. This isn’t just for eye-candy’s sake – studies have shown that computer animations can significantly enhance understanding of complex concepts.

We would just like to extend our thanks to Wired UK for taking the time to recognize us and hope that you all enjoy our work.

So get your hands on the May 2013 Edition of Wired UK and check out how we’ve caught the eye of the techie’s magazine of choice. In case you can’t get a physical copy (or the link stops working), here are some of the images that Wired showcased, as well as some quotes from the story.

The Connecticut-based animation studio XVIVO brings our biology to life through high quality visualizations, writes Madhumita Venkataramanan. “Scientists often have complex stories to tell, and we help them to simplify these through animation and images,” says Michael Astrachan, President and founder of XVIVO. “We just finished an animation for the US National Institutes of Health to clarify what ‘extracellular RNA’ is,” Astrachan says. This recently discovered family of molecules is similar to DNA but is found outside of the cell it was synthesized in, and is thought to play a role in communication between cells. “The NIH wanted to entice more researchers to apply for grants in the area and study it closely.”

XVIVO references various materials including medical illustrations, electron micrographs and photos to create its work. “Although we use real data, there is no visible color at the microscopic scales we look at,” says Astrachan. “So, to convey the beauty in science we get to make up the colors.” Astrachan, who trained as an artist, taught himself 3D animation in 1998, Three years later he cofounded XVIVO, which now has a staff of ten artists, producers, illustrators and designers who work on a dozen projects at a time. “For me, animation speaks the language of art, it is just a different canvas,” Astrachan says. “I want to use my knowledge to help move the vision of scientists forward.”

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