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Posted on December 19, 2018 at 10:12 AM

Original art and artist’s blurbs are presented in collaboration with the students of the University of Illinois Chicago program in Biomedical Visualization. 

Plato’s CRISPR
by Shariwa Oke

When reading the abstract of the paper, the first images that came to mind were of a shiny, glowing CRISPR in a dark cave, portraying the idea. This illustration plays off of the idea of the Allegory of the Cave, in which the main idea is “the truth is not what it always appears to be”. In the Allegory, there are prisoners sitting in front of a wall watching shadows on the wall. This is what they understand to be their reality. These shadows are projected on the wall by people carrying long sticks with puppet-like objects on the end. The image portrays this happening in the case of CRISPR, where most people view it as this miraculous cure, however, it has only been tested in very select populations. The illustration is not meant to portray any player in a malicious light. The scientist holding the test tube is not deliberately casting shadows on the wall to play with the mind of the “prisoner”, and the “prisoner” is not intentionally ignorant of the science behind it. It is meant to portray the reality of the situation.

Art by Shariwa Oke

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