Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / mkweb.bcgsc.ca Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / mkweb.bcgsc.ca - contact me Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / mkweb.bcgsc.ca on Twitter Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / mkweb.bcgsc.ca - Lumondo Photography Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / mkweb.bcgsc.ca - Pi Art Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / mkweb.bcgsc.ca - Hilbertonians - Creatures on the Hilbert CurveMartin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / mkweb.bcgsc.ca - Pi Day 2020 - Piku
listen; there's a hell of a good universe next door: let's go.e.e. cummingsgo theremore quotes

3d: FTW


Scientific graphical abstracts — design guidelines


data visualization + art

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
To view the art you'll need a pair of red-blue 3D glasses.
The data will stand out—and you will too.

BD Genomics stereoscopic art exhibit — AGBT 2017

Art is science in love.
— E.F. Weisslitz

BD Genomics 3D art exhibit - AGBT 2017 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Our art exhibit at AGBT 2017 asked new school questions in old school ways.

data in new dimensions

convergence of art, genomics and bioinformatics

In genomics, insights can hinge on a difference of one. One cellular mutation to go from healthy to diseased. One cell migration from tumor to metastasis. Even subtle differences in gene expression between healthy cells shapes their form and function.

In Data in New Dimensions, we’ve created an immersive data art experience celebrating the individuality and often underestimated influence of the single cell—captured by high-throughput single cell analysis.

Using the rich data from the very tools and instruments in this room, we’ve transformed data points back into cells and, informed by their differences, allowed those cells to once again rejoin the world of the viewer in the third dimension.

How do these canvases make you think about the difference of one in your work?

BD Genomics 3D art exhibit - AGBT 2017 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Data in New Dimensions. BD Genomics art exhibit at AGBT 2017.

difference of one expression

This piece contrasts two different blood cell states, diseased versus healthy, in such a way that the differences manifest as depth. Cells on the base plane (the closest to the wall) represent healthy control cells, while diseased cells ascend increasingly closer to the viewer based on how different they are from their healthy counterpart.

BD Genomics 3D art exhibit - AGBT 2017 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Blood cells: diseased versus healthy control.
BD Genomics 3D art exhibit - AGBT 2017 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca

difference of one migration

This piece paints a picture of the diversity of disease, showing how the cells of a tumor and its metastasis vary in expression patterns. These differences are manifested in the piece through each cell’s position in the third dimension. Cells from the primary tumor exist on the base layer (closest to the wall). Cells from the metastatic site project into the room based on the degree of difference from the nearest primary tumor cell in their cluster.

BD Genomics 3D art exhibit - AGBT 2017 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Primary tumor versus metastasis.
BD Genomics 3D art exhibit - AGBT 2017 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca

difference of one function

This piece explores the expression differences that help determine a healthy cell’s role within an organism. Each cluster corresponds to a different cell type along the renal tubule, with that cluster’s depth mapping to its position along the tubule. Blood enters the tubule through the cells on the base layer (closest to the wall) and is filtered by the cells in the successively ascending layers. The remaining waste exits past the cells in the layer nearest to the viewer.

BD Genomics 3D art exhibit - AGBT 2017 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Mouse kidney.
BD Genomics 3D art exhibit - AGBT 2017 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca

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news + thoughts

Music for the Moon: Flunk's 'Down Here / Moon Above'

Sat 29-05-2021

The Sanctuary Project is a Lunar vault of science and art. It includes two fully sequenced human genomes, sequenced and assembled by us at Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre.

The first disc includes a song composed by Flunk for the (eventual) trip to the Moon.

But how do you send sound to space? I describe the inspiration, process and art behind the work.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
The song 'Down Here / Moon Above' from Flunk's new album History of Everything Ever is our song for space. It appears on the Sanctuary genome discs, which aim to send two fully sequenced human genomes to the Moon. (more)

Browse the genome discs.

Happy 2021 `\pi` Day—
A forest of digits

Sun 14-03-2021

Celebrate `\pi` Day (March 14th) and finally see the digits through the forest.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
The 26th tree in the digit forest of `\pi`. Why is there a flower on the ground?. (details)

This year is full of botanical whimsy. A Lindenmayer system forest – deterministic but always changing. Feel free to stop and pick the flowers from the ground.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
The first 46 digits of `\pi` in 8 trees. There are so many more. (details)

And things can get crazy in the forest.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
A forest of the digits of '\pi`, by ecosystem. (details)

Check out art from previous years: 2013 `\pi` Day and 2014 `\pi` Day, 2015 `\pi` Day, 2016 `\pi` Day, 2017 `\pi` Day, 2018 `\pi` Day and 2019 `\pi` Day.

Testing for rare conditions

Sun 30-05-2021

All that glitters is not gold. —W. Shakespeare

The sensitivity and specificity of a test do not necessarily correspond to its error rate. This becomes critically important when testing for a rare condition — a test with 99% sensitivity and specificity has an even chance of being wrong when the condition prevalence is 1%.

We discuss the positive predictive value (PPV) and how practices such as screen can increase it.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Testing for rare conditions. (read)

Altman, N. & Krzywinski, M. (2021) Points of significance: Testing for rare conditions. Nature Methods 18:224–225.

Standardization fallacy

Tue 09-02-2021

We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty! —D. Adams

A popular notion about experiments is that it's good to keep variability in subjects low to limit the influence of confounding factors. This is called standardization.

Unfortunately, although standardization increases power, it can induce unrealistically low variability and lead to results that do not generalize to the population of interest. And, in fact, may be irreproducible.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Standardization fallacy. (read)

Not paying attention to these details and thinking (or hoping) that standardization is always good is the "standardization fallacy". In this column, we look at how standardization can be balanced with heterogenization to avoid this thorny issue.

Voelkl, B., Würbel, H., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2021) Points of significance: Standardization fallacy. Nature Methods 18:5–6.

Graphical Abstract Design Guidelines

Fri 13-11-2020

Clear, concise, legible and compelling.

Making a scientific graphical abstract? Refer to my practical design guidelines and redesign examples to improve organization, design and clarity of your graphical abstracts.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Graphical Abstract Design Guidelines — Clear, concise, legible and compelling.

"This data might give you a migrane"

Tue 06-10-2020

An in-depth look at my process of reacting to a bad figure — how I design a poster and tell data stories.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
A poster of high BMI and obesity prevalence for 185 countries.