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Science Magazine

Hippo Ecology

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Our understanding of hippos impact on ecosystems has been remarkably slim due to the danger they pose. New research has shed light on their huge ecological impact: from increased grazing by other herbivores, to water ecosystems impacted by their defecation. This illustration was for Science magazine's feature 'River Masters', highlighting UCSB scientist Dr. Doug McCauley's research. Artwork for a weekly journal is often needed quickly, and this piece was completed in ~5 business days.

Nicolle R. Fuller, Sayo-Art LLC

AMI #28

Page 163

AMI #27

Page 158

AMI #26

Page 163

AMI #24

Page 152

AMI #23

Page 166

AMI #22

Page 19

AMI #21

Page 20

Nicolle Rager Fuller

medical illustration of Each plant and animal in this piece is an important species to our understanding of evolution and biodiversity: ranging from cabbage diversity, to dog's evolution from wolves, to african fish speciation. Multiple references were used for each plant and animal; some used 3d models as a base to the drawing while others were drawn entirely 'by-hand' (on a pressure sensitive tablet). (wildlife; life; earth; diversity; birds; fish; insects; biology; science; nature; darwin; ecology)
medical illustration of Our bodies are made up of the cells encoded by our unique DNA–right? Current research suggests that the microbes that coexist with us are just as much US, as our ‘own’ DNA encoded cells. For every one of our DNA encoded cells, 10 microbes exist. In this art the nasonia wasp, one of the key research subjects, is made up of millions of microbes. (insect; microbiology; bug; wasp; microbiome; genome; biology; genetics; bacteria; archaea; cells; blue; entomology, ecology)
medical illustration of This editorial illustration shows the potential for bacteria to someday become the medicine to cure other diseases. Cures to illness sometimes come from unexpected places, and in this case it's a normally disease causing bacteria.  Listeria, normally responsible for cases of meningitis, sepsis and food poisoning, is being reengineered to combat diseases like cancer. (pharmaceutical, bioengineering, biochemistry, molecular, health, conceptual)
medical illustration of Until recently, our knowledge of hippos effect on ecosystems has been remarkably slim due to the danger they pose to scientists. Knew research has shed light on their huge ecological impact: from increased grazing due to the shortened grass lawn they create, to water ecosystems impacted by their defecation. (ecology, animals, africa, kenya, river, eagle, fish, pond, fisherman, tilapia, food web)
medical illustration of An illustration of the cell signaling process leading to cell behavior. Growth factors (the blue and purple spheres) bind to certain receiving proteins, called receptors. The receptors relay the growth factor signals into the cell. These signals are further relayed through a large network of proteins by kinases, which eventually changes the activity of genes within the nucleus. (cancer, disease, drugs, pharmaceutical, biotech, molecular, biochemistry, g-protein, signaling, cells, chemo)
medical illustration of Animals fill different ecological niches, and employ different ways of sustaining themselves; from predation to parasitism. This artwork of a North American forest (Canada) shows a flying squirrel, salamanders, a hiding owl, a hawk, forest birds and more. This artwork was created as a spread across the bottom of an ecology textbook published by W.H. Freeman.
medical illustration of Inside neurons tangles of proteins have been implicated in many different neurological diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. A team led by Dr. Kausi Si at Stower’s Institute for Medical Research published an article in the journal Cell, with evidence for a prion-like-protein’s normal, healthy role in our brain. Si’s biochemistry research points to a protein, Orb2, changing shape to lock in long-term memories.
medical illustration of Many of nature's symbiotic relationships have cheaters who try to gain the benefits of the system without reciprocating. In the case of the fig wasp, some try to lay their eggs without pollinating the fig seeds. In this case, the fig tree will often prematurely drop the fig to 'punish' the cheater wasp. This artwork was created as an editorial, feature image for a Science News magazine article. (ecology, biology, entomology, life cycle)
medical illustration of Therapeutic antibodies (the Y-like structures) can work to help fight off growth factors which fuel cancer cell growth. Seen here in the blood stream, the antibodies locate a metastasized cell independent of its originating tumor, migrating to another part of the body.
medical illustration of A look inside a thriving pond ecosystem, where herons, frogs, fish, dragonflies and more thrive. This figure was created for an ecology textbook published by W.H. Freeman. (aquatic, marsh)
medical illustration of Kidney cells have a projection called a cilium which acts as a mechanical sensor to detect flow. Problems with the cilium have been implicated in diseases like polycystic kidney disorder. This artwork was created as a feature image for Science news magazine.
