Oxygen and Color
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In the Biomedical Visualization program, we learn about color theory and we use color both for realistic representation and as an element that can be used to attract the viewer’s eye to the most important part of an illustration. In the case of this illustration, color has even more meaning. Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells. When the molecules of hemoglobin are carrying oxygen, they appear red. When they have released their oxygen molecules to other cells, they appear purple. The illustration shows the hemoglobin within the blood cells changing color as it binds to the oxygen molecules diffusing across the respiratory membrane inside the lungs. This image thus provides an explanation of how something we can plainly see with the naked eye – that veins are purple – is caused by molecular events. Since creating this painting, which was digitally rendered in Photoshop, my research has been focused upon the micro world, magnification, and scale.