Yesterday a big story hit multiple news outlets - that of a living organism that grows and divides with an expanded set of nucleotides. In addition to the usual G, A, T, and C, a group at the Scripps Research Institute led by Floyd Romesberg has discovered a novel synthetic base pair comprised of two nucleotides that, interestingly, don't even hydrogen bond with one another. They introduced these new bases into the DNA of bacteria, and lo and behold, the bacteria grew and divided, passing this strange new code to their progeny.
I had been hired to design candidate cover art for the issue of Nature that this paper came out in yesterday, but the project was halted when they realized that the paper was being fast-tracked and the cover had already been chosen. Nevertheless, the clients kept the drafts of the designs we had been working on, just in case they may come in handy for press coverage. The next thing I knew, my thumb was on BBC News, NPR's blog, and a handful (no pun intended) of other news sites as well. If you click on the image below, you'll see a gallery including the other two drafts. The printing blocks were a very rough draft, but got picked up by Live Science. Apparently no one wanted to use our favorite - an idea I had while hanging out with my two-year old. So while both he and I still remain relatively anonymous, my thumb is skyrocketing to superstardom.