Check out the scientific our short story that won the Annual Science Art price of Oncode Institute 2021:

 "Diary of a Lonely Cell"

The graphical art representing my story was done by amazing scientific artist Jessica Johnson


An intense light blinded me again and then it happened. I detached, lost the last contact I had with my sister and moved forward through the path that I found. It was not a pleasant route, I had to squeeze between big cells that would hardly leave me space. I was all twisted by the effort, but luckily my family taught me since I was small how to change my shape, one would say that it was almost imprinted in our genes. You just had to extend your long arms, seize onto something very hard and then drag yourself. It could take long to find a good anchor point, and I would wiggle like an octopus in all directions before I would find my way out.

It was different in the old times… We lived in a wide field, the DISH PLATE, we called it. We could move in all directions effortlessly, weather conditions were very stable, nice 37C, one could comfortably afford to divide every few hours since food was always abundant (except when occasionally our LORD the SCIENTIST forgot the feed us over the weekend…). I must admit, it was a bit boring: everyone led kind of the same comfy live, expressed the same genes, ate the same boring culture medium… there was no diversity among us. All our needs were covered, and we didn’t really know what stress was. So when THE TRANSPLANTATION happened we were simply not prepared. Many of us just couldn’t handle the stress, they didn’t  make it… The survivors had to be tough, adapt, seek for food, and our refuge in this new and hostile environment. There were a lot of endemic clans that were different from us. They had many different shapes, they acted differently, they talked a different language. We were the foreigners here and we had to adapt, to adapt to survive! Some of these clans had a hostile attitude towards us, they didn’t want foreigners to inhabit their lands, to feed from it, to integrate their culture. They said: we stole their jobs! Can you believe it? Some of them even tried to kill us! It was harsh, they destroyed a good lot of my family, but we came up with strategies to hide from them: we would disguise ourselves as natives of this strange land, tell them that we hated the ones from our kind, and used their resources for our profit. We made them work for us, they would feed us, give us tools to work this narrow land and show us new paths. It was such a triumph! They hated us, they wanted to exterminate us from their land and instead they were unknowingly helping us to colonize it!

Colonization was the only way to ensure survival: expand, move, divide and then move again! But one could not make it alone, we lived in a ghetto with our families, we stayed in contact with our brothers, our sisters, and they did in their turn with others. We were like a huge telephone network. That was our trick, that is how we passed on information, even over very long distances, prepared for what may come, our protection against attacks of the natives. A cell alone had little chance of surviving this land.

I stopped for a moment to considered it, why? Why did we want to expand, go further, colonize this land? Why were we so restless? The light blinded me again. It happened at regular intervals, but no one knew what it was exactly. Old folklore tales said that it was our LORD the SCIENTIST who was observing us, assessing our progress. Why did she do it? Boredom? Curiosity? Did she want us to succeed? Or was she waiting to see the fall of our EMPIRE? It doesn’t matter, I don’t care because I am only a cancer cell, and my goal, my purpose, my motto is DIVIDE, ADAPT, INVADE…and no SCIENTIST will stop me! …. Or will she??? 😐

Take a look at our video that details the functionalities of BEHAV3D! Turn up the volume to hear the captivating narration of our story by the talented Hannah Leferink.


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