Journal Cover Design

Ago HITS-CLIP decodes miRNA-mRNA interaction maps

Laboratory of Molecular Neuro-Oncology and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University.
We were approached by researchers from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute of the Rockefeller University to design a journal cover based on their innovative research. The challenge was creating an informative and eye-catching image that allowed for effective research dissemination.



This research involved the generation of maps depicting gene regulation in the mouse brain by identifying miRNA-mRNA interactions in vivo, which was accomplished using the technique “Ago HITS-CLIP”. This newly-developed technique entailed purification of the Ago-miRNA-mRNA complex (which consisted of the Ago protein bound to two RNA molecules, miRNA and its target mRNA), purification of RNA using high-throughput sequencing, and computational analysis of RNAs in order to generate maps.

Our Approach

A 3D model of the exact mRNA molecule was obtained from the Protein Databank.  Based on a map of the mRNA indicating the miRNA binding site, a 3D graph was produced.  All 3D models were artistically laid out and the final image was rendered with Maya.  In the end, a lens flare effect was added to represent the UV irradiation and UV cross-linking site in the Ago protein.