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Reindeer DNA


I am hoping you can see a reindeer in this artwork called “Reindeer DNA” that I created for Christmas in 2019. It is made out of 3600 bases of DNA sequence (18 rows at 200 bases across). Of course, as in all my artworks, the DNA sequence itself has meaning. In this case the sequence is the first 3600 bases of the reindeer mitochondrial genome.

Mitochondria are organelles that help to power the cell. They have a small circular genome, in the case of the reindeer it is 16,362 base pairs long and contains 37 genes, only 12 of which code for proteins.

The reindeer (scientific name Rangifer tarandus), also known as caribou in North America, are native to the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of Europe, Siberia and North America. We all know that they also have magical powers and help Santa Claus to deliver presents at Christmas.

Reindeer DNA v2_2000px.jpg


I have used a different method to make this artwork. Like "There are many cats in cat CAT" the peak heights in the Sanger DNA sequencing chromatogram generate the image. In the bottom right corner you can see details of the DNA sequence used to create the image. It corresponds to bases 1 to 3600 of GenBank accession number NC_007703.1, which corresponds to the complete Rangifer tarandus mitochondrial genome. See below for enlarged sections of the image.

You can purchase this artwork in a number of different formats from Redbubble and Society6 using the link below.



Reindeer DNA v2_annotated_2000px.jpg
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