medical illustration of Scientists' studies of the many facets of cancer biology and disease, from epidemiology to genetics, build upon each other toward one hope: together, patient and researcher are striving to reach the ultimate goal of a cure to cancer. 1 of 3 in series. Created for AACR
medical illustration of Therapeutic cells can be used to combat diseases, but it’s difficult to track their viability. Microspheres made of a biomaterial called alginate protect cells from the immune system and contain nanosensors (nanospheres) that can sense if the therapeutic cells are still alive. (Nano, technology, research)
medical illustration of Neurologists say an innovative learning method could modify brain activity to help people recuperate from an accident or disease, learn a new language or even fly a plane. In the future, a person may be able to watch a computer screen and have his or her brain patterns modified to improve physical or mental performance. Artwork created for the National Science Foundation.
medical illustration of Scientists are developing biosensors that are sensitive enough to detect even the smallest presence of molecules, so that disease or dangerous environmental contaminants can quickly be assessed. This biosensor is a tiny glass slide of silver with applied protein receptors. When the receptors bind their matching signal molecule, light waves traveling across the chip are perturbed into a recognizable interference pattern.
medical illustration of What causes a cough? How can we make it stop? Irritants like viral particles are usually swept away by cilia in the throat. Some make it past the outer defenses though and penetrate the throats cells, leading to inflammation and coughing. The details, however, are still largely unknown.
medical illustration of An accurate, yet artistic depiction of DNA and our genetic code.
medical illustration of Color, Design, Information Graphics, Editorial, Education, Patient Education, Allergy / Immunology, Anatomy, Biology, Biotechnology, Cell biology / Histology, Disease Management, Molecular Biology
medical illustration of The key components of cell growth and genetic inheritance: DNA, RNA, chromosomes, and replication (protein production).
medical illustration of Color, Information Graphics, Education, Museum / Zoo, Publishing, Web, Biology, Natural History, Natural Science / Nature, Zoology
medical illustration of The nitrogen cycle shown above and below the Earth's surface, from human impacts to the natural, environmental inputs and consumers.
medical illustration of Nanospheres have gained much attention for their potential to deliver chemotherapies in cancer treatment, but they also show much promise to treat autoimmune diseases like lupus, multiple scleorsis and Type 1 diabetes. This artwork shows the nanospheres interacting with immune cells in the lymph vessels.
medical illustration of A baby develops within a healthy placenta. Surpisingly, the placenta is not the mother's organ, but grows from the cells first laid down by the fertilized egg. To successfully support the pregnancy, the placenta has to convince the mother's immune system that it should be there. Scientists are studying this process to determine its involvement in various pregnancy complications.
medical illustration of Cancer biologists are harnessing nanotechology to help target chemotherapy directly to cancer cells and malignant tumors.
medical illustration of Color, Education, Museum / Zoo, Publishing, Anatomy, Biology, Natural History, Natural Science / Nature, Ornithology, Zoology
medical illustration of A soft touch to a medical subject, this pencil drawing infographic shows the salivary glands at different magnification levels.
medical illustration of Coral anatomy showing the photosynthetic symbiotic Zooxanthellae within. Landscape modeled in Eon Vue, drawn in Adobe Illustrator and painted with Adobe Photoshop for an upcoming ecology textbook from WH Freeman. © Nicolle Rager Fuller, 2011
medical illustration of When weight loss has proved unattainable through other methods patients can turn to gastric bypass surgery. This illustration shows how the stomach and intestine are reconnected in the operation.
medical illustration of Color, Information Graphics, Education, Museum / Zoo, Publishing, Biology, Entomology, Natural History, Natural Science / Nature, Zoology
medical illustration of Tangles of misformed proteins bind to neurons inside the brain.
medical illustration of Scientists' studies of the many facets of cancer biology and disease, from epidemiology to genetics, build upon each other toward one hope. Together, patient and researcher are striving to reach the ultimate goal of a cure to cancer.
medical illustration of Cancer recruits new blood vessel growth to feed the expanding tumor in a process called angiogenesis. Scientists are working on drugs to prune back the blood vessels, helping other drugs find a more direct route to the tumor.
medical illustration of A tumor attracts blood and lymphatic vessels (known as angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis, respectively) in order to consume more nutrients to continue its rapid growth.
