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
Safe, fallen down this way, I want to be just what I am.Cocteau Twinssafe at lastmore quotes

spirals: hypnotizing


Scientific graphical abstracts — design guidelines


data visualization + art
The Personal OncoGenomics Program (POG) is a research initiative to study the impact of embedding genomic sequencing into real-time treatment planning for BC patients with metastatic cancers. Based out of the BC Cancer Research Centre and the GSC, POG is a large world-class clinical research collaboration of BC Cancer oncologists, pathologists and other clinical staff, researchers and technical personnel throughout BC healthcare facilities.
Interested in more art based on the POG570 cohort from the Personal OncoGenomics Program? Check out our 5-year POG anniversary posters and desktops.

Science Magazine cover — Human Genome Special Issue

Th issue explores lessons from past studies of human genomics, with an eye toward future research efforts | 24 September 2021 | Volume 373 | Issue 6562

data sources
1. Amberger JS, Bocchini CA, Schiettecatte FJM, Scott AF, Hamosh A. OMIM.org: Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM®), an online catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Nucleic Acids Research 43:D789–98 (2015).
2. Pleasance E, Titmuss E, Williamson L et al. (2020) Pan-cancer analysis of advanced patient tumors reveals interactions between therapy and genomic landscapes. Nature Cancer 1:452–468.

Here, you can read about the method behind the design and download images to bring the cover to your wall or desktop.

Martin Krzywinski / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Human genome: chromosomes, genes and mutations. Visualization of the human genome as a spiral (scale: 1 million bases per centimeter), with colored segments representing different chromosomes. Circle size denotes the number of genes associated with Mendelian disorders and hollow circles indicate the number of mutation clusters from a pan-cancer analysis. Science (cover) | vol 373 | issue 6562 | 24 September 2021.

design elements

Each element is described in more detail in the methods section.

Martin Krzywinski / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
The genome is arranged in an (almost) Archimedean spiral.
Martin Krzywinski / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Chromosomes are coded by maximally colors.

Martin Krzywinski / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Cytogenetic bands are colored by conventional grey tones used to depict Giemsa staining
Martin Krzywinski / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Bands are superimposed on chromosomes at 30% opacity

Martin Krzywinski / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Genes associated with Mendelian disorders are drawn as solid circles, whose size depicts the number of such genes in 250 kb bins
Martin Krzywinski / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Clusters of mutations from a pan-cancer analysis are shown as hollow circles, whose size depicts the number of clusters in 250 kb bins.

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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.