That’s Phernominal

Louise Hecker, Graduate Student,
Cell & Developmental Biology, University of Michigan

One of the amazing ways in which animals communicate is by pheromones.
In the red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus), these chemicals are
released from skin glands in the tail and play a role in species recognition,
territory marking and mating behavior. In this photomicrograph, cells synthesize
pheromones (turquoise) and pack the aromatic chemicals into small oil droplets.
By studying pheromonal communication in other animal species, we can gain a
better understanding of how humans might unwittingly use this evolutionarily
ancient form of communication.

Sandi Goldman

My inspiration was Louise Hecker’s BioArtography piece That’s
Phernominal. I used part of the original image and painted
the black line work on a piece of batik fabric. The next step
was to add the circles, either cut from commercial fabrics or
drawn on, and then the whole piece was machine quilted and
more circles were drawn on. I was initially attracted to this
image because of the coloration. I enjoy this color palette,
and find I use it in many of my quilts. I am currently working
on a series of quilts using circles; I like their rhythm, balance
and continuity.

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