medical illustration of Neurologists studying the roots of human consiousness have discovered that when a person cannot hear but sees something that should produce a sound, the auditory region of the brain still lights up.
medical illustration of One of the greatest hurdles to creating new viable drugs is increasing their longevity before they're broken down within the body. One approach is to cloak the therapeutic proteins in a polymer (polyethylene glycol–PEG), vastly increasing its lifetime in the body and thus its efficacy.
medical illustration of The virus that causes the flu, influenza A, has a complex lifecycle within our cells. It hijacks our cells machinery to replicate, and assembles itself using our own cell's membrane. After inserting its own proteins into the viral particles surface, it emerges ready to infect the next cell.
medical illustration of A primary tumor within the colon metastasizing. During metastasis, tumor cells produce proteins, called proteases, which helps degrade the tissue around them. At the same time, the tumor cells stop producing the proteins that normally keeps them tightly connected and contained. These processes allow the tumor cell to infect distant sites through intravasation.
medical illustration of In a process called autophagy, cells cannablize themselves to clean out toxins, recycle used nutrients and to help control disease. Although scientists have known about the process for decades, recent discovery of the genes involved has allowed scientists to better understand how autophagy disequilibrium can influence disease. This infographic shows autophagy instigation by a lack of nutrients, to chopping up proteins and mitochondria, to expulsion of the basic nutrients back into the cell.
medical illustration of An artistic look deep within our intestine where a thriving ecosystem of microbes lives. Contrary to what one might think, these microbes are beneficial to us and help us digest our food. Otherwise, many nutrients would be indigestible. Subjects: biology, molecular, cells, bacteria, pharmaceutical
medical illustration of An unfortunate dinosaur watches the impending asteroid impact. Created for the cover of Earth magazine about the many extinction events throughout Earth's history.
medical illustration of Color, Design, Information Graphics, Education, Patient Education, Allergy / Immunology, Biology, Biotechnology, Cell biology / Histology, Disease Management, Endocrinology / Metabolic, Medical Devices, Molecular Biology
medical illustration of We've all heard of DNA, but RNA is the messenger that dictates how the proteins are made, and helps further regulate the process. This infographic shows some of the processing that takes place.
medical illustration of The cancer smart bomb is a nano drug delivery system under development by Dr. Fahmy and colleagues at Yale University. The treatment, which has successfully been tested on mice, uses small hollow spheres, called nanolipogels to deliver the two-prong attack. Some nanolipogels become stuck in leaky tumor blood vessels, where they rally the body’s own immune defenses by releasing interleukin-2 (green). Nanolipogels continuing into the tumor unleash an anti-cancer drug to attack the tumor cells.
medical illustration of Color, Information Graphics, Education, Museum / Zoo, Biology, Natural History, Natural Science / Nature, Zoology
medical illustration of This illustration shows antibiotic antimicrobial peptides penetrating a bacteria's membrane according to the carpet model. A micelle forms from the microbial lipid bilayer, and the cell is punctured. (medicine, drugs, health, microbe, biochemistry, molecular)
medical illustration of Created for Science News magazine, this illustration shows the free radicals that are formed in the electron transport chain of the mitochondria ATP generation. These free radicals have been implicated in many diseases.
medical illustration of A vast network of interconnected structural proteins permeate the cell, providing structure, order, and transport highways. A few of the  cytoskeleton components shown include: actin, tubulin, cadherin, microtubules and transport vesicles carried by dynein.
medical illustration of In the jungles of Panama a large rodent called an agouti is being stalked by an ocelot cat. Using tracking technology, scientists are learning more about the complex ecological roles each animal plays.
medical illustration of A complete overview of the 'Central Dogma of Biology', this illustration shows DNA (transcription) to RNA (translation) to ribosomes, amino acids and protein synthesis.
medical illustration of Smart technology is making advances for the near future in everything from medical devices, to transportation and safety. This was created for the National Science Foundation


Sayo-Art creates bold, dynamic art to educate and excite wonder in technical and scientific topics. Discover creative ways of looking at subjects new and old; whether you're communicating a new pharmaceutical product's potential, creating a brochure for the city zoo, or publishing your research results.


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