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
Where am I supposed to go? Where was I supposed to know?Violet Indianaget lost in questionsmore quotes

genomes: layered


Scientific graphical abstracts — design guidelines


data visualization + art
Data from the POG570 cohort is visualized on the cover of the Nature Cancer April 2020 issue, accompanying our report Pan-cancer genomic landscapes of advanced tumors after therapy The system of ellipses depict mutation spectra for each of the 570 patients in the study.

Nature Genetics Cover — August 2020 issue

Analysis of Ugandan cervical carcinomas identifies human papillomavirus clade–specific epigenome and transcriptome landscapes

Gagliardi, A., Porter, V.L., Zong, Z. et al. (2020) Analysis of Ugandan cervical carcinomas identifies human papillomavirus clade–specific epigenome and transcriptome landscapes. Nature Genetics 52:800–810.

Martin Krzywinski / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Desktop image based on our design of the Nature Cancer April 2020 cover accompanying Pan-cancer genomic landscapes of advanced tumors after therapy. (download desktops)
Martin Krzywinski / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Desktop image based on our design of the Nature Cancer April 2020 cover accompanying Pan-cancer genomic landscapes of advanced tumors after therapy. (download desktops)

Nature Genetics selected our design for the cover of the August 2020 issue. The design is based on histone modifications across HPV-integration events, which we report on in Analysis of Ugandan cervical carcinomas identifies human papillomavirus clade–specific epigenome and transcriptome landscapes.

The piece's title “Dichotomy of Chromatin in Color” was suggested by Dr. Andy Mungall, one of the senior authors on the report.

You can download images to bring the cover to your desktop.

Martin Krzywinski / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Dichotomy of Chromatin in Color. Design behind the Nature Genetics August 2020 cover accompanying Gagliardi, A., Porter, V.L., Zong, Z. et al. (2020) Analysis of Ugandan cervical carcinomas identifies human papillomavirus clade–specific epigenome and transcriptome landscapes. Nature Genetics 52:800–810.
Martin Krzywinski / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Our design on the cover of Nature Cancer's April 2020 issue shows mutation spectra of patients from the POG570 cohort of 570 individuals with advanced metastatic cancer. (Nature Cancer Cover)

about the cover

As reported by Gagliardi et al. in Analysis of Ugandan cervical carcinomas identifies human papillomavirus clade–specific epigenome and transcriptome landscapes, human papillomavirus (HPV) is found integrated within the genome in most cervical tumors, and often is associated with marked epigenetic and transcriptional activation of the surrounding chromatin. The circular arrangement shows the profile of histone modifications observed with ChIP–seq across the HPV-integration events in the cluster with the highest increase in enrichment. It is composed of data sampled from two randomly paired individuals, with tracks facing inward and outward for each individual. Individuals are paired randomly, and track colors correspond to five histone marks with epigenetic enrichment.

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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.