Breast cancer gene sequence as a 2-dimensional screen print




By day, artist Max Nanis works as a Computational Biologist at the Scripps Research Institute. What this means is, he’s really smart. Also, he tends to see things a little differently from most non-computational biologist folks, especially numerically quantifiable biological structures like DNA.

Using an algorithm he developed to model fluorescent and radioactive emission occurring during Sanger Sequencing*, Nanis forsakes the traditional typographical form of A, C, G, and T to visually represent the human genetic code in his own way.

For the first print in the Sanger Series collaboration, Nanis chose the BRCA2 gene. BRCA2 is a well-characterized gene, because certain mutations are known to increase the risk of breast cancer. As a result, this gene can be used to diagnose the likelihood of a patient getting breast cancer.

This gene was also the subject of scientific controversy, when a company patented the BRCA2 gene sequence. Fortunately, in 2013 the Supreme Court ruled that naturally isolated DNA is not patentable and voided the original granted patent, so your cells aren’t likely to get hit by any cease and desist orders anytime soon.

All limited edition prints are signed and numbered by the artist, Max Nanis.

* Sanger Sequencing, the most widely used method of gene sequencing, was developed in 1977 by Frederick Sanger, for whom this series is named.


  • Signed and numbered by the artist (only 50 first editions produced)
  • Screen print
  • Black Ink
  • French Paper Co 140# Starch White



18" x 24"

Beautiful art through Biology for the Popular Culture.

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