St. Eugene, Patron Saint of Normal Cell Division

Everyone I know has been deeply affected by cancer. Either someone in their family has it, or has had it, or they have or a friend or someone they know and respect. I sit at a microscope all day long looking for cells that have changed, lost control, gone wrong and turned into cancer cells.

 

One day I was sitting thinking that there should be someone to take up the job of Patron Saint for normal cell division. Because if there is something to pray for, it's just that. And there are just so many patron saints for such unimportant things--this seemed very important. I am not catholic, nor religious for that matter, but I wanted to create an image that could be a place where science and religion could co-exist and use their powers for good.

 

So, may all your cells divide normally.

 

I chose the name Eugene because the prefix EU in science means normal or good. And gene well that speaks for itself. I've uploaded the huge image straight from my camera so you could tool around and see the background details if you'd like to. Eugene may already be a patron saint of something else. That's ok, I don't think he'll mind this task.

 

He stands on a cell in metaphase where all the paired chromosomes are lined up. In front of him is that same cell in telephase, where the chromosomes have gone to their respective sides and are ready to be the nuclei of their own daughter cells. Above him to each side are the final two daughter cells, perfect and just like each other.

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Uploaded on September 17, 2006