Octopus Genoma Surprises | Skillshare Projects

Ce Cruz




Octopus Genoma Surprises

The sea and science are an important part of my life. Very young I moved from my hometown to the coast to study marine biology and stayed here. So I was not sure what topic would choose, but it would have to do with it.

A couple of days I found this news on octopus that I found interesting. It turns out that a group of scientists from California and Japan have just completed a full analysis of its genome and found some very interesting things. You can take a look at these links:

Octopus genome surprises and teases - Science

Landmark sequencing of octopus genome shows basis for intelligence, camouflage - UChicagoNews

The points that most caught my attention were the three that I quote here. I will base my illustration on one of them:

  1. With large, highly-developed brains, they are the most intelligent invertebrate and have demonstrated elaborate problem-solving and learning behaviors.

  2. With a few notable exceptions, the octopus basically has a normal invertebrate genome that’s just been completely rearranged, like it’s been put into a blender and mixed,” said Caroline Albertin

  3. The late British zoologist Martin Wells said the octopus is an alien. In this sense, then, our paper describes the first sequenced genome from an alien.

Here below you can see some photos and a video that I collected as reference:


source: http://week.divebums.com/2008/Sep15-2008/index.html


source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6VnqI_IZ24


source: https://news.usc.edu/58129/octopus-got-your-tongue/

And finally my first sketches:




I think my favorite is the one in the blender, although my husband thinks is a little creepy. Also I like the one with the arm as a double helix. For sure I will continue with one of those. What do you think? Thanks in advance!


I missed a deadline! Just in time for the last one. First of all, I tried to end the two versions, the DNA arm and the blender, but I think this last one doesn't work. It lacks action, so I decided to choose the other:


I made the line digitally because I downloaded some brushes by Kyle T. Webster and was eager to try them! The truth is that I have really enjoyed working with them. By the way, the lost and found technique is priceless, an amazing discovery for me (I had never heard of it before). On the other hand, I did a lot of color research, before reaching the final artwork. Here you can see some of the attempts:


This is the color I chose (although it doesn't resemble the final version):


And finally, this is the finished artwork with a watercolor texture I made myself and the text. I was not sure what information include, so just put the number of base pairs and genes:


I'm not used to this style, and the truth is that I love it. Also learned a lot of tricks on color and texture that will apply later for sure! So thank you very much for your advice, Christine. I've had a really great time making this project! And thank you, Laurie and Katie for your comments! Finally you were right, DNA arm was better...


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