The Elbonian Gain of Function Laboratory Cartoon
- Status: Closed
- Prize: $250
- Entries Received: 9
- Winner: manikmoon
Background: It appears likely that the virus responsible for Covid-19 was a Chimera engineered in a lab that accidentally escaped. This cartoon will be part of an article highlighting such risks of a future leak. Biotechnology is becoming more widely available and accessible.
A rough draft that shows the key elements is all that is required for the competition, then refinement after selection.
Proposed image (other ideas welcome):-
A machine on one side with lots of dials and tubes from the "ACME Discount Bioengineering Supply Co".
On the other side an ancient fume hood with an obvious crack/hole in the side out of which a noxious green gas is escaping.
On the wall, PhD certificates from Uni of North Carolina and the Wuhan Institute of Virology (centers for this research).
In the middle two young mad scientists, woman and man, that look like their mentors, Shi Zhengli and Ralph Baric.
They are excitedly looking at an image from a digital microscope on a monitor. (Something vaguely like https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/681854-REG/Celestron_44345_LCD_Deluxe_Digital_Microscope.html)
The monitor shows the now too familiar coronavirus but with a mouth and snake like fangs. Possibly also a few sharp fish hooks projecting from the surface, but it must look like a coronavirus.
On the bench on a pile of scientific journals (Nature, Journal of Virology) is an open article titled "DIY Chimeras" (Do It Yourself) which has a prominent picture of the same toothed virus.
Also some jars containing a pickled bat and snake.
(I am also thinking about producing an animation later, see https://www.SpreadsheetDetective.com for a commercial one that I had commissioned. Maybe the ACME package arives, the mad scientists excitedly building a super virus, but a robot accidentally picks the snake genome jar... green gas in a kindergarden, spreading ... ends with the robot dumping bodies in the bin with a smile... This fluff can actually be more important than proper research.)